Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wholesome Pancakes and Blackberry Compote

Some time ago, a friend hand printed out a recipe for waffles she thought I would like. I am always interested in alternative ingredients, and any time a recipe uses ingredients other than the constant wheat and sugar, I am hooked. Add to this the healthier side of things and I am all over it. The recipe she gave me was copied from somewhere, so what I am posting here as "my recipe", was first based on this one I was given. I did make the recipe "as is" a couple of times, but I was not personally crazy about some of the flavors. On the absolute plus side, they have no wheat or other gluten based product and they need no eggs, so they can be vegan as well. Buckwheat, despite the word "wheat" in the name, is not wheat, not related to wheat, and is not a grain at all. See my blog of April 5th for more on buckwheat.
Buckwheat Millet Pancakes with Blackberry Compote: gluten free, egg-free

The idea that some flavors just did not seem to work for me was interesting, because there was nothing in these waffles that I did not like. And yet. I had an objection to the cinnamon flavor, as well as the coconut. Since I am really wild about cinnamon and coconut, this seems awfully strange, but so it is. I started getting a craving for these waffles again, and wondered about using the batter for pancakes instead of waffles. The first thing I did was look at the recipe and see what flavors I could use to substitute for these two things. I thought for a while and finally decided on nutmeg and coriander seed. Coriander seed has a nice citrus-y type of flavor. It can be used well in many sweet applications, although the use I most often have for coriander is in Indian cooking. Still, since the cinnamon was just wrong (for me) in this application, I felt that coriander would be a good substitute. Nutmeg would not compete with coriander either, so I went with these two. The original recipe had an egg "optional". I did not use the egg, but did add in some ground flax seed, even though egg was in no way needed in the original recipe.
Lovely texture in Buckwheat Millet Pancakes

One other ingredient I wanted to sub out was the brown sugar. When thinking about a recipe that uses 1 cup each of whole, uncooked millet and buckwheat, using brown sugar seemed odd. In this case, I used stevia ("Stevia in the Raw"). The original recipe also did not use baking powder, but I opted to add some in, hoping for a little bit of rise in the pancakes I wanted to make from this recipe. 

I found this same recipe all over the internet, though I do not really know who it was attributed to originally. I do not mean to act like this is totally my recipe, because soaking the millet and buckwheat and processing them into a batter would possibly never have occurred to me. All the recipes I saw online specified to NOT use a Vita Mix blender to blend this batter, as it makes it too dense. All I have for a blender is my Vita Mix. How long one has it running and at what speed will have a large impact on how fine, or not, a batter will be. I have absolutely no problem with the consistency of these as pancakes or waffles, having blended the batters in my Vita Mix blender. Maybe others are more fussy than I but I really love the consistency and the flavors; most particularly now that I made some exchanges for ingredients. Today, the pancakes really hit the spot.

Please understand that any of my substitutions can be left out or you might look up the recipe somewhere online and make them as in what appears may be the original recipe, here. I did not drain and rinse the millet and buckwheat on any of the occasions I used this recipe, but just placed them right in my blender container and let them soak overnight there. One less dirty container. My version of this recipe is very easily cut in half if needed, but I have refrigerated or frozen these and other pancakes or waffles and they kept fine. Often, rather than using the microwave to potentially do harm to some of the nourishment, I pop them in the toaster. If straight from the freezer it may take a second or even a third time toasting to heat them through, but they are wonderful this way.

Buckwheat Millet Pancakes or Waffles

Buckwheat Millet Pancakes with Blackberry Compote
Made twenty (4- to 5-inch) pancakes

1 cup of whole, raw buckwheat (not Kasha, which is toasted)
1 cup whole millet
2 cups water
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Place these ingredients into a blender container. Stir a bit, cover the container and let them soak overnight on the counter.

In the morning, add to the blender container the following:

2 packets Stevia
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil

Blend the mixture to the fineness desired. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium heat. Spray the surface with nonstick spray or use more coconut oil or butter to lightly grease the surface. Ladle the batter as for any pancakes and watch for small bubbles that burst and stay open, and the edges look dry. Flip and cook for just a minute more. Adjust temperature up or down as necessary for even cooking.
Making the pancakes                      |                             Pancakes finished

I had made some Blackberry Compote one morning a few months back; a totally spur-of-the-moment idea, having some blackberries left int he fridge. I kept meaning to put the recipe out here, but other things seemed to take precedence. And now I know why! That last time I made the compote (also to pour over pancakes), I used a little white sugar in the recipe. It was fabulous. But with these interesting pancakes, made so wholesomely, I wanted to see if the compote could also be palatable using Stevia instead of the sugar. And now I have my answer. For me, while this batch of the compote, made with Stevia, was less sweet overall, it was also very much palatable and went so perfectly on the pancakes. I was so happy when I finished breakfast this morning, I tell you! The compote would be most excellent over pound cake or ice cream or any other application. If you want to make it with sugar instead of Stevia: add in 1/4 cup of granulated sugar at the beginning, with the cornstarch and cook as directed. Do not add in the Stevia at the end

Blackberry Compote

makes about 2+ cups
Blackberry Compote

6 ounces blackberries (or raspberries or blueberries)
2 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rosewater (or just use an extra teaspoon vanilla)
4 packets Stevia

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch with the lime juice, salt and water and stir to completely dissolve. Add the blackberries and crush them lightly. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once boiling, stir constantly for about 5 minutes more, until the compote is thickened and the sauce is translucent.  Add in the vanilla, rosewater if using and the Stevia and stir well. Can be used immediately. 

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.