Wheat is far too large a component of the American diet. While I’m not declaring gluten jihad, I do think it’s important to pursue a healthy variety in nutrition. That’s why I’m searching for wheat alternatives to reinvent classic dishes like pancakes. I tried making my first batch of rice flour in my ninja blender, an incredibly inefficient method that produced rather one even results. After over an hour of grinding and sifting out the half ground grains, I had enough rice flour to make a gluten-free pancake breakfast for three.
In all honesty, my excursion into gluten-free cooking is inspired by Sylvia, my roommate’s adorable, bubbly girlfriend. She’s a constant inspiration, always cooing over what I’m cooking and maintaining her life affirming person no matter how many times she loses her wallet. Recently, Sylvia found out that she has a wheat allergy in addition to her nut allergy. I knew I needed to cheer her up somehow.
Because many GF recipes rely on almond flour, I searched for one that was both tasty and nut-free. In these delicate little pancakes, brown rice flour combines with coconut, lime and strawberries to create a nutritious and summer-sweet breakfast.
The Learning Curve
- Keep your pan centered on the burner. This way it will heat evenly, creating uniform browning on the cakes
- Keep the heat low. If you have a gas stove, you need very little heat. Flick some water onto the pan and if it sizzles, it’s ready,
- Use plenty of grease. There’s no way around it: pancakes need that grease for their gorgeous, golden surfaces.
- Stick around. Don’t leave your pancakes to cook unattended, because you will get distracted.
- Substitute regular flour. If you love gluten, substitute an equal part mixture of whole wheat and white flour. It will still have a hearty, rustic quality and will be much sturdier than the GF type. Using some white flour will keep them as fluffy as the rice cakes.
- 1½ cups brown rice flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil + more for the pan
- 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- Zest of 2 limes
- 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut flakes + more for garnish
- Sliced strawberries tossed with lime juice and agave
- Mixing bowl
- Frying pans // griddle
Sift together the flour, starch, baking powder and salt in the mixing bowl. Combine the zest and sugar, massaging together to release the lime oils and saturate the sugars. Whisk together. Add the eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Stir in the coconut flakes.
Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add oil, 2 teaspoons at a time, and ladle 1/4 C of batter per pancake onto the skillet. Cook until the edge dries and the face of the cake is filled with craters, about 5 – 7 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is golden, about 2 minutes. Keep warm in the oven.
Serve dressed with coconut flakes and sliced strawberries tossed in lime juice and agave.