Vegan Pancake Ideas (Revisited)
Three cultures and three vegan pancake ideas: American-style Banana Pancakes, French-Style Buckwheat Galettes and Moroccan-Style Beghrir
Did I hear someone say it’s pancake time?
I thought so, and that’s why I’m revisiting these pancake recipes I originally posted last year...well, that and also because I’m on an extended 2-month holiday. But that won’t stop me from making pancakes, but they may be made at a campsite somewhere this year.
Enjoy this revisited article from last year...and please enjoy some pancakes this Shrove Tuesday!
Originally appearing February 20, 2022
Every nation has some form of ‘pancake’ in its culinary collection. Consider thick American-style leavened pancakes; very thin crêpes in France; yeasted thin pancakes in Northern Africa; thin crespelle in Italy that are often filled; acidic fermented pancakes called Injera in Ethiopia; ancient Chinese savory pancakes; Japanese-style souffle pancakes; an assortment of Indian-style pancakes, including the popular fermented dosa; Indonesian panekuk, called serabi and made from rice flour and coconut; Eastern European blini; German-style Pfannkuchen (literally meaning ‘pan cake’) plus many more.
Shrove Tuesday (known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in France, the US and elsewhere) is traditionally known as ‘Pancake Day’ in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. Because no meat products should be eaten during the period of Lent in Christian religions, pancakes became a simple and popular way to use up the remaining bits of fat.
This week’s recipes honor the Pancake Day tradition and explore different cultural variations. I’m offering three of my favorite vegan interpretations: American-style Banana Pancakes, French-Style Buckwheat Galettes and Moroccan-Style Beghrir.
American-Style Banana Pancakes
It isn't easy to make pancakes quicker than these – or even ones that taste better. You can prepare and enjoy these fresh, hot, tasty, and fluffy pancakes in about 15 minutes from start to finish – assuming you have all the ingredients. Now that’s a convenient recipe to turn to during a hectic morning.
I serve these thick American-style pancakes with a simple fruit sauce or compote – or perhaps a good drizzle of top-grade maple syrup. This recipe scales well – it is easily doubled if you need to feed a hungry household.
Gluten-free versions are also simple to make – just substitute the flour amounts with an equal amount of your favorite gluten-free flour mixture.
Yield: makes 8 medium-sized pancakes
100 grams (5 1/2 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
160 ml (2/3-cup) soy milk (or any other type of non-dairy milk drink)
7 1/2 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unprocessed rapeseed oil (optional)
2/3 banana, sliced
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a glass or measuring cup, mix the soy milk and vinegar. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Add the soy milk mixture to a small blender. Add the oil (if using) and the banana. Process until smooth, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well to create a smooth batter.
Heat a medium-sized, non-stick pan over moderate heat – adding a drop of water to the pan should quickly ball up like mercury. If the water evaporates right away, then your pan is too hot.
Coat the pan lightly with unprocessed rapeseed oil. Spoon the pancake batter onto the hot pan – leave enough room between pancakes to allow enough space to flip them over. Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the top and the edges appear slightly dry. Turn the pancakes and cook for another minute.
Enjoy right away with your favorite topping.
Tips and Variations
I like to add buckwheat flour as a rustic variation and the hearty flavor it gives the pancakes. Replace up to 20% of the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour.
To make these pancakes gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with your favorite GF mixture that might include all or a combination of these flours: quinoa, corn, chestnut, GF oats, or teff.
Coating the pan with a light film of unprocessed rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil creates an even golden color on the surface of the pancakes. You can skip this step if you prefer avoiding oils and if your pan is preheated and has a good non-stick surface.
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Crêpes are essentially a pancake made by cooking a thin layer of batter in a non-stick or special crêpe pan. When the batter is made with buckwheat flour, it is often called galettes – a famous offering in the French region of Brittany.
This recipe is best when the batter is prepared at least 2 hours in advance and allowed to relax, so the air beaten into the batter has dissipated. The batter’s flavor and color also improve with time. I make the batter the night before serving them and keep it refrigerated overnight.
Crêpe batters are typically made with eggs to help bind the thin pancakes. Small amounts of starch and glutinous fiber (ground flax seeds or psyllium husk) are excellent egg substitutions in this recipe.
Serve buckwheat galettes with fresh fruits, nuts, jam, creams, or your favorite savory filling – like mushrooms or wilted greens.