Healthy pancakes may sound like an oxymoron, but they are very possible. Something I proved to you 12 years ago with these quite perfect Vegan Pancakes that just happen to be whole wheat.
Over the years, many of you have made these and some of you have returned to tell me how much you love them. I can't agree more. This is probably the breakfast I make most often in my kitchen, and it really is a foolproof recipe, and one I've hardly changed over the dozens of times I've made these pancakes for family and friends.
I will admit that I have one pancake recipe that tops this one healthwise-- my Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes. I do love those pancakes with a passion for that reason, but there's one problem with anything sourdough: time. With sourdough pancakes, as with sourdough waffles, you need to remember to start your batter the night before. If you don't, there are no shortcuts.
These vegan pancakes taste just as good though. And they are even easier to make. You can put the batter together in under 10 minutes, and after that making them is a breeze.
Tips for making the best vegan pancakes
- To make these pancakes, I use whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat pastry flour, which is made from a light whole grain, is low in gluten and a perfect substitute for all-purpose flour in most baked goods, other than delicate cakes and breads. At the same time it also adds to the nutritive value of any food it goes in because it contains large amounts of fiber and protein.
- I have had readers tell me that they used regular whole wheat flour in this recipe with great results. You can try that, of course, but my advise, if you are using regular whole wheat flour, would be to mix it half-and-half with unbleached all purpose. That way your pancakes will be soft and tender and fluffy, while still being healthy.
- These pancakes are so tender and fluffy because they are "buttermilk" pancakes -- vegan "buttermilk," that is. And I make that by adding a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in the nondairy milk and letting it stand for a minute or two before adding it to the other ingredients.
- The "eggs" here are flax eggs, of course, made by adding two tablespoons of flaxmeal to six tablespoons of water. For this recipe you don't have to use separate containers to make the vegan "buttermilk" and the flax eggs. You can throw in the milk and apple cider first, add in the flaxmeal and measure out the water into the same bowl, and continue adding the other wet ingredients.
- When you mix a pancake batter, always mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just mixed together. The batter can be lumpy, that's fine. Don't take a whisk and try to beat everything to smoothness, because that will just beat air into your batter and strengthen the gluten in the wheat, leaving you with dense pancakes. Not good.
- Finally, this is a basic pancake recipe. You can make this as is and serve it with maple syrup and some fruit and everyone will thank you for a fabulous breakfast. But you can also tailor this recipe to your liking:
- Stir in fruit like blueberries or strawberries (leave the blueberries whole and chop the strawberries before adding them to the batter).
- You can also add lemon juice and zest to the batter to make lemony pancakes
- Add cinnamon for a holiday flavor that goes perfectly with cold weather and hot coffee.
- Or add dry ginger for gingerbread pancakes.
- Whole wheat pastry flour (or a mix of regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. I really encourage you to try using all whole wheat pastry flour because it gives you tremendous flavor and nutrition.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Nondairy milk (I used almond): I used oat milk. Almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk are all fine.
- Apple cider vinegar: This helps create a "buttermilk" effect in the pancakes, making them light and fluffy.
- Flaxmeal: Flax adds more heart-healthy fiber and nutrition and is a great replacement for eggs in this recipe.
- Maple syrup: Maple syrup is wonderful here, but any sweetener, including sugar and agave, are fine.
- Pure vanilla extract: For more delicious flavor.
What to serve with vegan pancakes
All you need is maple syrup and perhaps some fruit on the side for the perfect breakfast.
They would also be delicious with the walnut apricot syrup in this vegan crepes recipe.
- Vegan Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes
- Vegan Potato Sauerkraut Pancakes
- Savory Black Eyed Peas Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Vegan Double Chocolate Pancakes
- Savory Apple Potato Pancakes with Thyme
- Vegan Waffles
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (or another nondairy milk)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp flaxmeal
- 6 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, add the nondairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let it stand for a couple of minutes, then add the flaxmeal and water and whisk well. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spatula or the whisk until everything just comes together. The batter should still be lumpy but you shouldn't have any obvious patches of dry flour.
- Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. Spray with cooking spray or coat lightly with oil. Using a ⅓rd cup measure, scoop up the batter and pour on the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown. Flip over and cook the other side until it is lightly browned as well.
- Serve hot with fruit and maple syrup.