I am a boring breakfast eater. Most days I'll just have a bowl of cereal or occasionally porridge because I wake up hungry (surprise, surprise...I'm always hungry...), so I want something quick, I don't want to faff around cooking while I'm hungry and half asleep (I am not a morning person...). But on the odd occasion I'll be in the mood for something a bit more special, and what is a better breakfast than pancakes? Sticking with my resolution to try to make healthier, lower sugar things for a few weeks, I made healthy pancakes. Now I am not by any means gluten free, or on the paleo diet (give up carbs and dairy? Never! The idea is laughable!), but I came across a recipe for coconut and almond pancakes which sounded interesting, and also happened to be gluten/grain/dairy/sugar free and paleo diet friendly. I thought I'd give them a go and despite my reservations about the lack of flour, they were delicious, moist and full of coconut flavour. They also paired beautifully with the spiced plum compote I made and are very high in protein so they fill you up.
They (like all pancakes should be) are simple to make, as is the compote, but they are rather more delicate than regular pancakes so require a little more care when flipping. They are made using ground almonds and coconut flour, I couldn't get hold of any coconut flour so I used powdered coconut instead, which you can either buy (I got some in the Asian section of ASDA), or make yourself by blitzing unsweetened desiccated coconut in a food processor until powdered. Coconut milk is used in place of dairy milk, make sure that if it has separated in the tin that you whisk it together before using. Honey is used as a sweetener in place of refined sugar, both in the pancakes and the compote (you can use sugar if you prefer); I make spiced plum compote quite often as I find that fresh plums can sometimes be a little disappointing, but the compote is utterly delicious, I like to make a double batch and keep some in the fridge to eat with yoghurt. The recipe will feed two very hungry people, or four not so hungry ones (I forgot to count exactly how many pancakes it makes - not a morning person!). And apologies for the lack of decent photos - I was hungry and impatient!
(Please note: although I have provided a conversion from grams to US cup measurements I cannot guarantee the accuracy as I do not bake using cups, I thoroughly recommend investing in a digital metric scale, it is far more accurate.)
- About 8 medium sized plums
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1 tbsp (or more) runny honey
- 2tbsp (or more) water
- 1oog (¾ cup + 2 tbsp) ground almonds
- 25g (1 oz) coconut flour/powdered coconut (you can make powdered coconut by blitzing unsweetened desiccated coconut in a food processor)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 200ml (¾ + ⅛ cups) coconut milk
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil (or butter) for frying
To make the spiced plum compote, chop the plums into eighths and remove the stones, place in a small saucepan along with the spices, 1 tbsp honey and tbsp water, bring up to the boil then cook at a gentle simmer for 10-20 minutes until the plums are tender, adding a little more water if needed. If you want large pieces of plum in your compote then stop cooking as soon as the fruit is tender, if (like me) you prefer more of a puree then continue to cook until the plums have broken down. Taste, and add more honey if it isn't sweet enough.
To make the pancakes, whisk together the ground almonds, coconut, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl, making sure that you get rid of any lumps. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, honey and vanilla extract then pour into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Place a non-stick frying pan over a low heat and add a little coconut oil. Pour in a spoonful of the pancake batter (I used about a third of a ladleful per pancake) and cook until bubbles have stopped forming on the top then flip over and cook the other side until browned. Repeat with the remaining batter adding more oil as necessary. Cook the pancakes one at a time and keep them quite small as they are delicate and can be a little tricky to flip.
Serve drizzled with more honey and the plum compote.
(recipe adapted from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/11310316/Almond-and-coconut-pancakes-with-spiced-plums-recipe.html)