I love a good pancake/flapjack for Sunday morning breakfast as much as the next girl, but unless I want to lose a whole weekend day to lethargy, napping, and regret, I tend to avoid them. Simple carbs soaked in maple syrup are no way to start a productive day.
Yesterday, I was at the Westside Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market and discovered that the strawberry crop has arrived! I bought 3 baskets of local, organic, peak-of-red-ripeness strawberries and happily carted them home. I then became fixated on the idea of serving them over pancakes with whipped cream for Sunday morning breakfast. I knew the time had come to build a better flapjack.
First, I thought of buckwheat. Buckwheat actually bears no relation to typical wheat– rather, it’s a seed, so buckwheat flour is the result of milling the seeds. (And it’s gluten free, for those of you who are on that path by necessity or choice.) It’s a traditional choice for pancakes in many cultures.
Since buckwheat doesn’t form gluten strands, it doesn’t create as much structure as wheat would– but I knew I wanted a hearty pancake. So to not only build structure and increase binding, but also to improve the nutritional profile, I decided to incorporate ground flaxseed and whole chia seeds into the formula. These little seeds are full of Omega 3s, fiber, and protein. (As a note of interest– chia seeds, when they touch liquid, actually expand and create a gel. This makes them an excellent binder in baked goods.) I made sure to include some baking powder, in concert with buttermilk, to give the flapjacks some rise. (Baking powder reacts with acid and heat to leaven a baked good.) An egg (for further binding) and a little honey and salt (for taste) rounded out the recipe.
I’m pleased to announce that they turned out beautifully, and were delicious served with some fresh berries and lightly-sweetened whipped cream. Even better- no need for a nap afterwards. This breakfast provided great energy for the day ahead.
It would be easy to change the flavor profile as your cravings and the seasons change. I couldn’t resist taking advantage of strawberry season today, but catch me in December, and I’m thinking I’ll swap out the blueberries and swap in some finely diced nuts and some ground ginger, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, and top them with some caramelized apples. Hmmnnn… perhaps that idea need not wait for December. Or hey– roasted, mashed pumpkin with the spices mentioned above. Or glazed peaches with brandy, butter, and pecans.
I think we have our go-to flapjack.
- 1 Cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 Cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/4 Cup chia seeds, whole
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
- 1 Cup wild blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
- Melt your butter and set aside to cool a little.
- Scale and mix your dry ingredients, (buckwheat flour, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, baking powder, salt), together in a bowl.
- Combine your wet ingredients, (buttermilk, honey, and egg) in another bowl and whisk together.
- Stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.
- Stir your butter into the batter.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Heat a large nonstick pan or skillet and melt equal parts butter and seed oil, (such as sunflower or peanut), enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Use a large spoon or ladle to drop enough batter at a time to make 8-inch round flapjacks, pressing on top of the batter with the spoon to flatten it out so it's no more than 1/2 inch thick.
- Once flapjacks are lightly browned on the bottom, flip them. (Do not overcook-- lightly browned is as far as you want to go.)
- Once the other side is lightly browned too, remove from heat.
- Serve garnished with fresh berries and lightly-sweetened whipped cream.