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
- 1 ½ cups teff flour
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 T. raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup, but honey or coconut syrup would work too)
- Coconut or avocado oil for brushing your pan
- ⅓ – ½ cup Honey Mama’s Dutch chocolate, broken up into small pieces
- Sift teff flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir the vinegar into 1 ¼ cups milk. Let sit for a minute, then whisk in the eggs and sweetener.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture. If the batter seems too thick, add ¼ cup more milk.
- Heat a pan or griddle over medium heat, and brush with oil. Add batter ¼ cup at a time. Sprinkle some of the Dutch crumbles over the top. Once you see bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes (this usually takes 3-5 minutes), flip the pancakes over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
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.
- 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup coconut water (you can also use apple juice)
- 2 T. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. Lemon juice (optional)
- ½ tsp. Vanilla extract (optional)
- Place berries and coconut water in a pot, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in chia seeds, and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently, and reduce temperature if needed to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Use the spoon to mash some of the berries as you stir. Remove from heat, and stir in the lemon juice and/or vanilla, if using.
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes before using. This will give the chia seeds time to “gel up”, making the compote slightly thicker.
- Serve immediately as a topping for pancakes or waffles. Once refrigerated, it will keep for about a week.
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.
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 T. maple syrup (optional)
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator bottom side up. Leave it in there overnight.
- 10 minutes before starting the recipe, place a metal mixing bowl, and the beaters from a hand mixer in the freezer.
- Remove can from fridge, and open the bottom of the can (now the top, since you placed it in the fridge upside down the night before). Drain all the liquid from the can. Save it for another use.
- Place the remaining contents of the can in the chilled mixing bowl, and whip with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Add maple syrup and/or vanilla, and whip again until thick and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Whipped coconut cream keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, if covered properly. If it hardens, you can do the whipping process all over again.