It has become popular to eat drop scones, flap jacks and pancakes for breakfast, either as a sweet treat with maple syrup and fruit, or as a savoury base topped with fried tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions and so on. The batter for pancakes and fritters can be made from a number of different combinations of ingredients and all of the following recipes are vegan friendly. If you are lacto-vegetarian, then simply replace the plant milk with cow’s milk. Gluten-free flour can also be used if there is a sensitivity to gluten. Make sure that the mixture is neither too runny nor too thick, and preferably, allow it to stand for about an hour which will improve the consistency of your pancakes. The trick with pan-fried batter is to use only a small amount of oil, heated to the right temperature. Flick a tiny bit of water into the pan and if the oil sizzles, then it is ready. Invest in a good quality, wide spatula for getting under your pancakes for an effective flip over.
THE EASY-OVER PANCAKE
Use 1 cup of sifted gram (chick pea) flour to 1 cup of cake flour. Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Make a little well in the middle. Add enough liquid (your choice of plant milk diluted with water, half and half) to make a pourable batter. Beat well with a whisk. Heat a little coconut or sunflower oil in the pan and as soon as it is hot, pour in 1/4 cup of batter - little bubbles will appear and pop and when the edges look dry, flip the pancake and cook on the other side. This works well for both sweet toppings (mashed banana; peanut butter & syrup; cinnamon sugar), or savoury (fried mushrooms; spicy lentils; spicy baked beans etc.) Serve hot, straight from the pan.
CORN GRIDDLE SCONES
You will need 1 cup of maize meal, placed in a bowl. Pour 1½ cups of boiling water over the mielie meal to scald it. Now add ¾ cup of plant milk; 1 tablespoon coconut oil; and 1 tablespoon golden syrup. Add 2/3 cup cake flour; a pinch of salt; and 3 flat teaspoons baking powder. Mix well, then drop spoonfuls onto a hot griddle to cook on both sides. Melt a little coconut oil on each one and drizzle with golden syrup. Also delicious with peanut butter and a blob of apricot jam.
Place 1 cup of self-raising flour in a bowl with 1/4 cup of caster sugar and 1/2 teaspoon bicarb. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add 1 cup plant milk; 2 teaspoons white vinegar; and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Use a balloon whisk to mix until smooth. Heat the pan with a little coconut oil, pour in 1/4 cup of mixture and flip when ready. Stack these pancakes with a thin spreading of cashew nut butter and a sprinkle of nuts between each one, dust the top of the stack with cacao powder and cut, like a cake, into four. Serve with stewed fruit or fresh berries and add a dollop of cashew nut cream, if liked.
To make the cashew nut cream, simply soak 1 cup raw cashews in 1 cup water for at least 3 hours, then drain and lightly rinse the cashews. Place the nuts in a blender with 1/2 cup of filtered water and a little sweetener. Whizz till thick and creamy.
FLAT & HEALTHY PANCAKES
Put 1 cup sifted channa or gram flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt; stir enough water to make a thickish batter and allow to stand for 1 hour. Add 1/4 cup soaked rolled oats (soak for about 1 hour) and 1 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds (soak for 10 minutes.) Mix well. Fry in a little coconut oil until golden brown and serve with maple syrup. For a savoury version, chop some garden herbs and a little fresh garlic and add to the batter before frying.