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Blueberry Oatmeal “Buttermilk” Pancakes

pancakes4I know what you’re thinking: “Buttermilk? Isn’t that dairy plus more dairy?”

Well, not really…and not to worry. You can make a DIY buttermilk without using butter or milk. It’s quite simple! For every cup of non-dairy milk (rice, almond, or coconut), add one tsp. of apple cider vinegar. Stir it together and let it sit for a little while. TA DA!!! You now have non-dairy buttermilk.

As you could probably guess, that’s the start of this whole process. Here’s what you’ll need for the entire recipe:

2 c. non-dairy milk (almond, rice, or coconut)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 c. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
4 Tbsp. unsweetened natural applesauce
1/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. water, divided
1/2 c. spelt flour (brown rice flour or oat flour would also work, I assume)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh blueberries

First, you need to create your buttermilk, as directed above. Add to that your 2 c. rolled oats, stir together, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. (You thought you were going to whip these pancakes up in a hurry? Sorry…patience is a virtue…so is planning.)

When the oats are done, they should look a little something like this (I stirred mine after soaking to make sure everything was well combined):

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A normal person would have probably used eggs and oil in this next step, but I’ve had a fascination with flax and applesauce lately. It’s not that I can’t do eggs and oil; I just chose not to. Ground flax seed was also on sale at the grocery store, so I went for it.

You’ll want to combine your applesauce and ground flax seed plus 1 Tbsp. water in a mixer. You likely could do this with a fork, but I heard that whipping it with a bit more power does a better job. It’s a little overkill for such a small amount, but here’s the end result:

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Throw that in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, and it should be perfectly gloopy. (“Gloopy” is the new word of the day, just so you know.)

  • Helpful hint: If you’re a fan of using applesauce in your recipes, I’ve found that the best way to purchase it is in the individual 4 oz. cups. If I buy a jar of it, I end up using only half before it goes bad. When I buy the individual cups, it lasts MUCH longer, and I can use up all of it before it even gets close to growing hair.

In a separate bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Yes, I used spelt flour, and yes, it has gluten in it. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not on a gluten-free diet. Gluten really isn’t the problem; white flour is the root of all evil! (That’s what my immune system seems to think.)

  • Helpful hint: Baking powder already has baking soda in it. I always measure my baking soda first, brush off the spoon, and then measure my baking powder. No need to get a clean measuring spoon!

Now you don’t HAVE TO do this next step, but I must remind you: I have a Vitamix. I’m a little obsessed with it. What does any self-respecting Vitamix owner do when faced with something that COULD be blended? They throw it in! I dumped the buttermilk/oat mixture, the flax/applesauce mixture, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 Tbsp. honey, and the flour mixture in, and blended it until it was a glorious finely-ground batter. The batter comes out MUCH thicker than I like for my pancakes, so I added an extra 1/4 c. water and blended again. PERFECT! Should you choose not to blend your batter, that’s just fine. You’ll have to mix it by hand (or with a mixer), and you’ll have whole oats in your pancakes, but that’s not such a bad thing, is it?

  • Helpful hints: Any time you’re measuring honey, spray your measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray first. It slides right out! Also, if you’re not a Vitamixer, a BlendTekkie, or a Ninja, make sure you use a LOT more water, should you choose to blend. You very well may kill your blender if you don’t.

Now for the fun part: let’s make pancakes! Dump in your fresh blueberries, stir them in (with a spoon), and you’re ready to go. Make sure your pancake skillet is preheated over medium heat. It’s ready when you drip water on it and it sizzles.

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Your pancakes will grow rather quickly, so use less batter than you think you’ll need for an average-size pancake. Be especially careful if you added extra water, because they’ll spread even faster! Let them cook until they bubble, and then gently coax them off of the griddle with a spatula to flip them over. I guarantee that your first few will grip onto your pancake griddle as if their lives depended on it! It gets much easier after those few rebels.

I always keep my oven set to “warm” when I make pancakes, which is 170ยบ on its lowest setting. I keep a plate in the oven, and I toss the finished pancakes onto that plate. Seriously, who wants cold pancakes?

  • Helpful hint: If you’re anything like me, you hate getting food in the burners on your stovetop. Here’s an easy trick: Make sure your unused burner is turned OFF, and place a plate over it. Set your container of pancake batter on the plate. Rather than dripping all over your stove, it drips on the plate, which washes off quite easily!

Once the pancakes are done, serve them up with fresh blueberries and pure maple syrup. Yes, that’s butter in the photo. Strangely enough, a lot of people who can’t have dairy are just fine with butter, and I’m one of ’em. I’m not sure why, but I’m not complaining!

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Seriously, I think these are my new favorite pancakes. They smell gloriously of fresh blueberries, they taste absolutely amazing, they’re fluffy and moist, and they’re REALLY filling!

Pancake recipe, in a nutshell
2 c. non-dairy milk (almond, rice, or coconut)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 c. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
4 Tbsp. unsweetened natural applesauce
1/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. water, divided
1/2 c. spelt flour (brown rice flour or oat flour would also work, I assume)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh blueberries

Combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a medium-size bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add rolled oats and stir. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Whisk applesauce, 1 Tbsp. water and ground flax seed in a mixer until “gloopy”. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flax mixture to oat mixture, along with vanilla, honey, and 1/4 c. water. Add flour mixture. Blend in a Vitamix, if desired. Stir in fresh blueberries.

Preheat pancake griddle over medium heat, and pour pancakes onto griddle. Gently flip once they have started to bubble for a minute or so. Cook until both sides are golden brown, and store in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Serve with fresh blueberries, pure maple syrup, and butter.