When we first moved to Canada, pancakes meant only one thing; thin, light, round and flat. Where we live now they are referred to as crepes, differentiating them from the thick, fluffy and maple syrup laden yummies known as pancakes here in Canadaland.
Over the years of living here we have succumbed to the fluffy sweet goodness, but we’ve refined the recipe to our own tastes and now have one that works beautifully and provides a hearty breakfast, snack or even dinner on occasion. Slathered with butter and maple syrup, paired with fruit or a smoothie if so desired, these pancakes fill you up and set you on for a busy day.
Neirin is a particular fan of these pancakes, a real blessing as he is still in a fussy phase when it comes to food. He will happily motor down not only his own pancakes but his Daddy’s too, carrying on a long and treasured tradition of nicking Daddy’s breakfast passed from mother to son.
The art of pancake war is one that is ever evolving and relies upon much sneakiness and cunning and, of course, a large stack of maple syrup soaked oaty pancakes. Being made from oats they are much more satisfying and filling, definitely something worth fighting over. Luckily there are enough pancakes made in a batch to allow for pancake stealing and even leaving a couple to be warmed up for snack later.
We buy our rolled oats from a nearby farmer friend who grows organically, mills them regularly and they are certified gluten free. The ones we bought yesterday had just been rolled and so benefited beautifully from the soaking I had in mind for them. I buy rolled so that I can use them to make granola too but steel cut work just as well and maintain even more of their beneficial nutrients. Oats are a really nutritious grain full of fibre, they don’t spike blood sugar the way wheat does and are linked to a long life and shiny digestion!
In keeping with all the reading I’ve been doing about traditional eating and the importance of soaking grains I’ve changed this recipe (it is Stephen’s genius concoction) to benefit from some soaking with an acidic medium to break down phytic acid and help release the nutrients more easily. I won’t go into it here as it is a big subject that I am only just learning about and I’m sure my technique is far from perfect but I do know two things for sure:
1) Some soaking is better than no soaking, so it’s worth doing,
2) These pancakes are delicious, filling and a great way to start the day!
Here is our recipe, I hope you enjoy them.
2 cups of rolled or steel cut oats (not instant!)
1/2 cup of cultured buttermilk. You could also use yoghurt or kefir but I haven’t tried that. This is the acidic medium that will help break down phytic acid and improve the digestion of nutrients.
1 1/2 cups of milk (either dairy or non dairy, your choice)
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tblespn of maple syrup or honey
1tsp-1tblespn of vanilla essence
1/4 tsp of almond extract
1 free range egg
The night before:
Pop your oats into a blender with the butter milk and milk, leave to soak overnight.
The next morning:
Add all the other ingredients except the egg, whizz in the blender until smooth. Add the egg and whizz again, the egg will aid in the thickening. Leaving it to settle for 10 minutes gives it time to thicken a little more too. If you find the mixture becomes too thick add a little more milk.
Heat a frying pan or griddle and melt butter or coconut oil onto it. Pour or spoon out the mixture to the desired size and wait until bubbles form on the top and then burst leaving little holes in the mixture, this is when you flip. Don’t have the heat on too high as they will burn before the top is set making flipping a bit tricky.
When they are golden brown on both sides pop on a plate, add something delicious to the top (butter and maple syrup work well for us) and rejoice in a job well done.