Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gluten Free, Vegan Teff Banana Pancakes with Spinach and Blueberries

You don't have to be Gluten Free or Vegan to enjoy these delicious pancakes that pack a seriously nutritious punch! Gluten Free baking can be a time consuming endeavor with so so results. These pancakes, on the other hand, are so quick and easy to make and satisfies the craving for something sweet and doughy without the guilt! I always freeze the leftovers for quick breakfasts and snacks for my toddler who gobbles them up.

Teff is an ancient grain originating in Ethiopia. Because the grains of teff are so small, the bulk of the grain consists of the bran and germ resulting in a highly nutrient dense grain. It is high in calcium (17 times the calcium found in whole wheat and barley!), phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium and thiamin. It also has an excellent amino acid composition and is high in protein and fiber. Teff is definitely one of my top choices for gluten free flours and can be found in the Gluten Free baking section at your grocery store or at a Health Food store.

This recipe was slightly modified from the original which I found at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen Website, along with some great pancake tips. I've made the original several times but couldn't resist adding some fresh blueberries and spinach...yes spinach! Ever since I have started my love affair with greens, they go in everything! Hopefully my toddler will never learn to turn up his nose to food that is green because that is all this child has ever known! Once greens have been minced, they can go in just about everything without affecting the taste...only the color so starting your kids young is a whole lot easier! Who needs food coloring? I throw minced greens in grilled cheeses and quesadillas, pastas, rice, and now pancakes!

I made two batches. One with Blueberries and Spinach and one with Cinnamon and Spinach which makes for less messy snacks. Switching to real Maple Syrup is a great habit to get into since the alternative is filled with sugar and preservatives. Honey, agave, mashed bananas or berries, and almond butter also makes for great toppings.

 Teff Banana Pancakes with Blueberries or Cinnamon and Spinach

1 cup teff flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 Tbl ground flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbl cinnamon
1 cup water or non dairy milk (I use coconut milk)
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana (1 small banana)
2 Tbl melted virgin coconut oil
1 Tbl honey, agave, or maple syrup
1 cup minced spinach
1/2 cup minced blueberries

In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients and combine with the dry ingredients. Mix in the spinach. I only add blueberries to half the batter. If you want to add them to the whole batter, you might want to add more.

Heat a skillet over medium low heat until hot. Add a little coconut or olive oil and drop pancake batter by the 1/4 to 1/2 cupful. Flip pancakes after tiny bubbles form. Cook for another minute then transfer to a plate. Add about a 1/2 tsp of oil between batches.

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