I’ve always had a soft spot for pancakes, because they are the epitome of a blank canvas for an array of healthy and tasty toppings. The great thing about homemade pancakes is that you get to choose what goes into the batter. By doing so, you eliminate the “nasty”, unhealthy ingredients you often find in pre-packed pancake mixes.
For this recipe, I decided to use buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is a seed related to rhubarb. It has a beautiful nutty flavour and is gluten-free, low GI, high in amino acids, fibre and essential minerals. Buckwheat is also rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Needless to say, it contains all the good stuff!
One of the key ingredients for this recipe is ricotta. One day, I had leftover ricotta from a (failed) cheesecake experiment. Not wanting to let any food go to waste, I decided to add the leftover ricotta into my pancake batter. Voilà – the result was magically moist, silky smooth and creamy pancakes. Also, rather than tasting cheesy, the ricotta combined with lemon juice adds a delicate tang which plays well with the sweetness of the vanilla beans.
You’ll also notice that I’ve included a tablespoon of macadamia oil in the recipe. You will find that I always include this in all of my pancake recipes. Aside from adding to your good fats intake, this is actually a little valuable tip I learnt from a good friend of mine. Mixing the oil into the batter helps heat spread evenly across the pancakes as you cook it, and makes it easier to flip your pancakes over!
As mentioned above, buckwheat is inherently gluten-free. So, I must be upfront and inform you that while the recipe does it’s best to yield beautiful velvety, moist and creamy pancakes, you may not necessarily achieve perfectly light and fluffy pancakes. You may choose to substitute buckwheat flour with other non-GF flours that have been touted as better alternatives to white flour, for example, whole spelt flour. I have made these pancakes with spelt flour and can say that they do create fluffier pancakes.
I crowned these lovely pancakes with maple-glazed grilled bananas, then added some fresh strawberries, chopped pistachios and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. I encourage you to be as creative as possible with your toppings!
- ½ cup buckwheat flour (or substitute with spelt flour, see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- sprinkle of sea salt
- ½ cup ricotta
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- 1 egg (separate yolk and egg white)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon macadamia oil (or coconut oil)
- Topping suggestions:
- Fresh berries and/or grilled fruits (peaches, bananas)
- Nut butter and/or chopped nuts
- Greek yogurt or whipped coconut cream
- Honey or pure maple syrup
- Mix the flour, baking power, coconut sugar, and sea salt (dry ingredients) in a small bowl.
- Mix the ricotta, almond milk, egg yolk, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice (wet ingredients) in a mixing bowl.
- Sieve the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to create the pancake batter. Mix the batter gently until just combined (be careful not to mix too vigorously as your pancakes may turn out dense).
- Whisk the egg white until it reaches a stiff peak, by using an electric hand mixer or a hand whisk (this helps make the pancakes more airy and fluffy).
- Fold the egg white into the batter gently.
- Pour the oil into the batter and mix gently.
- Use two tablespoons to create one medium-sized pancake. Cook on one side until you see tiny bubbles emerging, then flip over.