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. I have been looking for a good gluten-free pancake recipe for my kids. They are picky eaters, we are going to give this a try.

  2. I make pancakes with buckwheat flour, eggs and milk, you could use almond milk, no faffing around with all those other ingredients, kids love them

      • 1 egg, 2 medium tablespoons of buckwheat flour and about half pint of milk or whatever liquid you choose, I just guess really, enjoy Jude

  3. I believe this is helping of lot of people this diet but I believe it’s the toxins in flour and sugar etc that are making people sick. In particular sulfites, chlorine, etc.

    Good on you all for sharing because it is in sharing that the truth will come out. Like the story of the loaves and the fishes if no one shared there would be no miracle.

    • I totally agree! First, I thought I was gluten intolerant, but then I realized that when I am back in Europe, I hardly have any symptoms! Then I hear that here in the US they soak grains in Roundup right before the harvest! It’s the quality of the grains I believe, not the grains themselves. I grew up in the Netherlands, with bread for breakfast and lunch, never had a problem, until I moved to the US!

  4. Hi all. We use fully rippened plantain, tastes sweet but doesn’t require any more insulin for my diabetic wife than if she used green plantain.
    Are there any detrimental reasons To using ripe plantain if it doesn’t spike her blood glucose?
    We also fry slices of plantain in coconut oil
    Thks alfred

  5. Why did you say people shouldn’t eat them every day?

    I use Paleo Mom’s very similar recipe and eat a small serving every day as part of my breakfast (along with meat, egg yolks, and fresh fruit). It’s a simple, quick, and satisfying meal.

    • If they are part of a nutrient-dense breakfast, it would be fine to have a small amount every day. But if you/kids are only eating the pancakes, and having them with syrup or honey, and not eating meat/higher protein foods or fruit/vegetables with them, then I would not suggest eating every day because there are more nutrient-dense meals that could be consumed.

    • Yes, same question. Why not eat the pancakes daily or two or three times a week. The recipe is simple thank you, pancakes are delicious – one of my favorite food. D

  6. Cassava flour has a very high glycemic index. These pancakes may be good if you need a gluten-free alternative, but from a paleo/carb/glycemic standpoint, you might as well eat regular pancakes.

    • Carol, if you google tiger nut flour or search for it at Amazon, you’ll soon have your answer.

  7. You only need two ingredients for perfect paleo pancakes – just blend one banana (green or ripe) with one egg and fry in small patties. A tablespoon of nut butter and cinnamon/berries can also be added if desired

  8. Green plantain are really hard to peel. Does anyone have any tips for easier peeling?
    Thanks

    • Yes! Cut them in half lengthwise, then in half again sideways.
      Then peeling them is easy

      • Tim
        Thanks. I when to the link you gave. I have been cutting the same way you do but I’ve gone further and scored the plantain quarters while still in the skin and then was prying each chunk out. Very tedious. I’ll try “rolling” the quarter out instead of cutting further.
        Nice website. I’ll take a further look at what you are up to.

    • I gind it easier to get a smooth consistency when I cook the plantains before blending. Just trim off the ends and put them into a big pot of boiling water. Remove when you can easily put a knife through the plantain. When you take them out let them cool for a bit and then the peel falls right off.

    • First of all, don’t put them in the fridge once you get them home. If so, you can pretty much forget peeling them, except with a knife. I’ve had good luck with cutting the ends off, scoring them lengthwise once (or twice on opposite sides for really tough ones) and getting the end started with the end of a spoon, then just peeling it off with the sides of my thumbs. I try not to use my thumbnails or they are sore for a few days.

    • First of all, less, sugar, but for the pancake, if they’re very green, you get a thick delicious one, but the more ripe they are the more they spread out in the pan and the harder they are to turn over. I add a little stevia to the batter.

    • That would be so that you are getting a starchy food and not a sugary one. The starches in plantains convert rapidly to sugar as they turn yellow. Pancakes require a starchy base.

      There’s a company called WEDO Gluten Free that makes a nice green banana flour, and I hear it has recently been changed to carry an organic label. A good alternative if you don’t want top bother with peeling plantains.

      • If you used the banana or plantain flour, do you have an estimate on the right amount to use to sub for the plantains?

        • Anna – No idea. I always make pancakes by “feel” anyway, just add the flour until it seems to be the right consistency for pancake batter.

  9. Just an FYI for anyone who may be Celiac or just sensitive to gluten…..one of the most common cross-reactivity foods is tapioca… derived from cassava root . A Cyrex array can confirm this sensitivity.

  10. hi Chris, which almond milk do you use or generally prefer? .. most of them have “natural flavors” (MSG?).. and other additives – thanks!

  11. Can you make without plantains as I’m from australia and we can’t get plantains.
    Thanks

  12. >>I still wouldn’t recommend eating these pancakes for breakfast every day

    Wondering why?

  13. Hey Chris-

    Why the plaintains instead of bananas? I enjoy banana and egg pancakes Just fine. Am I missing something by not using plaintains?

    Karin D.
    Mountain View, CA

  14. Instead of the flour I use about 3/4 cup of almond pulp from my almond milk. It’s true I have to cook them a bit longer- 5 minutes on each side- to get a texture that is satisfying. However they turn out great.
    2 green plantains, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup almond pulp, little salt, vanilla, baking soda. I also like cinnamon and ground cardamon. I usually have to thin the batter a bit with almond milk or water.

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