One of the toughest dietary lifestyles to lead is that of the gluten-free vegan; but perhaps tougher is if it is not you leading that lifestyle, but your child having to do so out of necessity. One of our close friends recently had to switch her child to a dairy-free, gluten free diet due to allergies and is now finding herself having to rethink the entire way she prepares food. While many who are vegan and gluten free by choice were able to make a gradual switch to the diet as they learned more about how to cook within the guidelines, people who suddenly have to switch because of dietary issues with their kids are often left scrambling for diet-appropriate foods that will also be kid-approved.
Our friend was inquiring about pancakes because those are a favorite among many kids, and no child wants to cut those out of their lives! Well, they don’t have to! We turned to one of our favorite cookbooks, Susan O’Brien’s Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food, for a delicious, allergy-friendly recipe for pancakes. One thing to keep in mind with gluten-free, vegan cooking is that it is just that — cooking! Due to extra ingredients being present in most gluten free, vegan recipes, they can sometimes be a bit more labor intensive. Unfortunately it tends to come along with the territory. But don’t let that deter you! There is always a workaround. What we suggest is designating a big cooking day (weekend days usually work best) to cook for the week. So for these pancakes, consider doubling, or even tripling, the recipe, cooking up a bunch, and then throwing them in the freezer. Then all you have to do is grab them out of the freezer, reheat and serve! If you have a few other parent friends, consider pairing up with them to each take on cooking one item in particular, then swapping half your prepared foods out with them so that you each get a variety. Besides, cooking in pairs is way more fun than cooking alone!
Gluten-Free, Vegan Banana-Buckwheat Pancakes
- 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, plus a little more for cooking
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite milk alternative, we like almond
- 2 tablespoons agave cactus nectar
- 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and the warm water. Beat with a whisk until the mixture is light and bubbly. Add the oil, milk, agave, and applesauce and stir together really well (if you prefer less fat, use only 2 tablespoons of the oil. If the batter seems too dry, you can add in 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of applesauce).
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and cinnamon to blend well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and then carefully fold in the banana and pecans, being careful not to over-beat the mixture.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add a small amount of canola oil or vegetable spray. When it is hot, add a ladle full of batter (about 1/4 cup) to the skillet and cook until bubbles appear in the pancake. Flip the pancake over and cook a few minutes on the other side. Continue this process until you have cooked all of the pancakes and everyone has been served.
If there is any batter left over, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (or again, cook it all up and freeze the extra pancakes)