Happy February readers! This month opens with a delicious breakfast recipe that’s sure to please everyone you love. It’s a sweet and warm take on a classic breakfast food. These vanilla chai pancakes are one of the best pancake variations I’ve ever had. Gluten free of course and it can be made vegan with a single swap!
There’s this problem that many of us with Celiac disease have. It occurs when we step into a restaurant, read something on the menu that sounds absolutely delicious, only to find out its NOT gluten free. Sometimes it’s unexpected, which definitely frustrates us, but often times it’s expected.
But that’s what often REALLY frustrates us.
Well I understand that not everything a restaurant makes can be gluten-free, it doesn’t change the fact that often a simple substitution will make the recipe safe and often just as delicious as it was originally.
A Challenge Presents Itself
Case in point: my sister and I decided after dropping our toddlers off at morning daycare (read four hours of pre-preschool and four hours to take a mommy break), we Decided to go grab breakfast at our local first watch restaurant. I personally always been a fan of their avocado toast as well as their million dollar bacon. But they have additional items that they rotate on a regular basis and walking in I noticed the season’s featured pancake on their chalkboard. Vanilla chai pancakes with a maple-chai infused almond butter and topped with berries.
And of course to be on the healthy side the batter was mixed with banana and whole wheat flour.
Clearly not gluten-free. Sigh.
However, upon reading the chalkboard I realized that I could easily make this recipe gluten-free flour substitution and perhaps adjusting The quantity of liquid. So afterwards, I snapped a photo and headed home to experiment.
A couple hours of research and experimentation later and I had a working recipe. So thanks First Watch for this week’s post!
How to Make Vanilla Chai Pancakes
This weeks recipe is actually pretty easy and can be made it even simpler by preparing a gluten-free pancake mix ahead of time. The perk of doing that is that you can always make pancakes at home without much work, and the recipe is easily adjusted to whatever flavor of the season you want to add. Princetons, I can imagine using pumpkin purée and adding a little bit of pumpkin spice seasoning in the fall to my batter. Hmmm… I’ll have to remember that.
To make a batch of pancake mix simply combine 980 g of GF flour (Better Batter is my favorite), 3 T of baking powder, 1 T baking soda, 1 T sea salt and 2 T of sugar (optional). This makes about 7.5 cups of mix and can be stored in the pantry for 3 months. These gets you about 4 servings of 3 pancakes each per 1.5 cups.
Using my mix I combined them with a ripe, mashed banana as well as vanilla and a couple teaspoons of chai spice. Then it’s just a matter of adding enough milk to reach the desired consistency. Then just grill them like any other pancake!
I used the chai spice mix over at Fit Foodie, since it’s a personal favorite flavor and I wanted to have a batch of it. But I have included the amounts for the individual spices below if you would rather do that. I also added a teaspoon of the mix along with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup to some homemade almond butter for the topping. You can also use any store-bought almond butter to save time. This might even work a little bit better as many of them contain palm oil and I did notice that storing my maple-chai infused almond butter in the fridge resulted in an almost taffy like consistency. That being said microwaving the pancakes with the almond butter the following morning was still absolutely delicious and the butter returned to a softer consistency.
I also recommend topping the pancakes with either fresh berries or a batch of stewed berries for some added sweetness.
Vanilla Chai Pancakes with Maple-Chai Infused Almond Butter
- Griddle or Skillet
For the Pancakes
- 210 g easy pancake mix about 1.5 cups*
- 1 medium, ripe banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp chai spice mix see recipe below
- 2 cups milk of choice plus more if needed 2%, skim, almond, coconut, all work here!
For the Almond Butter
- ¾ cup almond butter
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp chai spice mix
Chai Spice Mix
- ¼ tsp all spice
- ½ tsp cardamon
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
For the Pancakes
- While mixing pancake batter preheat a griddle or cast-iron skillet on the stove at medium heat.
- Mash banana thoroughly in a bowl. Add vanilla and combine with banana mash.
- Add pancake mix and stir to combine. Then add 1 ¾ cups of your choice of milk and stir well. Add additional milk as needed until you reach the desired consistency fee for pancakes, but no more than 2 1/2 cups.
- If using a cast-iron skillet add approximately 1 tablespoon of desired oil choice (I used butter). Pour pancake batter onto griddle or skillet in approximately 1/4 cup amounts. Allow pancakes to cook for a few minutes until pancake is easily released by a spatula. Flip and cook again for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate too cool.
- Top with maple-chai almond butter and garnish with raspberries, bananas or even stewed berries. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top for garnish an additional sweetness of desired.
For the Almond Butter
- Combine almond butter, maple syrup and chai spice in a bowl and stir well.
- Spread on top of pancakes with a knife, or if you're feeling fancy and want to impress someone, use a piping bag to make a delicate swirl pattern.
For the Chai Mix
- Combine spices in a bowl or small container and mix. This makes 3 ½ teaspoons. Use 2 tsp for the pancakes at 1 ½ tsp for the almond butter.