i get to take a break this week. can you believe it! so in my absence i have 2 awesome people filling in. first off is my friend suzie…she’s awesome and has blogged here before (see here if you like candy corn). take it away suzie…catch ya’ll next week.

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When Meredith asked me to do a guest blog for February, I struggled to come up with a tempting seasonal goodie.  It’s after the holiday baking extravaganzas of November and December but still far before the beautiful, spring-colored confections of April.  In our house, when the winter still has you in its clutches, the light at the end of our tunnel is maple syrup.  We eat it on freshly fallen snow while we eagerly await the warmer days which will make the sap start flowing again for this year’s crop—and we eat up last year’s supply on hearty, multi-grain pancakes.  (And while we make them, we often also fire up a wonderful little tune, “Maple Syrup Time,” written and sung by the Hudson Valley’s own folk star, Pete Seeger).

This pancake recipe has been as many years in the making as the number of grains it contains.  Even before I had children (now 7 and 5, and whose multiple food allergies forced me to find different—but often healthier—baking ingredients), I found ‘regular’ white pancakes to be so boring.  I recently made these again for my family and was pleasantly surprised by just how good the texture was; I knew I’d gotten my flour blend to the point where the taste was nutty, whole grainy and delicious, but the recent changes I’d made to the other ingredients (mainly, by adding yeast) yielded a delightfully fluffy pancake, from the first batch to the last.  Often, baking powder loses oomph as the pancake batter sits, so the pancakes get heavier and heavier after about the second batch.  However, here the yeast takes over where the baking powder leaves off, so they are fluffy from first to last.

I like these just as is, drizzled, of course, with maple syrup (in our house, we prefer the darker flavor of Grade B), but my sons are suckers for chocolate chip pancakes.  You could of course also use any frozen fruit you prefer for a healthier add-in.

Also, I want you to know you have my blessing to change ANY PART of this recipe.  Like skipping the gluten but love eggs?  Use them!  Able to eat butter and milk?  By all means, use them.  Between my two kids’ overlapping but differing allergies, I have been forced to write ‘lowest common denominator’ recipes, but feel free to add back in any ingredient you can/want, even wheat (and then you won’t need the xanthan gum, either.  In fact, if you use eggs you might be able to skip the xanthan gum too—let me know!)  Similarly, if you can’t find/don’t want to use any of the grains I’ve listed, just skip them and substitute another grain to keep the dry vs. wet proportion the same.  Be aware that grains can have different rates of absorbency, however, so you may need to tweak it a bit if you make substantial changes.  You’ll also see I do not use any starches, only whole grain flours—I don’t like the taste or consistency of starches (ex. corn starch, tapioca starch, potato starch), which are often the main-stay of gluten-free baking.  I also find they absorb substantially less liquid than whole grain flours, so be mindful if you substitute with a starch you may want to cut out some of the wet.  But again, I don’t recommend starches; in addition to my other complains, they also have a higher glycemic index than white flour, negating any possible health claims they purport by virtue of being gluten-free.

7 Grain, Gluten-Free (and Vegan, as written) Pancakes



  • 1/2 cup teff flour (what they use to make the Ethiopian flatbread injera; Bob’s Red Mill makes a flour)
  • ½ cup gluten-free oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup millet flour (Arrowhead Mills makes this)
  • ¼ cup sorghum flour (Bob’s)
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup rice bran (EnerG)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder (double acting is best, gives you one last puff in cooking)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda (but you’ll need an acid to activate this; mine is pineapple juice)
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch ginger
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. yeast


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla (I use Penzey’s)
  • 2 tbl squash/pumpkin puree (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 1 ¾ cup milk/milk substitute or fruit juice/left over cooking liquid/water

and then:

  • Oil/shortening as needed for cooking

Optional add-ins

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit or dairy/nut free chocolate chips*

*We use Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips, made without soy, dairy or gluten and made in a dedicated nut and gluten-free facility.  More dairy/nut free brands are now around, though; we’ve also used Rice Dream and Divvies chips when we could find them at the health food store.

  1. Heat your griddle or frying pan on medium-low.
  2. Mix all of dry and wet ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well to blend.  Put in any add-ins you’re using and stir to blend.
  3. Add some oil or shortening, if desired (if it’s not a non-stick pan, I recommend oil, at least to start the batches off.)
  4. Using a large spoon or small ladle, scoop about a Tablespoon of batter onto the hot griddle.  If larger pancakes are desired, use more batter, but I recommend a large silver dollar size for these; they can be trickier to flip than wheat pancakes, so smaller is easier.
  5. When you start to get air bubbles on the top/the bottom is golden brown, flip and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Transfer completed pancakes to a cooling rack until you are done.  If desired, you can preheat the oven first to 300F and keep the pancakes warm as you make the rest.

In my house, I just make a few batches, wait for them to be cool enough for my kids, and call everyone to the table while I finish.  My husband and I can enjoy fresh, hot off the griddle pancakes while the kids can enjoy them warm but not hot and don’t have to wait for seconds.

And of course, drizzle liberally with maple syrup.  My boys will sometimes prefer to dip, so we’ll serve theirs with a small bowl of syrup on the side.



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