Gluten free / Lactose free / Egg free (vegan) pancakes
I’m now in the middle of my 8th month since I decided to go vegetarian. Actually what they call vegan since I eat no eggs, dairy (milk) or fish. No animal protein at all. I also decided to drop gluten. And also refined sugar. All at the same time. And let me tell you that was one of the best things I’ve done in my life since I stopped smoking (that was 5 years ago). Well at least I feel good as I never did, stopped feeling tired all the time, have way more energy, and guess what, related or not, this year my usual allergies, regular colds and whatever else decided to leave me alone.
Anyway, the point is that I noticed a HUGE difference after one month and decided to stretch it to 3 months. It was quite an obvious difference so I decided after that that it would be a lifestyle. And here I am.
Some friends (and my mother obviously) keep asking THE question:
“OK, so, you don’t eat meat, you don’t eat fish, no eggs, no milk or cheese, no gluten which means no bread or pastas and no sugar… what else is there to eat?”
The answer is quite simple: a lot… I actually found stuff I never saw or tried before and now I love (like lentils or eggplant). And I am not the guy that tries to get “fake” meat substitutes. I find no need (or sense) for fake hamburgers or meatballs or whatever.
For bread I have a bread machine and often buy gluten flee (mostly rice) flour and do my own bread or pizza dough. There’s plenty of gluten free breads (all kinds), pasta (all kind) and even cookies in every health store and I found out that major supermarkets have a full shelf that I never noticed.
I confess sugar was a little harder since I only get sugar from fruit now and didn’t want to replace it with sweeteners. In the beginning it felt exactly as when I stopped smoking: cravings all the time for one or two weeks and then it disappears and you don’t even feel attracted by a chocolate bar (which I was not anymore after 5 years in Switzerland).
And no, regarding whatever is there left to eat I am not limited to carrots and spinach and beans. Since I am finding and creating a few alternative meals in a regular basis now, I decided to start publishing them. This is the 1st and will be posted here but I registered geekitchen.com where I will post more when I have time to prepare the blog which will be a kind of kitchen/lab for my quick recipes (since I don”t have that much patience or time).
OK now let’s go to what ended up being my dinner tonight, this pancakes:
My sister invited me for pancakes (crêpes) the other day and I reminded her that I don’t eat eggs or wheat flour (gluten) or milk anymore so that would be a bit complicated. But I was sure I would find a way to make pancakes compatible with myself. Next time I will take a bottle of my own batter. Yesterday night after a quick research I found that an egg can be replaced by one tablespoon of ground flax seed very well mixed with three tablespoons of water, which turns into a sticky thing. The milk I replaced with 1 cup / 2,4 dl of rice milk (not than fan of soy). The wheat flour was replaced by 1 cup / 2,4 dl of rice flour but there’s plenty of non gluten flour mixes available everywhere specially for people with Celiac disease. There’s also non gluten baking powder (2 tablespoons). For replacing sugar I used a tablespoon of Agave syrup but this could be skipped since the pancakes where too sweet for my taste. Apart from this replacements just added the “normal” other ingredients and mixed everything very well: half tablespoon of salt, a pinch of nutmeg (I abused on this one), a pinch of cinnamon or vanilla and one tablespoon of flaxseed oil (instead of regular oil and for omega 3 since I don’t eat fish and this is one of the essential fatty acids the body does not produce). After mixing everything well (no need for blender, just use a spoon or whisk), let it sit for a few minutes while you heat the pan. I waited 7 or 8 minutes. Then just do as usual pancakes.
Guess what? They tasted good. And I don’t mean OK for a replacement. They tasted the same or better.
I didn’t have a lot of stuff at home for the fillings so I ate them all (and they were a lot of pancakes) with sesame paste (tastes like peanut butter) and banana slices and coconut. And some blueberries in some too. It was really good.
Next time I will try also with an overripe banana instead of the flaxseed+water “egg” since I read that lots of vegan people use that to replace eggs in recipes. And next time I will take photos for the geekitchen.com site :)