Please welcome a post by guest contributor, Gabby. After finding out that she was willing to add her unique voice to The Ranting Chef, I couldn’t wait. She has some great recipes and a wonderful blog of her own, so I am so happy to host this post here.
When “Rantings of an Amateur Chef” put out word asking if anyone wanted to contribute, I immediately jumped at the chance. While I eat a vegan diet, I truly love reading about all kinds of food and the adventures, mishaps and musings people share on why they love to eat food, cook food, and just talk about food! Rantings is just that kind of place. I was so happy when he showed so much enthusiasm towards having a vegan contributor!
First a little bit about myself, then I will get onto a recipe.
My name is Gabby, I live in Ontario, Canada and I blog over at the veggie nook. It’s a really new thing for me and I’m still learning but I am loving the process of blogging, coming up with recipes and sharing them all. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 3 years and vegan for about 1 1/2 years of that. Eating vegan basically means that I don’t consume any products that come from animals – mainly meat, fish, eggs, any form of dairy and gelatin. My reasons for making the change were numerous and if you’re interested in those you can read about them on my “About” page on my own blog. What I think was really cool about my decision to go vegetarian and vegan, was that it awakened a passion for creating delicious, interesting and healthy food in a way that I never had before. I had always been someone to rely on frozen meals and old-standbys. I never baked my own cookies except at Christmas. But suddenly I wanted to learn everything I could about this new way of eating and how to make it as delicious as possible.
So now I am on a mission. To show people that being a vegetarian or vegan can be fun and flavourful! I eat a lot more than salads (though I do eat those too) and my diet is actually a lot more varied and interesting now than before when I was an omnivore. It forced me to push my boundaries, try new cuisines. use new ingredients (I definitely never used quinoa, tofu, kimchi, kale, beets, lentils or even coconut in my food before) and to appreciate all aspects of a food from how it tastes, to the nourishment it provides, to it’s impact on a more global and societal level.
And now I have an amazing recipe for a decadent breakfast to share with you! German Chocolate Pancakes. All the best parts of German chocolate cake, but for breakfast. This recipe doesn’t require any weird substitutions (like flax or “egg replacer” to replace the eggs) and I swear you’d never know it was vegan from tasting it.
Why bother you ask? Why wouldn’t I just make regular-old flour, egg and buttermilk pancakes? Well I give you 4 reasons:
- Healthier! There is no harmful fat or cholesterol in this recipe. Instead there are healthful fats from coconut and pecans. Incorporating meals that don’t have any animal products in them even once in a while can make a positive difference to both your own health and that of the environment. Plus the coconut sauce replaces a lot of the maple syrup you would normally use with pancakes, cutting out a ton of the sugar!
- You don’t need eggs or buttermilk to make them. These are just like regular pancakes that use those ingredients and you’ll find yourself wondering why you didn’t make pancakes that one day you were out of eggs.
- They are tasty and different. These are really almost like dessert for breakfast and are a nice change from the standard pancakes with maple syrup
- Try something new! Wouldn’t it be cool to say the delicious pancakes you’re eating are entirely vegan?
German Chocolate Pancakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice + enough nondairy milk to equal 1 cup*. This will make a “buttermilk” that will help give the pancakes lift. Can do this with regular milk too! Never buy buttermilk again!
- 1 cup flour of choice (all-purpose, whole wheat or a combo…I used spelt but whatever you want!)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sweetener (can use less if you don’t want them as sweet, can use honey, maple syrup, sugar, coconut sugar, stevia (but use less than 2 tbsp!!). Sky is the limit)
- 1 tsp extract of choice. A combination of almond and chocolate is really good, so is vanilla!
- 2 tbsp oil (I used coconut which is very healthful but any neutral oil is good)
Coconut Pecan Sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk (from a can)
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla
- sweetener to taste. I added a very small amount of stevia. The coconut milk, flake and vanilla are all naturally quite sweet so it doesn’t need a lot
* feel free to use regular dairy milk here, but I encourage you to try some of the options out there. Almond milk is a great alternative to soy, it’s light, comes in flavours like vanilla and chocolate, is a good source of vitamins and is lower in calorie than even skimmed milk (most brands have 60 calories/cup in the normal kinds and 45 in the unsweetened)
First, toast your pecans and coconut! Preheat oven to 350, put pecans on a baking sheet, toast for about 6 minutes, add coconut to the baking sheet and toast for another 2 minutes. Remove and chop pecans. Set aside. Turn down the oven to the lowest setting so you can use it to keep the pancakes warm as you make them.
Now mix up the pancake batter! Add lemon juice and milk of choice in a medium bowl and set aside for a few minutes. It will curdle but that is ok – this is what you want. This will be your “buttermilk”. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the extract, sugar and oil to the bowl with the milk and mix. Form a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet. Mix until just combined and set aside for a few minutes to give the baking soda time to work. This will give you nice and thick pancakes.
In the meantime preheat a griddle or pan over medium heat and start the sauce. Combine the coconut milk, coconut flakes, chopped pecans and sweetener over low heat, stirring occasionally. You want it to get a little thicker but not too much so make sure and watch it! When it’s at it’s desired thickness take it off the heat and cover.
When the pan is preheated spray cooking spray or put some oil in to prevent sticking and scoop 1/4 sized scoops of batter. It is really thick, so you will need to spread it with a spoon to get a pancake shape. This pancake doesn’t get bubble on the surface when it’s time to flip like others so flip when the edges start to look cook, about 5 min. Cook for another 2 min on the other side. Put finished pancakes in the oven to keep warm and repeat with remaining batter. I got 7 pancakes using 1/4 cup scoops.
This is the batter. You can see how thick it is by the way the spoon left trails in it that lingered…
Serve the pancakes in stacks – pancake, ladle of sauce, pancake, ladle of sauce, etc, just like a german chocolate cake! Drizzle maple syrup and garnish with additional coconut and pecans if desired!
I served mine on a dessert plate with a dessert fork because, really, this is about as close to dessert for breakfast as you can get!
Thanks for reading my guest post and feel free to pop on over to my blog – the veggie nook! I’d love to see you there