It has been our tradition for years that on the kids’ birthdays, the birthday kid wakes up to their room filled with balloons, they wear the birthday hat, eat off of the birthday plate, and we make pancakes for breakfast. The kids now literally refer to them as “birthday pancakes,” because they are special….they aren’t Paleo! They are flour and sugar and milk and yogurt and all kinds of things we don’t eat on a regular basis anymore, and as much as they love our tries at Paleo pancakes, they will be the first to admit, Paleo pancakes just aren’t exactly the same. Somewhere along the way, before I cleaned up the way we eat, these birthday pancakes also got sprinkles and a powdered sugar glaze added to them, you know, to be cute and fun. And, I have always been OK continuing to make these pancakes on their birthdays, because in general we follow the 80/20 rule with following Paleo-80% of the time we eat really clean, and the other 20% of the time we allow room for treats. That’s exactly what birthday pancakes have been, a treat.
Except that this year, Natalie is right smack dab in the middle of her 30 day, trial-run, gluten and dairy elimination, and today is her birthday. There are gluten-free mixes I could have used, but most of them are filled with gums, fillers and other ingredients we have spent the better part of 2 years avoiding. So, I wanted to get creative.
I have been reading a lot about cassava flour lately. Cassava flour comes from the yucca plant and is high in carbohydrates, magnesium, and also contains calcium and vitamin C. It is a grain-free, whole food, flour replacement. I bought some off Amazon, not knowing exactly what I was looking for, and I ended up in possession of a really course, toasted, nutty tasting “meal.” The texture was more like polenta, and that’s not what I was going for at all. Then I came across a page on Facebook, Otto’s Naturals, where a really finely milled cassava flour is getting ready to be sold. Reading about it, it is supposed to react very much like wheat flour in recipes, you just might need to slightly adjust the amount of flour down a little, which is what I did for these pancakes. Since it isn’t for sale just yet, I searched and came across this Moon Rabbit Foods cassava flour, and I bought some. The difference between the flour I bought on Amazon and the Otto’s and Moon Rabbit flours has to do with how the yucca is peeled, dried and milled. Yes, it is expensive, but I only plan on using it for once in a great while treats.
Oh my goodness. Winner!
Birthday pancakes this morning were based off the old, old pancake recipe I made growing up. It originally came from my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook she had for years before I was even born. The cookbook is long gone, but my memorization of the recipe is not! I adjusted a couple things, and shhhh…..the kids didn’t even know the pancakes were Paleo 🙂
1 1/4 cups cassava flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 Tablespoon raw honey
3 Tablespoons ghee (or grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or even light tasting olive oil)
1. In a large bowl, sift together the cassava flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, melted butter, and honey; mix until smooth. It is possible you may need to add a little more almond milk to thin out the batter a little.
2. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Lightly oil with butter, ghee or coconut oil.
3. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.