Updated: Jan 19, 2020
Making these sprouted grain pancakes is a fantastic introduction to sprouting. No special equipment is needed other than a blender and a griddle, and the ingredients are pretty standard. The recipe is very basic, a blank canvas, but you can spice it up as you would any pancake recipe. I always include a little fresh ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon, and I love them with chopped apples cooked inside. At the restaurant, we topped them with date-sweetened berry sauce and coconut drizzle - and sometimes banana ice cream - for a healthy, yet indulgent treat.
Sprouting requires a bit of planning ahead, but very little of your time. And, of course, you have to have the right ingredients in your pantry. What better time than the present to start building the habits of healthy cooking into your routine? Perhaps you could commit to taking the time, even once a week, to cozy up in the kitchen and learn something new.
Sprouted Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup hulled buckwheat(1), soaked overnight and/or sprouted(2)
1 cup water or nut/seed milk
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut sugar, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Flavors and spices of your choice (see below for options)
Rinse the buckwheat and place in the blender with water or nut/seed milk, coconut oil, flax seed, dates, coconut sugar, and sea salt.
Blend on high until you have a smooth, pourable batter.
Preheat a cast iron (preferable) or other skillet to medium heat (3).
Add the baking powder and stir well or blend on low to combine.
Add the vinegar and stir to combine.
Pour batter, about 2 Tablespoons at a time, onto preheated skillet.
It’s best to turn the heat down just a bit and cook these pancakes a little longer on the first side, so cook them until you can see that they are mostly cooked through, then flip and cook until lightly browned on the second side. If they get too browned on the first side, turn the heat down a bit more.
Serve with cooked fruit, blended berries thickened with chia seeds, nut cream, coconut cream, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or whatever your heart desires!
Ideas for flavoring and topping:
vanilla, for sure
a dash of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for gingerbread pancakes
grated orange rind, ginger, and poppy seeds
cardamom and fresh ginger, plus a little black pepper and a dash of clove for chai-spiced pancakes
cooked apples, pears, or peaches, fresh berries, frozen fruit blended with dates or figs, coconut whip...
Buckwheat groats are whole, hulled, raw buckwheat kernals. As opposed to kasha, which is roasted buckwheat and therefore very dark and strong in flavor, buckwheat groats are light green and somewhat mild in flavor. Since they are raw, they will sprout.
Fully saturating a seed, which is what any grain, bean, nut, or what we call a seed actually is, begins the sprouting process. So, once you have soaked your buckwheat groats overnight, they will have started to sprout. If you want them to grow tails, put them in a strainer and rinse them well, then let them sit in the strainer until a little tail starts poking out the pointy part of the buckwheat. This will take another 12 hours more or less, depending on the heat in your kitchen. You can rinse them once in a while throughout the day, then give them a shake to let the excess water out. Just be sure to put them over a bowl or tray to catch any drips. For more information on sprouting, see this post on my original recipe site.
I have a cast iron griddle that fits over 2 burners which I love and highly recommend investing in, if you are able to do so. However, whatever you normally use to cook pancakes will do the trick. The important thing is to heat until a drop of water will get a good sizzle. If it’s not heated enough, the pancakes will cook onto it. If it’s heated too much (the water will sputter and jump and go crazy), the pancakes will brown too much before they cook through. If your pan is unseasoned, you’ll need to oil it.
The reason for the order of operations in this recipe is that, when baking, you have to be mindful of your timing once your leavener, baking powder in this case, is stirred in. The reaction of the baking powder with the other ingredients, especially the acidic ones like apple cider vinegar is what causes those little bubbles that create the texture of your final product. Once the bubbles form, you want to be gentle with your batter and get it baking asap so you don’t lose them. Don’t make yourself crazy about it, but do be mindful.
You’ll notice that I don’t list maple syrup as a topping option. I want to make sure that anyone I feed is going to feel good after a meal, even one that’s a treat like this one. As healthy as these are, they are still pretty high-carb, so it’s best to top them with a delicious, decedent topping that offers some balance and nutritional value. Most people are going to top pancakes with something sweet, and fruit is a great whole food option for that piece. In addition, try to include something with fat and protein in the topping choices – a yummy nut or coconut cream, chopped nuts, hemp seeds, etc.