Breakfast on Sundays is usually just a little more special at our house. Desi and I are big believers in eating that first meal of the day, and on hurried weekdays it is a quick albeit elaborate concoction of cereal, fruits and nuts that Desi himself puts together. Sundays, however, offer up more time and therefore the occasion for some indulgence.
I have loved and made pancakes for almost as long as I’ve lived here, in the United States. Starting with the chalky boxed varieties, I soon graduated to making them from scratch once I realized it really wasn’t that much more work. I then moved on to healthier versions by substituting whole-grain flours for the all-purpose flour that most recipes call for. And finally, as a vegan, came another challenge: finding substitutes for all those animal products like milk, butter and eggs that are common ingredients in most pancake recipes. But as you’ll see in the recipe below, it really wasn’t a huge challenge after all.
If you try these vegan four-grain flapjacks, I bet you will never want to go back to their lacto-ovo counterparts. They are far more nutritious and I swear they taste much better. And who can fault a pancake that’s as good for the Earth and your fellow critters as it’s good for you?
Vegan Fluffy Four-Grain Pancakes
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (can substitute with all-purpose)
- 1/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon , ground
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg , ground
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Set aside while you get the wet ingredients ready.
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups soy milk (feel free to substitute with almond milk)
- 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 6 tbsp flaxmeal whisked together with 6 tbsp water
- Mix together all the wet ingredients, then add all at once to the dry ingredients.
- Mix quickly and in as few strokes as possible, until the dry ingredients are just moistened. The batter should be lumpy and not smooth. Overmixing the batter promotes the formation of gluten which would make the pancakes heavy and chewy as opposed to light and fluffy. The batter will be rather thick but spreadable.
- On a hot griddle over medium heat, spread a thin film of canola or other vegetable oil.
- Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the center of the griddle. Give the batter a bit of a nudge with the cup, if needed, to spread it into an approximately four-inch round.
- Wait until the sides start looking a little dry and bubbles appear in the center of the pancake.
- Lift the edge carefully and if the underside is golden-brown, flip the pancake.
- Cook for about a minute more on this side.
- Serve hot with maple syrup or any other topping you love.