Breaking Lent Pancakes

Context: Every Sunday during my quasi-Lent observance (which I started on Satruday March 1's New Moon... *not* on Ash Wednesday post the hubbub of Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, et. al...) I allow myself a break from the 40 days of culinary austerity with a bit of indulgence. Since (given my rest-of-the-week monastic Californ-i-a like eating) I really didn't have much on hand to make pancakes with, I tried these since it uses totally basic every-day pantry type staples, and they turned out *astounding* -- fluffy and rich with an almost cornmeal-like crisp golden top -- so good, in fact that I'm putting it here because a) I told my sister I would giver her the recipe  and b) I don't want to forget/lose the recipe... esp now that I've made them two Sundays in a row!

The Stats:

Quiiicckk. 20 minutes tops. 

Started: grinding chia seeds circa 10am... listening to my local radiothon and they hadn't even hit the cut-off for their challenge grant by the time the pancakes were ready to eat around 10:30 am. 

Rating: totally 4.8 out of 5 stars on even your more fancied-up sophisticated-ingredient pancake scale. Why not 5? Oh gosh, I don't know. 5 is a 5. That's Perfection. 4.8 is far more interesting of a number.

Improvements:  I actually was inspired to make pancakes because I bought some Peanut Butter & Co's White Chocolate Wonderful on impulse the day before (which tastes to me exactly like Reese's Peanut Butter Chips), and I needed something to spread the white chocolate peanut butter on. But after I tried the pancakes, I didn't want to do anything to distract from their perfectly nutty flavour. Ha. So improvements? None. Absolutely none.

Lent-Breaking Pancakes (Vegan)

What's great about these? I think it's partly the whole wheat flour + coconut oil combination. The whole wheat almost makes them cornmeal-like.. it gives them *texture* -- but they're still fluffy. And I find that baked goods with coconut oil just have a depth and nuance and *richness* you don't get with plain old oil or butter. The addition of olive oil (esp a nice flavourful olive oil) gives it one more note in its flavour profile. Making the overall taste of the pancakes, just *wow* with a bit of fresh fruit and some syrup.

I add sliced bananas and nuts into a few pancakes just to mix things up a bit... and the bananas sort of caramelize... and really work with the coconut-buttery taste of the pancakes themselves -- so the bananas aren't just an *addition* (as they are in so many other pancake recipes) -- but really, truly, a *complement.*

Be sure to brush your griddle with a layer of coconut oil *each and every time* before dropping another round of batter so that with each one you get that coveted and delectable brown-edge crust.

Ingredients

1/2 tsp chia seeds -- ground in a coffee/spice grinder (you could probably also use an egg [1] and omit the water, but I haven't tried that, so no promises!)

1 1/2 T warm water (to mix with the ground chia seeds)

1/2 cup almond milk (room temperature or warmer -- so it doesn't solidify your melted coconut oil!)

1 T melted coconut oil

1/2 T flavourful olive oil

1/2 cup flour (I use about 1 T all purpose flour + the rest freshly ground Whole Wheat)

1 T sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp (or less) salt

More coconut oil for your griddle (this is key for crispy-golden pancake tops!)

Optional: Banana, Pecans/Walnuts, Strawberries, Maples Syrup

1. Mix ground chia seeds and warm water together in medium sized bowl -- whisk together to form sort of a grey-ish looking gluey substance.

2. Into the chia seed mixture, whisk in your melted coconut oil and olive oil, followed by your warm-ish almond milk. 

3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together (I just use a 1-cup measuring cup) and  dump it into my liquid mixture.

4. Give the mixture a few good stirs with a fork or spatula (don't overmix! lumps are okay!)

How fast was that?! 

5. Heat a griddle to 350 degrees. (I'm super lucky and my griddle has a temperature gauge... otherwise probably just wait till a drop of water on your griddle rapidly sizzles away)

6. Spread a bit of coconut oil on griddle with the back of a spoon and immediately drop a couple Tablespoons of batter onto the oiled area.

7. And a couple slices of banana and nuts into the cooking batter if you fancy. Wait till the batter has bubbled before you turn over (probably at least two minutes... more if you like crispier tops... I do.)

(Serves 2)

I served mine with sliced strawberries, butter, and of course, ample drizzles of maple syrup. 

Voila!

Enjoy your Lent breaking!! xoxo