Fruits and Vengeance: Pancakes

I have fond memories as a child of scurrying downstairs on a Sunday morning to find my mom and dad in the kitchen making breakfast. Pancakes were always the main event and they really did steal the show. Breakfast meats, muffins, and pastries, cereal and even waffles had nothing on my dad’s pancakes. What really set them apart was his ability to make them into any shape. From snakes to letters and bunnies to stars, my dad would free hand any design my little heart desired, and it made breakfast that much more special.

Nowadays I can hardly bring myself to taste a pancake. My breakfasts consist of fruit and English muffins with peanut butter instead of the classic breakfast foods that many people love. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to try making vegan pancakes for a number of reasons: First, I wanted to see if I would feel any less stuffed than I did as a child on those fateful Sunday mornings. Second, I wanted to prove to my friends that going vegan for breakfast is not as impossible as it sounds.

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When I tell my friends about this blog, most of them make one of two remarks. One goes something like, “What did your dad say?” and the other is more like, “What do you eat?” Though I enjoy blogging about this topic and have really enlightened myself on nutrition, I am still not a vegan. Therefore, my dad and brother still like me. However, I have adopted the VB6 diet, which is just crazy enough to work for me.

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

As I explained in a previous posting of this blog, VB6 stands for vegan before six, a concept thought up by Mark Bittman, a nutrition writer and columnist. The diet is exactly as it sounds. Simply eat vegan until six, or whenever it is you have dinner. The idea is that it gives enough structure for someone looking to change their diet and health without completely throwing them into unchartered territory.

Though I may not find pancakes and the works as exciting as many others, I thought vegan pancakes would be a great way to show my friends that going vegan for a meal is totally possible. I enlisted the help of my expert-vegan friend for this recipe. At Will’s recommendation, I ditched my original plan of attack and made these delicious cakes from “Vegan with a Vengeance,” by Is Chandra Moskowitz.

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Instead of milk, this recipe calls for soymilk or rice milk in its place. Since I personally find the watery consistency of rice milk unappealing, I used soymilk for my breakfast. Will hypothesized that using coconut milk would make them, “taste super buttery and decadent and amazing.” This hypothesis has yet to be tested.

Since I rarely find myself in the mood for pancakes, I decided to really go all out for this particular cooking experience. Not only did I make a few plain pancakes as according to this recipe, but I also made a few with vegan chocolate chips and another one with berries. The berry pancake did not turn out as well as the chocolate chip one, but that may have something to do with my novice pancake-flipping strategies.

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

All of this commotion awoke my brother from his midmorning slumber. When I offered him a pancake, he seemed intrigued and began to slowly move into the kitchen. As I held out a piece skewed onto a fork, I contemplated leaving out the fact that the pancakes were vegan. Sadly, my conscious got the better of me and he retreated back into his room. Alas, I will broaden my brother’s horizons by this summer’s end.

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Courtesy of Christie Merino / Gavel Media

 Ingredients

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp canola oil plus oil for the pan

1/3-cup water

1 cup rice or soy milk*

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Directions

1. Sift all of the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.)

2. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. (Oil, water, milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup.)

3. Once that's done, add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir. DON'T OVERMIX. A few lumps in the batter are better--makes the pancakes fluffier.

4. Oil the pan with just a drop of canola oil. Pour a large spoonful of mix into the pan and allow it to cook to your liking. This recipe cooks no differently than regular pancakes.

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