Monday was my first post of Project Light & Lean and it was all about oatmeal. Today is all about pancakes…and a little about granola. The pancake recipes in Happy Herbivore Light & Lean call for white whole wheat flour, but any all-purpose gluten-free flour could be used instead. This cookbook actually has a recipe in the Do It Yourself chapter for a gluten-free all-purpose mix. I will be making an actual review about it when I get to that chapter, but in the mean time I’ll let you know that I’ve used it and it works, but I prefer to use a combination that has a higher whole grain to starch ratio. Actually, now that I think of it I haven’t posted about my homemade all-purpose flour…I’ve make a mental note to do that in the near future 🙂
Overall, I was impressed with the pancake recipes in Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. They worked well with the gluten-free flour and were not crumbly at all, which is one of the main complaints I hear about anything gluten-free. It should be noted that the baking mix in this cookbook has xanthan gum added into it and this is very important for avoiding a crumbly mess. Guar gum also works in the same way so just double check that the mix you’re using has at least 1/2 tsp of xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour.
Pumpkin Pancakes, page 20
These pancakes had a great texture. They were fluffy and light yet had a certain denseness to them that made them satisfying and filling to eat. I topped mine with almond butter because I was eating them as a late night snack and didn’t want to give myself a sugar buzz from adding maple syrup. I actually made these pancakes over the holiday break when I was visiting my parents so although my partner didn’t get to try them, my mom did. It was interesting to have my mom and I both taste something because my first reaction was “wow, they taste more like pumpkin than I thought they would” and my moms first reaction was “all I taste is cinnamon”. I actually trust my moms experience of the flavour over mine because I eat a lot, and I mean a LOT of cinnamon, and I think my cinnamon detection is a bit skewed because of that. Basically if you don’t like cinnamon all that much I would recommend cutting the amount down by half in this recipe to ensure your taste buds grab onto the pumpkin flavour. Would I make them again? Absolutely! They were quick, easy, delicious and you don’t need very many ingredients to whip up a batch.
Granola, page 30
I should start off with saying granola and I have a love-hate relationship. I love to eat it so much that I have a bad habit of eating it until I’ve eaten so much that my belly hurts. I rarely, if ever, make granola because of this reason. When I made this recipe I purposely cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t be able to eat 10 servings in one sitting. Turns out I could have made the full batch because even though this granola was good, it wasn’t addicting.
I prefer granola that bakes into chunks so that you can either grab a chunk and enjoy or you can manually crumble it over yogurt or sliced fruit. The granola from Light and Lean does not bake into chunks and therefore lacked a little on the exciting texture front for me. Yes, there are chewy raisins and crunchy oats, but that’s all. If there was more than one type of dried fruit and some nuts or seeds in the mix I think I would have liked it more. With that said, the purpose of this cookbook is low calorie foods so adding extra dried fruit and nuts would have defeated the purpose. My partner did try the granola and said that he liked it. He didn’t elaborate on what he liked about it though and hasn’t asked about it since. From what I’ve learned about him so far, this means he thought it was okay.
Pineapple Pancakes, page 22
Okay, it’s confession time already: I didn’t follow this recipe exactly like I was supposed to. I didn’t have any pineapple at home so I used orange juice instead of pineapple juice and I topped the pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup instead of crushed pineapple (after I took the picture, obviously). Basically, the pancakes I made were not pineapple pancakes. They were, however, fluffy, mouthwatering pancakes that I would make again. The base recipe for these pancakes can very easily be made into plain pancakes or whatever flavoured pancakes you want and I think that is something fantastic. I do intend on making these again and actually making them pineapple flavoured. I also intend on making them again and making them apple, mango, strawberry or even blueberry flavoured. Oh the possibilities! My partner has yet to try these but I fully expect him to enjoy them as much as I did.
Oatmeal Pancakes, page 29
When I first read this recipe I thought it was strange, who has leftover oatmeal? Clearly oatmeal is not a food I make ahead, let alone have leftovers of! The good news is it only took me 5 minutes to make the batter for these pancakes even though I had to make fresh oatmeal (since I didn’t have any “leftover”). These pancakes are great for adding toppings to because they don’t have much flavour by themselves. They are definitely dense pancakes so they would probably be best if topped with berries but I topped mine before I knew the texture of them and opted for banana slices and maple syrup. Wow, was it ever filling! I should note that even though these pancakes are dense, they weren’t dry at all. My partner has yet to try them and to be honest I’m not sure I’ll make them for him. Even though I enjoyed them, I liked the other two pancake recipes more and since I don’t have pancakes all that often when I have them next I’ll go for the pineapple or pumpkin ones.
For this recipe it’s important to note that oats are easily contaminated with gluten, so it’s best to use oats that are certified gluten-free. I actually started eating regular oats about a month ago because I was curious and I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have any reactions…until recently. Whoops. Back to gluten-free oats I go!
Next I’ll be wrapping up the breakfast chapter and talking about the savory breakfast recipes. If Sweet Potato Tacos or Tempeh Bacon sound interesting to you, stay tuned!
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