I can’t imagine a day that doesn’t start with a nourishing breakfast. Even on my busiest days, I still manage to take the time to sit and enjoy a meal in the morning–even if that means I risk smearing nut butter all over my keyboard while answering emails. I learned a long time ago that my body just doesn’t function properly if I miss breakfast. Skipping meals in general turns me into a real cranky-pants, and anyone who knows me will concur. But, breakfast – oh, breakfast – I love it so much that I often plan my morning meal before I go to bed the night before. Yes, folks, I am that committed.
I think it’s worth mentioning that I rarely have the same thing to eat two days in a row. I do have regular meals that show up more often than others, but I crave variety when it comes to breakfast. Some mornings I crave sweet, other times I want savory. Sometimes I have veggies while other days (ok…MOST days) I want fruit. I am not opposed to 3-day old pizza, bits from my Thai food take-out, or leftover grain-free apple pie. When it comes to breakfast, I don’t discriminate – if it’s in my fridge, it’s fair game. One thing I really enjoy, though, is cooking breakfast for other people, and when I do, pancakes are often on the menu. I love pancakes, I mean like love love pancakes. I have my dad to thank for that. Not a fellow to cook that often, my dad makes two things really well: pancakes and hamburgers. His pancakes are not fancy. They are the kind made from a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix, topped with Log Cabin syrup and Country Crock margarine. But there was something incredibly special about those mornings when I was growing up that made his pancakes the best I ever tasted, time and time again. Of course, the pancakes I grew up on are completely different from those I enjoy today. Celiacs Disease brought an end to my Aunt Jemima-lovin’ ways, and these days I seek out gluten- and grain-free varieties for my short stack fix. My go-to recipe is most often one of the dense, eggy, coconut flour variety. What can I say…they are perfect. Super yummy and oh-so-filling, chock full of protein, fiber and healthy fats; all the qualities I search for in a breakfast item. This morning, however, I woke up craving chocolate, and when I remembered the bar of Honey Mama’s in my fridge, I reached for my teff flour instead. Do you guys know teff? He’s a tiny little grain, with a big ol’ attitude–a gluten-free grain with plenty of pizazz. I love teff so much, in fact, I even wrote a little piece about it for my friend’s blog a few years back. Since teff is often described as having a “chocolatey” flavor, I knew it would be the perfect pairing for that delectable Dutch bar I was holding onto. A short google search later, and I landed on this recipe. I altered it oh-so-slightly, heated my Lodge double-burner griddle (which I also love love, by the way), crumbled up a Dutch bar, and started making pancakes. Once the pancakes started to bubble, I threw some Dutch crumbles on top, which immediately started melting into oozy, chocolatey goodness. Wondering what I else I would serve them with, I started digging around in my fridge and found a blueberry-chia seed compote I had made a few days earlier, and an unopened can of coconut milk. Since coconut whipped cream is so easy to make–and SO incredibly tasty–I keep a can in the fridge at all times, just for moments like this. What ended up on my plate were some of the best pancakes I have ever eaten. No exaggeration. Each bite had the rich punch of teff and chocolate, the natural sweetness of the berries, and a dose of fatty cream to balance it all out. Sublime. Try it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Teff Flour Pancakes with Blueberry-Chia Seed Compote & Coconut Whipped Cream
Tip: I have learned the hard way that all cooking surfaces are not created equally. If your pancakes start to burn on the bottom before you see bubbles appear on the surface, reduce the heat.
Recipe adapted from WholeNewMom.com
Blueberry-Chia Seed Compote
I had some frozen blueberries that I picked during peak season last summer. They are incredibly sweet, so I found that I didn’t need any additional sweetener. If your berries are less flavorful, you may want to add a few drops of liquid stevia, or a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup.
Incredibly Easy Coconut Whipped Cream
You must use a natural brand of canned, full-fat coconut milk for this recipe to work correctly. It will not behave as well with coconut milk that has added stabilizers (guar gum, xanthan gum) or preservatives. It also will not work with “Lite” coconut milk, or refrigerated coconut “beverage”. You must also refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight; it needs to be very cold. I keep a can in the fridge at all times just for this purpose.