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

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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

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  1. Birch Bender’s makes a great Paleo Pancake mix and you just add water. I cook so much from scratch it’s nice to have something like this that tastes great. I’ve learned to cook them on medium low and for a decent amount of time so they are firm and not mushy in the middle. All 3 of my young kids love them…they are sweetened with monk fruit so you don’t even need to add syrup if you are watching the sugars. Just some grass-fed butter!

  2. It seems like a very good recipe, however I still can’t have eggs. What is a good substitute for eggs?

  3. It looks like a great recipe. Sadly, my body is highly reactive to eggs and bananas (in spite of the fact that i LOVE both of these foods) so I avoid them experience inflammation and gastric distress. I am also sensitive to almonds but can replace with another nut flour.

  4. Chris, I just joined your mailing list because I discovered your cure for GERD. After FIVE YEARS of taking Prilosec, and still having to eat Tums in the middle of the night, I’ve been Prilosec-free for 10 days now. I cannot express how much I appreciate your free guide. I look forward to more recipes and health tips. THANK YOU!!!!

  5. This is pretty much a take on Paleo Mum’s perfect paleo pancakes just with extra flour and almond milk. The other way I mix it up is using one green plantain and one that’s just turning yellow (without the black bits) which is just very slightly sweeter – when blended it makes the mix runnier so I add a cup of coconut flour. I then pour in frozen blueberries and frozen sour cherries and make a deep pancake that looks like a pizza. Total heaven, and a weekend ritual.

  6. My pancake recipe is:
    1 banana & 2 eggs per person
    For up to 4 people (4 bananas, 8 eggs) 1/2 ripe avocado (must be soft) and 1 T of any nut butter
    Cinnamon and other spices to your liking.

    Mix in blender and cook in your favorite fat.

    Even my husband who balks at all our Paleo or GAPS foods loves them. My daughter eats them plain.

  7. This may seem like a daft question but I find it really difficult to peel green plantains – how do you do it? I find that when they’re green the skins adhere to the flesh strongly.
    Thanks!

  8. Chris,

    Have you managed to make any without nut ingredients. We’ve got anaphylactic nut allergies in our family. I have not yet been able to find a recipe that tastes good!

  9. This recipe looks great, but it does contain almond milk. My daughter is highly allergic to all nuts, and I always assumed almond milk wouldn’t be allowed for her, am I wrong about that? Is almond milk ok for people who are allergic to nuts? And what is a Tiger Nut?

  10. I make Plantain Pancakes all the time! My recipe, however, does not use all those additional flours, nor any kind of milk; One green plantain, two eggs, 1.5 TBSP coconut oil, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, dash of salt, 1 tbsp honey (optional, but without the honey, they taste a little odd). mix in a blender, cook like regular flour pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit. This recipe makes 3 restaurant-sized pancakes.

    • My favorite has 3 ingredients: for each person 1 banana to 2 eggs plus cinnamon. Cook in coconut oil.

    • I used to make with only plantains, and still often do, but found the cassava and tiger nut flour add a desirable texture.

    • I use a very similar recipe, but I live alone and one pancake is very big and filling for me so I put in my vitamix:

      1/2 very green plantain
      1 egg,
      pinch salt
      About 1/4 tsp. baking soda
      About 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
      A few drops of stevia.
      Blend til smooth and cook on med. heat in lots of homemade grass fed ghee.
      Top with chopped mango or other fruit of your choice and a little maple syrup or honey.

      I’m lucky, I live in Mexico and green plantains are easier to find…mangoes, too!
      I’ve learned to buy a few plantains when I find them, cut them in quarters so they’re easier to peel, then freeze them until I need them. Better to thaw them before you blend them.

  11. Hi, Do you know the protein to carb ratio of these? I actually need to make sure I get enough carbs due to adrenal fatigue. Thanks!

    • Not sure, but you could go to NutritionData.com or MyFitnessPal.com and input the ingredients and find out. If you do, please post the results back here!

      • I don’t think that web nutrient references are going to tell the whole tale. Heating the raw plantains is at some likelihood of converting their resistant starch to available.

        Anyone concerned about net carbs on these (and I would be) probably needs to check actual blood sugar response once or twice. No_rise=no_problem.

  12. Chris , it’s nut’s the nonsense out there today there is no truth as a great man of God predicted for our modern times Isa 59 : 15 Niv bible .Carbs are the body’s main source of fuel not protein or fat , this a scientific fact . You want to eat bread and pasta and potatoes , not red meat or pork .

    And you have to eat carbs [ bread] with protein [ fish] or you eventually go into Ketosis [ an acidic blood Ph ] which is bad .

    The Paleo diet is terrible, and everyone is following it to their destruction , unbelievable .

    • You might want to read the following study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129159/ which includes the statement, “In ketosis, the blood pH remains buffered within normal limits.” As well as, “During very low carbohydrate intake, the regulated and controlled production of ketone bodies causes a harmless physiological state known as dietary ketosis….. the effects of ketone body metabolism suggest that mild ketosis may offer therapeutic potential in a variety of different common and rare disease states. “

    • Perhaps your time is better spent on a different website more aligned to your beliefs. Take care

    • So why quote the bible and scientific fact? There’s an oxymoron! Oh and yes I will stick with paleo since it has given me my health back (I ate a very clean, but high carb diet before).

      • What your missing or don’t know is that there are a lot of Scientists that are Christian. Science is the study of God and how everything was created.

      • There was once a controlled trial and the conclusion was:

        “If an animal has hooves that are split into two parts, and if that animal also chews the cud, then you may eat the meat from that animal. Some animals chew the cud, but they don’t have split hooves. Don’t eat these animals. Camels, rock badgers, and rabbits are like that, so they are unclean for you.”

        But we can cherry pick passages from this study all day long and make it say whatever we want!

      • Ever heard of the genetic fallacy? You just committed one. All ideas should be evaluated for their truth content, regardless of the source.

    • The beauty of these is that they are not only grain- and gluten-free, they are also nut free. Nothing wrong with nuts, but many people can’t tolerate them.

      I personally don’t love the texture of almond flour, and prefer these pancakes for that reason.

      • Thank you, Chris! I belive that with this receipt you have found a good solution that will not cost too much to our bodies. Hope to read about other receipts as well.

      • Can you replace the almond milk with coconut milk? We have a child with tree-nut allergies.

  13. Hi, This sounds pretty good.
    So would coconut flour or almond work with this? That is what is available to me at time.

    • yes. I’ve used other nut flours and coconut flour. The texture varies slightly. I think the trick is to cook them long enough.

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