The Low Carb Pancakes challenge is: no grain flour and no sugar.
But just as it is true that if life sends you lemons, you make lemonade, so too, if life withholds carbs, you make no or low carb pancakes and other goodies, period. Smile please. Take a look in my giant file, Low Carb Diet Recipes, you’ll be amazed how resourceful it will make you! I have been exploring with low carb pancakes, and both the savory and sweet low carb pancakes and flat breads turn out to be real viable and delicious options, and have been right in the center of my kitchen playground these past three weeks.
It is not a matter of swearing off carbs for life, just a matter of reducing them and exploring with their healthy no-carb alternatives.
Not having any carbs, it goes without saying they are also gluten-free to boot. I make no end of delicious and wholesome pancakes and crepes in every shape and form, both gluten-free and with spelt and other whole grain flour.
The secret is in the almond flour, ground whole almonds, with some ground flax, and coconut flour, not necessarily all at once, so nut-allergic diners can experiment more with flax, pumpkin seed meal, sunflower seed meal, and coconut flour. I was surprised to see how neutral all three turn out to be in each mixture, and how obediently they take on all flavors they are paired with. If you intend to use these flours on a regular basis, take yourself to a price club where they will be much more affordable than in retail health food stores. Curiously, some people, like my granddaughter Musia, can’t have tree nuts but are totally OK with peanuts. In this case use peanut flour.
Rather than give you set recipes, I am giving you a couple base recipe suggestions for low carb pancakes, and suggest ways to play with them in exciting combinations. My suggestions below are for just one serving, go ahead and multiply the ones that appeal to you the most.
Attention dear Vegan friends: Low Carb Pancakes are for you too!
Skip the egg, and raise the flax meal to 3 tablespoons and the liquid to 2/3 cup.
I tinkered with low carb breads in loaf and muffin shape, and I must say I was not happy with the results; both the loaf and the muffins looked stunted and had no visual appeal whatsoever. So my advice is, make it a sort of skillet bread as I am making it here, sacrifice some of the pristine raised look (remember, in many cuisines, like Indian, ALL breads are flat breads) and keep all the flavor!
My recipe makes 1 serving. No problem multiplying the recipe. Make the batter up to 4 times larger, and make small pancakes. Too lazy to make the pancakes one by one? Make just one giant pancake, and cut it in wedges.
- 1/4 cup almond flour or coconut flour or a combination (pumpkin seed meal or sunflower seed meal are also great)
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup warm tap water
- dash salt
Mix all ingredients in a blender (in a pinch, whisk them in a bowl). If the mixture looks too thick, thin it with a little water. Get an 9-inch nonstick skillet very hot, spray it with vegetable spray, or add a little olive oil, ghee (ghee is my great favorite, health food stores) or butter (remember, no carbs no sugar or other sweetener, so a little good fat is OK now). Add the mixture and swirl it in the skillet so it will spread evenly. You will get a pancake about 1/2 inch thick. It won't cook as fast as regular flour crepes and pancakes, so be patient. 2-3 minutes on each side. Eat hot.
VARIATIONS: Always starting out with the basic mixture, and taking it places. Get another exciting low carb pancake each time!
Dessert low carb pancakes
- Use coconut milk, plain Greek yogurt (full-fat, very low carbs) or almond milk instead of, or in combination with, water. Add your favorite natural extract or natural flavoring: vanilla, orange flower water, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon or orange zest, instant coffee dissolved in a few drops hot water etc... a little stevia or truvia to taste
- Throw in 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- Throw in about 1/4 cup of (choose one): natural unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, canned pumpkin, chopped fresh or frozen berries
Savory low carb pancakes or breads
- Again, as in dessert pancakes, use coconut milk, plain Greek yogurt (full-fat, very low carbs) or almond milk instead of, or in combination with, water.
- Add your favorite flavorings: Curry powder, cumin, oregano etc..
- Add chopped herbs of your choice: Parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, thyme, rosemary
- Throw in a handful minced olives and/or sun-dried tomatoes
- Throw in a little crumbled strong cheese: Blue, kashkeval, parmesan etc...
- Throw in a handful frozen corn and peas, and a little minced onion
- Brush the cooked pancakes with a little olive oil and top generously with Zaatar
- Add a little less liquid to the basic mixture. Double or triple the basic mixture to make it worth your while to turn the oven on and wait for baking time. Add a few anise seeds and sesame seeds for a good Moroccan flavor. Shape little breads and bake them 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees.