Eggless, Sweet Pumpkin Pancakes [Dairy free, Gluten free, Grains free, Refined Sugars free, Vegetarian]
Hindus globally are currently observing a meat abstinence fast of Pitr Paksha and Purtassi, a month that is dedicated to the worship and thanksgiving to Lord Vishnu in the latter instance, for Tamil speaking Hindus and in the former, a 16 day period when Hindi speaking Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. Navarathari is also observed during this time, which is also a 9 day meat abstinence fast. This period culminates in prayer and worship, and, the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights – signifying the triumph of good over evil.
The challenge for many who are following a gluten and grains free, as well as a sugar free lifestyle, is the food preparation. Eggs form the basis of many meals outside the fasting period and the challenge is often how to prepare egg-based savoury and sweet makes without eggs. While it can be totally avoided and basic vegetables of personal choice more than adequately satisfy the palate and gut, variety in a gluten free and grains diet is always welcome to stave off food boredom.
Being an enthusiastic foodie blogger in a lifestyle alternative to gluten, grains and sugar, I love a challenge in adapting regular recipes for ones that work well to suit my lifestyle. Regularly, apart from the meat fasting period, there are days that I switch off meat and gladly partake in veggie meals three times a day, sometimes.
A family member preparing for her prayer recently, cooked a variety of prayer food without eggs, foods high in wheat and dairy and sugar and after observing her in the kitchen, I got thinking about use of the chia egg(s) in particular and how it would work for me in creating a sweet treat similar to sweet pumpkin fritters. Working with chia seeds in gluten free baking and cooking may be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. I experienced both in the make of these pancakes – and I’m glad I did, as it presented an opportunity for me to think on my feet, or more literally, with the contents of my gluten free baking supplies.
So what started out as what I had conceived in my mind, as a quick 30 minute eggs free pancake make, turned out to be an interesting and rewarding 90 minute brain thinker, which worked well, considering that I was working with soft, mushy, cooked pumpkin and chia seeds. The end result was softly textured, amazing holding consistency, sweet tasting, guilt-free [if eaten in moderation :)] pancakes, ideal for those following a vegetarian diet or for consumption during the fasting period. While I used pumpkin in this recipe, as a challenge alternative to pumpkin fritters, I’m confident that mashed banana will work equally well for those who prefer bananas. Of course, your sweetening alternatives will be adjusted accordingly.
Our non-gluten free youngest son lapped these up as they came off the pan. After 3, he was satisfyingly full and asked that I keep some aside for him 🙂 This was all the affirmation required that Mom had done a great pancake make 🙂
1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin (I steamed the pumpkin – it may be oven roasted)
¾ cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder OR 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda + ½ tsp Cream of Tartar
2 tblsp desiccated coconut (optional)
2 tblsp dried raisins or sultanas (optional)
¼ tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
½ cup almond milk or coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 tblsp natural OR raw honey (up to 3 tblsp if required)
a drop of vanilla extract
2 tsp psyllium husk
Chia egg (2 tblsp chia seeds added to 1/3 cup cold water in a small bowl, left to soak for 15 minutes until gelatinous state is reached)
Coconut oil for cooking the pancakes
- Prepare the chia egg as described in the ingredients listing above.
- Add the almond flour, baking powder, psyillium husk, cinnamon powder, if using desiccated coconut, raisins or sultanas into a medium sized glass bowl and mix them well to combine.
- Once the chia egg has formed, add this to the nut milk of choice, the cooked pumpkin, together with the natural or raw honey, vanilla extract, and whisk them well.
- Combine the almond flour mixture to the wet pumpkin mixture and blend this together until a thick batter forms. You may need to increase the almond or coconut milk if desired, however, this is not required.,
- Allow the mixture to stand for about 15 minutes to allow the psyillium husk to activate. This fibre creates both a binding function, together with the chia egg, and, adds lightness to the pancakes.
- Heat a non stick frying / pancake pan on medium-high stove top heat and add a little coconut oil to coat the pan.
- Using a quarter cup measure, scoop out the thickened batter onto the hot pan, reducing the stove heat to medium and allow the pancake to cook well on one side first. Once bubbles appear overall, gently flip the pancake over and cook on the other side. It must be noted that this cooking process is longer than egg-based pancakes, and once the pan is sufficiently well heated, the cooking time should be about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the amount of batter used. Once the pancake is cooked, remove onto kitchen paper towel.
- Re-coat the pan with coconut oil and continue as above until all the batter has been used.
- These ingredients yield 8 pancakes which may be refrigerated for up to 3 days. To eat after refrigeration, heat on a non-stick pan, if desired.
- Serve with natural or raw honey or maple syrup and coconut cream. They taste pretty yum on their own too 🙂