Grain-, Gluten-, and Guilt-Free Pancakes | Chris Kresser

Grain-, Gluten-, and Guilt-Free Pancakes

by

Published on

If you love pancakes but are on a gluten-free diet and are tired of eating pancakes that taste like cardboard and have a texture like hockey pucks, check out this recipe!

grain gluten free pancakes
These guilt-free pancakes are perfect for a weekend breakfast.

I’ve never been the kind of guy who insisted on eating only “breakfast food” for breakfast.

When I first switched to a Paleo-type diet, I wasn’t the one asking “But what do I eat for breakfast?” Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time in Asia and other countries abroad that have entirely different ideas about what to eat in the morning.

For example, in Indonesia a typical breakfast might have been some fish, vegetables, and rice. In Thailand it was much the same. Even here in the U.S., I’ve been known to eat everything from steak and potatoes to chicken bone-broth soup to yuca patties with sausage and sauerkraut.

Still, there are times when I just want some pancakes! And especially now that I have a young daughter, there’s just something about the Sunday morning ritual of pancakes and bacon that I didn’t want to give up entirely.

What I don’t want is to eat a lot of nutrient-poor wheat flour, or even gluten-free flour, and to feel like I need to take a nap after breakfast—which is often how I feel if I eat typical or grain-based gluten-free pancakes.

With this in mind, I’ve been experimenting over the years with several different pancake recipes. My criteria were:

  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • No sugar in the batter
  • Delicious
  • Fluffy, light texture
  • Kid-approved (even kids that aren’t on a gluten- or grain-free diet)
  • Easy to make

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally come to a recipe that meets all of the criteria above. My wife made them for our daughter’s preschool class and the kids gobbled them up and asked for more. These are kids that typically eat pancakes made from wheat flour, so that was high praise indeed!

What I love about these is that they are mostly plantains and eggs, with only a little bit of flour (cassava and tiger nut). That means that eating these pancakes is not much different from a nutritional perspective than eating scrambled eggs and sliced plantains. I still wouldn’t recommend eating these pancakes for breakfast every day, but there’s certainly no need to feel guilty about having them once a week!

Here’s the recipe. Note that we use the same batter to make waffles as well.

Chris’s Grain-, Gluten-, and Guilt-free Pancake & Waffle Batter


Ingredients

  • 2 large, unripe (as green as possible) plantains, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup cassava flour (Otto’s Naturals is a good brand)
  • ¼ cup tiger nut flour (Organic Gemini is a good brand)
  • 3 tbs oil (either olive oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

Add all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If batter is too thick, add ¼ to ½ cup additional almond milk. If too thin, add ⅛ to ¼ cup cassava flour.

Heat iron skillet or pancake griddle at medium temperature for 3 to 4 minutes. Brush skillet or griddle with oil (again, coconut or olive oil works well) and pour approximately ⅓ cup of batter for each pancake. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Optional: add blueberries or other fruit to the pancakes while they’re on the griddle, before flipping the first time.

Serve with butter, ghee, coconut oil, and either fresh fruit, maple syrup/honey, or both.

Makes approximately 8 large pancakes, or 8 to 10 waffles.

Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments section!

105 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. Hi Chris! This recipe looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it. I love baking with cassava flour. I noticed the comment about not eating paleo flours, such as almond, coconut, and cassava often, however, I find that they are easy ways for me to get more calorically-dense food in me as I am struggling to gain weight and find it hard to eat a lot because I fill up very fast. I also include a variety of nuts and seeds and nut butters, coconut oil and butter, fruits, and a lot of starchy vegetables in addition to some non-starchy vegetables in my diet. I also eat some legumes and pseudograins like quinoa. It seems like my body has a hard time digesting meat and I notice that it fills me up to the point where I wouldn’t be hungry the rest of the day, and therefore, would not be able to get the nutrition in that I need if I include it as a regular part of my diet. Foods that are broked down/cooked more just seem to agree with me better. Will this cause more problems for me down the road? I’ve never had any issues with blood sugar before, and like I said, I am trying to gain weight, but want to do so in a healthy way. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Bravo, Chris! My kids, 13 and 12, liked these–the first grain free pancakes they have ever liked. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  3. I finally got the weird (and expensive!) flours to make these. The flavor wasn’t so bad, but the texture is unbearable/inedible! I think it’s the tiger nut flour: it has little crunchy bits that feel like you’re eating sand. I bought the brand Chris recommended, and I blended it for a long time in my Viramix, but still icky. Oh well. You’ve been warned. Maybe next time I’ll just omit that and use all cassava flour instead.

  4. A nice and easy way to make your kids get more vegetable is to add vegetable powders to the pancakes. They become more of a meal insted of a “Cake” but the kids still think they taste good!

  5. I made this with a ripe banana and a very ripe plantain (that was what I had in the house). It was sweeter and I didn’t use as much maple syrup. I guess it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of resistant starch though…

  6. I do not like these pancakes. They remind me of a piece of bland whole wheat bread with the sides cut off. But keep posting new recipes. It’s fun trying something new.

  7. I have been reading the comments and the question was asked a few times but not addressed – “is there an egg replacement”. Does anyone have a suggestion for an egg replacement? Pancakes have been off our family’s list due to eggs, gluten and grains. It would be great if this could be a possibility with an egg replacement that can still allow a somewhat fluffy pancake.

    Thanks!

    • Look up vegan egg replacements. There are many. I bet vinegar and baking soda would work. You just might need to add more sweetener. It works well with the fermented batter in cupcakes, which I have a comment about below. I also think the commercial Egg Replacer would work well. And not so fluffy, but still a pancake, you can just omit the egg.

  8. I have been making something similar for a while. Except, I ferment the plantains first. So, I cut up 3 green plantains, and puree them with 1/2 cup water and let that batter sit on top of the fridge for 24-48 hours depending on house temperature. That creates an all purpose batter that I can store in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. I have never had it go bad, so I’m sure it’s longer than that.

    For pancakes, I beat up 2 eggs, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup of the batter. I also add, but each one is optional, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp collagen powder (for added protein and I think it helps the texture), 1/2 tsp baking powder. You could add a sweetener, but I prefer to let each pancake eater sweeten it how they want on the plate. Then I thin it to the desired consistency with water or any type of milk. This also makes great crepes or waffles (for waffles, make it thicker and add 2 tbsp extra light olive oil.)

    If you don’t want eggs, you can just skip them. You could do some baking powder or baking soda and vinegar (just look up vegan egg substitutes). They will be thinner and rubbery, but still tasty.

    They don’t stick at all and hold together nicely. You can store them in the fridge, and just reheat in a pan with water. They are dry if not reheated, and can’t really be packed for lunch, etc.

    I also use this batter for cupcakes. It’s great as the binder for fish, etc. cakes, meatloaf, and latkes, too.

    I generally just make sure there’s always some batter in the fridge and can grab it to make something when I want. Very handy.

    • Becky, this is a great idea, to ferment the batter, and also to use it for fish, meatloaf, etc. thank you!

    • I am not clear on how you make the batter…is the batter you refer to just the fermented plantains mixed with water? Do you add the dry ingredients and eggs when ready to use?

      • Yes, the “batter” is the fermented plantains and water. I add other ingredients as necessary when I’m ready to cook.

    • I actually have now discovered that it’s easier and better to reheat in the toaster oven.

      Also, this works great with any legumes and grains (and combo of). I try to have them all be sprouted. You’d have to soak them for about 6 hours in a minimum of water to just get them wet, then grind. Most legumes will need a good bit of flavoring and salt. You can do savory flavorings like garam masala, onion, Old Bay, etc. The legumes (aside from chick peas) tend to make delicate pancakes, but eggs and/or rice and/or collagen will fix that.

  9. That is just what I am looking for! I have been a pancake monster and my kids love it also. We always have pancake every morning but I started to worry on how much guilt I am carrying whenever I eat pancake. Pancake topped with honey is just the best. I have been experimenting on this for about a month now. Sure, I found a lot of ways and alternative ingredients in making pancakes. They are, of course, very healthy and guilt-free but the taste just doesn’t impress me. I can still remember when I tried making pancakes out of green leafy veggies. Can you imagine that? My kids freaked out when they tasted it, so am I. That was indeed one big mess. Maybe there’s still a way of using green leafy veggies as ingredient but I’m just not gifted with the talent of turning it into some tasty pancake. Hopefully this recipe you shared would work at last.

  10. For those that don’t have cassava flour or tiger nut flour, as well as no coconut milk on hand–
    I did these mods to the recipe, with good results!

    -Sub Cassava Flour for 1/4cup+2tbsp coconut flour, and 1.5tbsp Corn Starch (not quite paleo, I know, but tis what I had on hand)

    -Sub Tiger Nut flour for equal parts Almond Meal

    -1/2 cup Cashew Milk, Add in 2 extra tsp Olive Oil to make up for loss of fat from sub
    (I used the initial 3tbsp melted coconut oil for main recipe)

    -Added 1 tbsp Flax Meal and 1 tbsp Wheat Germ

    About 2-3 on each side at medium heat did these great. I even had used frozen blueberries (thawed for 45 seconds in the microwave and drained) and unripe chiquita bananas.
    I initially heated my pan to medium high, then turned it down to medium after I dropped the first batch in the pan. They do definitely need to be watched a little for donenes.

    I hope this helps anyone trying to substitute for the less conventional ingredients. I’m planning on having arrowroot flour or tapioca starch to sub next time at the grocery store today

    • love your comment! I had researched for a bit for subs for those and ran out of time. Subscribed to these comments in case someone else came up with my answer. And you did! Thank you!

[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]