Tasty Quinoa Pancakes

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I came up with recipe some time ago when I bought food in rather large bulk quantities.  At that time in my life, I had purchased a 25 lb bag of quinoa…  Needless to say, I figured out ways to be creative and inventive with it.

For those of you that have had quinoa before, you are probably familiar with the distinct taste to this grain that is earthy and slightly nutty.  Some people are drawn to it while others or not.  This recipe definitely brings out the virtues of quinoa’s flavor and adds some tasty embellishments…

This recipe is a soaked grain pancake recipe.  No flours…  No baking soda…  No difficult measurements…  Something even a novice cook can achieve a lot of sweet success with!

Although this recipe calls for quinoa, you can also experiment with other grains such as amaranth, rolled oats, or buckwheat.

Quinoa is a grain that has been cultivated in the Andes Mountain Range in South America for centuries (however, here’s an organic source in Colorado!).  It is classified as a pseudo-cereal as it is not a grass like other grains (such as wheat).

One of its gifts to the world is its high protein content (18% which is high for a grain) as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, folate, magnesium and zinc.  And, for those of you not eating gluten — there is no gluten in this grain.

This recipe requires you to soak the quinoa the night before — so plan ahead!  By soaking the quinoa in water, you denature the phytic acid of the grain and the enzyme inhibitors.  Another way to denature the anti-nutrients in the grain is to sprout your quinoa.

For more information on soaking and sprouting, I suggest that you check out With Love From Grandmother’s Kitchen.  The author of this handy booklet also has some simple reference posters you can hang in your kitchen.

These pancakes are great for breakfast or as snacks throughout the day.  They are dense and hearty, not fluffy like conventional flour pancakes, so prepare yourself for a different texture.  I like to nibble on left-over pancakes with pastured butter on ghee slathered on top.

The night before:
– Soak 1 cup of quinoa in warm water (just put the water about an inch above the quinoa)
– Soak 1/4 cup raisins (or other dried fruit — 2 dates will do, 3-4 prunes, etc) in water

In the morning:
– With a slotted spoon, scoop the quinoa into the blender
– Scoop out the plump raisins and place in blender, pour in a splash of the raisin water
– Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or pink salt
– Add 1/8 cup of coconut oil
– one egg (optional), or you can soak 1 tbsp ground flax seed in 3 tbsp water the night before, or use no binder at all

Blend until creamy.  Add more raisin water (or whatever dried fruit you soaked) to get the desired consistency you want to ladle your pancakes onto the griddle.

Place these ingredients in bowl and add blueberries, chopped bananas, chopped apples (the pancakes in the picture above have chopped dried apples), chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or whatever you wish!

Get the griddle nice and hot — between low and medium heat

Use coconut oil for griddle

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the griddle; let it cook well (until the uncooked side has mostly browned), and then flip over

Enjoy!  Should make about 10-12 small to medium-sized cakes!

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