Before I tell you all about these awesomely nutritious AND yummy pancakes, I want to take a moment to acknowledge a lovely gesture by the very talented Lavanya Raj at Home Cook's Recipes who gave me the Nice Matters Award. This is my first award as a blogger, Lavanya, and I am extremely honored.
My past three months as a food blogger have been rewarding in ways I never imagined. I cannot wait every day to log in and read what all of you cooked in your kitchens across the globe, and to share what I made in mine. It is quite a gift for someone used to working alone in her kitchen to be able to make this extraordinary connection with a vast community of gifted and generous cooks and writers, each with their own distinctive styles.
There are four amazing bloggers that I want to pass on this award to:
Priya of 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian whose delicious recipes and beautiful pictures make me want to run to the kitchen and start cooking!
Anke of Vegan Bounty who is one of the most amazing and creative cooks I have encountered.
The Budding Cook who never fails to inspire me with her innovative food and beautiful photographs.
Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook who writes and cooks beautifully.
Thanks again, Lavanya, and to all of you wonderful food bloggers out there for sharing your talents.
And now for those four-grain pancakes.
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?
Fluffy Four-Grain Pancakes
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.
1 1/2 cups soy milk (feel free to substitute with almond milk)
1/2 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 tbsp flax powder 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.