Saturday, 24 March 2012

Food & Wine Magazine: March Cover Recipe

Flax-Coconut Pancakes
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Fabulous pancakes, but quite an investment!)

My goodness we love breakfast in our household. Breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, breakfast for dinner, breakfast for snacks; it's definitely a favourite meal and in all its manifestations.

While I was unable to participate in Cook That Book's cover challenge in February, I simply could not resist the allure of that beautiful stack of pancakes on the front of March's cover, and neither could F. Since he picks up the mail every day, he actually gets to see what's on the cover of my new F&W mags before I do, so it's usually the first thing out of his mouth as he walks through the door. "Are you gonna make this one?!"

And who could refuse him with that hopeful gleam in his eye?

Intentions are one thing, however, but actually getting down to the nitty gritty of reading the recipe and preparing to make it are another. I knew for weeks I was going to make these pancakes, but what was so special about them? I'd plan to read the recipe over the following day's lunch break, which turned into the next day's lunch, and the next day's, and the next day's... and so on. So last week when Jasmine and I were coming up with a mutually acceptable post date, it occurred to me that I should probably see what all the fuss was about and read the recipe. Since they were just pancakes - I bet they have yogurt in them - I suspected I'd find everything in my pantry with the exception of the fruit for topping.

How wrong I was!

What makes these pancakes special? They're GLUTEN FREE. So what did I have in my pantry to make them? NOTHING.

These Flax-Coconut Pancakes were hands-down the most expensive pancakes I have ever, ever made. It hurt to buy all of these new ingredients when I needed so very little of each one to make the recipe.

I know Jasmine has been experimenting quite a bit with gluten-free flours and starches over the past several months, so I'm very curious to see what she thought of these pancakes! Be sure to hop over to Cook That Book to read her post on the subject. (And in the meantime, you can also check out her gorgeous rendition of the Tomboy Cake, which she submitted for the Monthly Miettes challenge!)


So, when I say I'm a food lover, I really, really mean it. Yes, I love eating meat, for example, but I equally love vegetarian dishes. I love vegan dishes. I adore gluten-free goodies. But how many of these things do I actually make and consume in my own home? Very little, with the exception of the odd vegetarian dish.

Desiree, from The Full Woman, wrote a hilarious account of her first foray into gluten-free cooking. Her post is called Here There Be Monsters - it's one of my all-time favourites - and I highly encourage you to give it a read. She couldn't have been more apt in describing my own feelings on the subject, too. When I see 8 different ingredients, none of which I recognize, which are all supposed to equate a version of flour in the end? Admittedly, I throw up my hands and dig into the flour bin.

Now, if you can't consume gluten products (and are probably are better off for it!), I'd imagine it's a big relief that you are able to eat a myriad of dishes with these substitutes, especially if you were used to eating plenty of gluten-filled products before giving it up. I'm also guessing that once you made that initial investment into the substitute flours and starches, replacing one or two of them from time to time gets a little easier to swallow, financially.

This recipe called for white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, and coconut oil, among a few other, more average pantry staples. The only thing I did have was coconut oil, but since there was maybe a teaspoon left in the bottom of the jar, I had to replenish that, too! This ingredients list is infinitely less intimidating than some of the others I've seen, but I still approached this breakfast and this recipe with trepidation.

I learned that coconut flour smells delicious - but of course it would!

Here goes nothing!


So how were these pancakes? Fabulous. I might even go so far as to say they were better than most pancakes I've tried. The flax gave them a great texture, and despite the trace amounts, they tasted beautifully of coconut. It was also gratifying to know they were better for me than most run-of-the-mill pancakes.

I topped them with some Nova Scotian maple syrup, fresh raspberries, and more of those preserved peaches I used on Valentine's Day.

Now, I do have a dirty little secret: I had leftover buttermilk from those Lemon, Cranberry, Olive Oil Muffins I made last week, so I used that in these pancakes rather than the milk the recipe called for. I'm not sure how they'd turn out without it, but these were nice and fluffy as a result. I'll definitely get to find out how they'd be without the buttermilk, however, because with these new ingredients gracing my pantry shelves, we'll be eating gluten-free pancakes for months!

If it weren't for this Food & Wine Cover Challenge, we probably never would have purchased of these ingredients. But isn't that the beauty of it all, cost aside? Every month that I take part in this challenge  with Jasmine, I learn something new. It gets me out of my box and making a recipe I probably wouldn't have tried before. A big win.


Flax-Coconut Pancakes by Elisabeth Prueitt


NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with Jasmine and I and join in on the fun, we'd love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

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  1. omg Aimee, I need your pancakes now. your photos r tempting me so I better try the recipe soon since I have flaxseeds and coconuts anyway at home. Thanks for sharing this great find!

  2. I'm happy you were able to join me this month...February was lonely without ya! Weren't these pancakes delicious?! Such a tasty start to the day. Buying all of the GF ingredients at once is a bit hard to swallow but now you have everything and can make them again and again and again...

  3. Ok, these look amazing!! I have 2 questions - How much did the ingredients cost? and what else do you use coconut oil for? I've been seeing it everywhere lately...

    1. Hey you! The ingredients probably cost about $45, but the good news is that a little goes a long way and you can use it all for plenty of other recipes! As for coconut oil, you can use is as a substitute fat in recipes, for light frying, and actually, I also use it on my skin... a great, natural moisturizer :)