On Sundays one of my favorite things to do is head to the farmer’s market. There’s one right behind the Museum of Natural History, and I love grabbing the pup and grabbing R and wandering over to peruse the produce and pick up something fresh to make into whatever inspires me. Last week, it was berries.It’s getting late in the season and while I’ve officially decided it’s O.K. to wear boots and a blazers, I haven’t quite come to terms with pumpkin and butternut squash. After the brutal winter we had last year that seemed to last four years, I have been a little reluctant to jump on the fall foods band wagon. I know I’ve got a long, long time of squash and root vegetables ahead of me and when I saw the last little berries, I knew it could be my last chance for local, fresh non-apple fruits in a while.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big fall fan. We’re taking a day trip upstate to hike tomorrow, get in a little apple picking and explore all things traditionally fall. But I’ve still got one foot in summertime and last week I decided to embrace that. I grabbed two cartons of berries – one raspberry and one strawberry – and very berry pancakes were born.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a thousand times over the course of the year I’ve had this blog going, I’m usually not a huge fan of sweets in the morning. So I wanted these pancakes to be a bit more hearty and stick-to-your bones (maybe I am simply in denial of the transition to fall… I just used “stick-to-your-bones” which instantly makes me think of stocking up for winter…). I digress… I wanted the pancakes to be sweet from the fruit and nothing else. The raspberries added a nice tart kick to them that further satisfied my not-too-sweet tooth.
And in order to keep the pancakes on a more healthy side, I went heavy on the flax meal, added slivered almonds, and used chickpea flour instead of wheat. This gives them a higher protein content and some heart-healthy Omega-3s. It did make the cakes a bit more dense than your usual big fluffy refined white flour cakes, but I liked this version. Tasty, but healthy. Which is really the entire point of my cooking and baking.
I chopped up the strawberries to be smaller than bite-sized but left the raspberries whole. I was extremely careful when mixing everything together to not squish the berries – in case I would end up with entirely pink pancakes. Though in the event of Valentine’s Day, that could be a cute option.
Someday, I swear I’m going to get a griddle. In the meantime, my pancake process is ridiculously slow. I make one at a time in my frying pan. If you’re like me and somewhat kitchen challenged, just be patient. And put the oven on 200 degrees. As each cake comes off the frying pan, place it in the oven to keep warm until you’re ready to serve. In the meantime, they set off a delicious smell all through the apartment. Even this little pup was intrigued. (yes, it’s a gratuitous dog shot – but I just couldn’t help but share. She was closely watching from the couch and had her best begging puppy eyes on hoping for some scraps to fall).
This recipe makes 8 medium-sized pancakes. So depending on your level of hunger and mouths to feed, I’d say it will feed about 2-4 people. In our case, we had 2 leftover after both of us ate way too much. And I can attest, they are stick-to-your-bones. I wasn’t hungry for hours afterwards, and they definitely left me feeling satisfied and extremely full.
The pancakes turned out so delicious I was a bit sad that these were likely the last berries of the season. But then again, if I get real desperate, I’m pretty sure that frozen berries would also do the trick during those long, long winter months.
Very Berry Pancakes
What You’ll Need:
- 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal + 1 tablespoon warm water)
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash salt
What You’ll Do:
- Start by making your flax egg. Use one tablespoon of flax meal, add one tablespoon warm water and mix with a fork. Place in the fridge until you’ve assembled all the other ingredients.
- Add together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. The flour, baking powder, flax meal, almonds, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl, add together all the wet ingredients, the milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
- Add the flax egg to the dry ingredients and then add the rest of the wet ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated, but not over mixed.
- Add the berries to the batter and mix gently just until they’re mixed in. Be careful not to mash the berries and try to leave them whole.
- In a slightly greased frying pan (or large skillet if you have) over medium heat, place batter in the pan.
- When the batter starts to have little bubbles on the top, it’s ready to flip.
- Flip the pancake over for another few minutes until they’re cooked through. Place in the oven to stay warm until you’re ready to serve.
- Top with more sliced fruit and maple syrup. Eat immediately and enjoy!