For the Love of Pancakes! A Healthier Take

When I think of ‘healthy’ pancakes, certain images come to mind, that of the flat, rubbery, grainy variety.  Over the years, I’ve experimented with many different types of flours to come up with a healthier version of the traditional white-flour pancake.  I’ve tried whole wheat, buckwheat, oat flour, and even combining these in varying proportions.  Some turned out better than others, but in general, the end result was always the same,   disappointing to say the least.  Good nutrition is definitely important, but it doesn’t always make for a great experience, for that we also need great taste.  I never settle for any recipe simply for the nutritional benefits, it must also be great tasting.  I test all my recipes against some of the toughest critics I know ….my kids!

I recently discovered brown rice flour while trying to find healthier alternatives for white flour (other than whole wheat flour).  Brown rice is one of my favorite staples, so the thought of incorporating it in other forms was intriguing.  I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill whole-grain brown rice flour not yet knowing what I would do with it.

When researching different uses for brown rice flour, I came across a recipe for gluten-free brown rice flour pancakes.  The fact that it is gluten-free made me think it might require special unconventional ingredients, however, this recipe is simple and straight forward.  I had everything on hand and after making a few changes and tweaking a few ingredients, I got ready for another pancake-experiment.  The brown rice flour batter is a little thicker than normal pancake batter, but a lot easier to manage.  The pancakes were perfectly golden and so light and fluffy in texture.  Their taste and texture are very much like the traditional white-flour pancakes, but these pancakes are packed with nutritional goodness.  Since they are made with high quality whole grain brown rice, they are rich in fiber and will keep you satiated a lot longer.  So, they taste great and are great for you, sounds like I found a keeper, right?  WRONG!

Before being officially passed, these pancakes must meet one more challenge … my critics.  It didn’t take long to get enthusiastic thumbs-up and big smiles from both kids.  The fact that I shaped them into teddy-bear faces with chocolate chip eyes and strawberry mouths, may have earned me extra brownie points!

Gluten-free Brown Rice Flour Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 2 t raw sugar (or any sugar substitute)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T canola oil

In a small bowl, mix together milk and vinegar, and let sit a few minutes to thicken.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

Add egg and oil to the milk/vinegar mixture and combine well.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Do not beat for too long.  It’s ok if the batter is lumpy.

Pour on to a greased non-stick pan on medium heat.  Flip when pancakes start to bubble on top.

Enjoy with maple syrup or any toppings of your choice.

Makes 10 – 12 medium pancakes