I had wanted to make buckwheat pancakes for a while now, since I had never eaten them before.  I usually eat buckwheat as cereal and have only otherwise eaten buckwheat in noodle form. I have heard that buckwheat pancakes are generally akin to rather dense, dry and heavy sponges-like griddlecakes, soaking up all traces of butter and syrup slathered onto them. Either you like them or you do not. Well, challenge accepted! I thought, “Why not give them a try? I bet I can make them taste great.” I was rather impressed with my little pancakes, as they came out thin, light and delicious.

The original recipe called for banana, which I would normally replace with apple sauce, but as I did not have either of these ingredients when I made the pancakes, I used pumpkin puree instead. Thankfully autumn is pumpkin season, so I can buy them at the farmers market. Although bananas are available all year long in grocery stores, they are not even remotely local and have more carbohydrates than I want, especially sugar. It really does not matter what kind of puree you use. If you want to make savory pancakes instead, you can add any myriad of vegetable purees.

Image Source:

Image Source: Chris and Jenni on Flickr

Sprouting Buckwheat
Surprisingly, buckwheat is not actually part of the wheat family, but is still considered a grain by some people due to its use as fine flour in making many baked goods. Soak the seeds (as in my previous nut preparation entry); the process is the same as with other seeds. I generally use Ani Phyo’s suggestion of soaking the seeds for about 6 hours from her book, but it is perfectly fine to soak them overnight. Rinse in a large fine mesh non-reactive (stainless steel, fabric or plastic) strainer. Rest the strainer over a bowl or container that is deep enough for the bottom of the strainer does not touch the container. Daily rinse the buckwheat groats. Mix them from the bottom to the top with a large spoon or clean hands in the strainer to provide even light and air distribution and prevent molding. Reset the strainer over the container. Repeat this process over the next two to three days or until the seeds sprout, and the “tails” grow between a 1/4 and an 1/2 inch in length. Dehydrate the seeds at 105 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crunchy. Store them in an airtight glass container, like a canning jar.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes
Adapted from Kelly E. Keough’s gluten-free baking cookbook.
This makes lots of pancakes, so cook them in a larger pan to speed up the over-all cooking time.

Yields 20 to 24 pancakes

Ingredients
3/4 C Rooibos Chai Tea, cooled*
1 T Flax Meal
1 C Sprouted Buckwheat Groats (see above)
1 C Egg Whites (from about 8 large eggs)
1/2 C Pumpkin Puree
1 T Blue Agave Nectar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Optional Toppings
Grade B Maple Syrup
Flavored Blue Agave Nectar
Spiced Creamed Honey
Coconut Oil
Cranberries
Apple Compote
Bee Pollen
Peanut Butter Chips
Chocolate Chips
Carob Chips

Directions
For better consistency, pre-soak the flax meal in the tea for about 15 minutes, occasionally stirring.

In a food processor or high speed blender, like my Vitamix dry grain mill, grind the buckwheat into a fine meal. Add in the tea-flax mixture, egg, pumpkin, agave and spices. Blend until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Cooking Pancakes

In an oiled pan over low heat, pour in about 2 to 3 tsp (1 tablespoon) of batter for each pancake. Spread out the batter into thin round pools of about four to six inches in diameter. Cook for several minutes on the first side. Carefully flip the pancakes over with a spatula when you can easily loosen all of the edges from the pan without scrunching the cakes into heaped messes. Cook on the second side until the edges are golden brown. Adjust the stove temperature accordingly to avoid burning your cakes during cooking. Serve warm. Decorate with your desired toppings. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cranberries

Note: I included rooibos chai to aid my digestion, but you can use black or green tea versions or any spiced teas, like Good Earth’s herbal tea.
When eating leftovers during breakfast the following day, I realized these would also taste rather scrumptious with chopped pecans or walnuts added to the batter or scattered on top.

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