Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes *

These are just like my original banana pancakes except that they're safe for vegans who cannot eat wheat or gluten. Actually, there is a second difference: unlike with wheat pancakes, you can put chocolate chips directly into this batter and not end up with pancakes that stick to the pan. Even if you don't avoid gluten you may want to give these delicious pancakes a try!

1 cup white rice flour or King Arthur gluten free multipurpose flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 TBSP tapioca flour/starch
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups soymilk (or other nondairy milk)
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup vegan gluten-free chocolate chips (optional)
margarine or oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients and stir. Add the vanilla and soymilk, stirring until any lumps are gone. Add the mashed banana (and chocolate chips if using) and stir, then allow the batter to sit for a few minutes. Place a bit of margarine or oil to your frying pan over medium-low heat; you may need to add about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp between each batch of cakes to avoid sticking so keep it nearby. Pour the pancake batter into the pan to form 3-4" diameter pancakes. These pancakes WILL NOT BUBBLE so you need to pay close attention and flip them when they are getting firm around the edges and the bottom is a very light golden brown (too dark and they will be crispy). These do not take long to cook so don't leave them unattended. Cook on the second side for about half as long as on the first & then enjoy!

NOTE: If you are not using salted margarine for frying you will want to add a pinch of salt to the batter. If making chocolate chip pancakes, I recommend using Enjoy Life chocolate chips because they are the size of mini chips and that way you get some in most bites.

Banana Pancakes

These are light, fluffy pancakes I developed after my sister requested banana pancakes to spread with peanut butter and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour OR white flour (King Arthur white whole wheat is great for this!)
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup agave
1 1/2 - 2 cups soymilk or almond milk
2 very ripe mashed bananas
margarine or oil for frying

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the agave and 1 1/2 cups soymilk, stir until the lumps are gone, and then stir in the banana. Add the extra soymilk if necessary to reach pancake batter consistency (you will need to add some but not necessarily all so do this slowly, stirring in a spoonful or two at a time). Add a little bit of oil or margarine to a frying pan at slightly below medium heat. Pour the pancake batter into the pan to form 3-4" cakes. Flip the cakes when a few bubbles form on top and the bottom is light golden brown. Cook on the second side for just a moment and then enjoy!

Don't have ripe bananas? You can still enjoy these pancakes. Just skip the bananas and use the whole 2 cups instead of 1 1/2 of nondairy milk to compensate for the lack of bananas. You can even stir chocolate chips right into the batter if you like; it just makes them a bit messier and sometimes a bit likely to stick in the pan mildly.

NOTE: If you use oil instead of margarine for frying you will want to add a pinch of salt to the batter. I do not recommend choosing hemp milk for your nondairy milk in this recipe as it leads to sticking in the pan; your best bets are soy or almond.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leek & Potato Soup *

2 large or 3 regular-size leeks
1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy-free margarine (more = creamier soup)
1 quart vegetable broth
1 stalk celery, finely chopped.
5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup soymilk or other non-dairy milk, plain or unsweetened (plus extra if needed)

Selecting just the white & VERY light green portions of the leeks, wash and finely chop them to about 1/8" by 1/2" pieces. Discard the dark green portion or save it for another use. In a large pot, melt the margarine over medium and then sautee the leeks for a few minutes until they start to look translucent. Add the vegetable broth, celery, and potatoes, bring to a boil, and then simmer over low uncovered for 25 minutes. If the potatoes are not thoroughly cooked, cover and simmer until they are soft. Using a lid or other means, pour as much of the broth as possible into a bowl or measuring cup. Thoroughly mash the potato mixture with a potato masher, return the broth to the pot, add the soymilk, and stir. Add more soymilk if you would like a thinner soup.

Note: If you use a margarine that is not salty you will want to add salt to taste.