Pancake day is upon us and, although I'm not excited to quite the same level as I used to be, I am excited. I'm currently back in my hometown of Bath for a few days, where most of my pancake day memories thus far have been made, and whilst I wont be dousing my former 3-ingredient crepes with maple syrup and nutella, I will be celebrating the occasion with buckwheat flour, almond milk and banana based pancakes, and perhaps a green pancake with a variety of savoury toppings for dinner.
This year's pancake edit includes of a selection of sweet and savoury pancake options, varying from American-style pancakes to crepes. The recipes are made using 100% natural ingredients and are all gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, but are incredibly adaptable, so if you don't have an issue with wheat, gluten, dairy or sugar, you can easily switch any alternative flours and plant-based milks with standard plain or self-raising flours and cows milk.
Light + Fluffy Quinoa Crepes
100g Cooked White Quinoa
1 Egg (2 will work if you want a higher protein option)
100ml Nut or Plant Based Milk (I like to use pure almond milk)
40g Buckwheat Flour (can also use quinoa flour or any other gluten free flour you have to hand)
Simply measure all of the ingredients out and add them to a blender. We like to add the wet ingredients first so the flour and quinoa don't create a paste around the blade. Blend on a slow to medium speed for 30 seconds, then increase to the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is entirely smooth and creamy and there are no lumps of quinoa.
Heat about 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil in a frying pan and use a large spoon, ladle or jug to pour the batter onto the pan. Rotate the pan to allow the batter to spread as widely and evenly as possible. If it is too thick, the pancake may not cook through. Cook over a medium flame and carefully slide a spatula around and underneath the edges of the pancake to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the pan. When the underside feels cooked or when the edges begin to brown, flip the pancake and cook on the other side. You may want to flip several times to ensure the pancakes are good evenly.
Banana Surprise Pancakes from Well Being Book
220g buckwheat flour
1 tbsp coconut sugar, plus extra to serve
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
220ml plant-based milk
2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or butter / olive oil)
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom,
3 tbsp cacao powder (for a chocolatey version)
handful of raw chocolate chips
1 tbsp hemp seeds or golden linseeds
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk until pale and fluffy. In another bowl, mash one banana until almost puréed.
Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking constantly. Then add 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or butter) and the mashed banana and whisk a final time. If using, add any elevational extras you like, stirring through the mixture to distribute evenly.
Heat about a teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Whilst it heats, slice the second banana into rounds, about 1⁄2cm thick. Place 2–3 banana rounds onto the surface of the frying pan and cover with about 3 tablespoons of the batter. Repeat until you have 3 pancakes in the pan. Cook for about 1–2 minutes or until air bubbles begin to appear, then flip the pancakes over with a spatula and cook the other side. Cook for about 2–3 minutes in total, flipping back and forth a couple of times to ensure they are cooked through and each side is golden.
Slide the pancake onto a large plate and keep warm in the oven on a low heat whilst you use up the rest of the batter, piling each fresh pancake on top of the last, and keeping them all in the oven to keep warm. Serve as a stack or on individual plates with a selection of your favourite toppings.
Spinach and Courgette Crepes
500ml coconut drinking milk or almond milk
220g buckwheat flour
1 tbsp melted coconut oil, plus extra for frying
pinch of salt
2 large handfuls of spinach, watercress or other leafy greens
1 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1 large courgette, grated
For the filling
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
1⁄2 tsp spirulina, wheatgrass or chlorella powder
First, make the fillings. Arrange the fennel slices on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until juicy and crisp around the edges Put the chickpeas in a bowl, add the tahini, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, nutritional yeast, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. To make the pancake batter, put the milk and eggs in a high-speed blender, then add all the remaining ingredients apart from the oil and blend on a high speed for 1–2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and develops a pale green hue. Leave in the jug of your blender for easy pouring. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, once melted and hot, pour in a ladleful of batter (about the size of your outstretched hand), rotating the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side. Repeat this process until you have used up the all the batter. Take one pancake at a time and line your fillings down the middle of it, starting with the fennel, then 1–2 tablespoons of the chickpea mixture and finally some slices of ripe avocado. Serve immediately.
These Smooth Sweetcorn Pancakes
Enjoy sweet pancakes or crepes with a selection of raw honey or other natural sweeteners of choice, fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, blood orange), superfood powders, spices, fresh herbs, homemade nutella or chocolate spread, nut butters, whipped coconut or cashew cream and fresh fruits. Bulk up your savoury options with a wholesome combination of avocado, tahini, raw or roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, nutritional yeast, pesto and hummus.
Coconut Milk Chocolate Spread
150g tinned coconut milk (the solid part)
40g cocount milk liquid
60g coconut oil (room temperature/soft)
25g cacao powder
40g medjool dates, pitted
5g coconut nectar or other natural sweetener of choice
5g vanilla essence, paste or powder
pinch of salt
5g maca powder
30g raw macadamia nuts (or other nuts of choice - cashews also work well)
Start by blending the coconut milk and coconut milk liquid with the cacao, dates, vanilla and salt for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Next, add the nuts and blend on the highest speed for a further 1-2 minutes. Finally, add the coconut oil and blend for a final time until smooth.