Eric Akis: Brown rice oat pancakes a healthy, gluten-free treat

Eric Akis

If you like pancakes, but want or need to make them gluten-free, brown rice flour is a good alternative to all-purpose flour. Today’s recipe yields light and tender pancakes that contain all the nutrition brown rice brings to the table.

Powdery brown rice flour is made from finely ground brown rice. While white rice offers some nutrition, with the bran layer intact, brown rice is much higher in such things as fibre, protein, vitamins B and E, calcium, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron.

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Brown rice flour has a subtle nutty flavour, a taste that works well with oats. That’s why I opted to use oat beverage in my pancake batter rather than the milk I would normally add. Oat beverage contains some of the same nutritious things brown rice does.

That nutty flavour also works well with the maple cinnamon apple topping I made for the pancakes. It’s easy to prepare and the apples gave the pancakes a pleasing sweet and seasonal taste of autumn.

Brown Rice Oat Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Apples

Light and tender, gluten- and dairy-free pancakes that contain the nutritious things that brown rice and oats provide.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: three minutes (per batch)

Makes: 18 (4-inch) pancakes

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (see Note)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 cups oat beverage (see Note)

1 tsp pure vanilla extractvegetable oil sprayMaple Cinnamon Apples (see recipe below)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a second bowl, beat the eggs, and then mix in oat beverage and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the rice flour mixture and mix until a smooth batter is created.

Preheat oven to 200 F. Preheat your electric griddle to 350 F, or set a griddle pan and or large non-stick skillet over medium, medium-high heat. When cooking surface is hot, spray it with vegetable oil spray. Pour on 1/4-cup amounts of the batter, leaving two inches between each pancake. Cook the pancakes 2 minutes. Flip pancakes over and cook until the underside is browned and the centre of the pancake springs back when touched, about one minute.

Keep cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven while you cook the rest.Top pancakes with the maple cinnamon apples, once plated.

Note: Brown rice flour and oat beverage are sold at most supermarkets. Brands of the latter I’ve seen for sale include Earth’s Own Original Oat Beverage and Elmhurst Milked Oats.

Eric’s options: This recipe, and the maple cinnamon apples below, could be halved. If desired, instead of the apples, you could simply serve the pancakes with maple syrup and, if your diet allowed it, some butter.

Maple Cinnamon Apples

This topping for pancakes sees sautéed apples simmered a short while in sweet maple syrup and aromatic cinnamon.

Preparation time: five minutes

Cooking time: five minutes

Makes: about 1 3/4 cups

2 medium red apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp vegetable oil

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place apples in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.Heat oil in a large non-stick set over medium, medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add apples and cook and stir until light golden and starting to just become tender, about three minutes. Add the syrup and cinnamon, bring to a simmer, and simmer and stir one minute.Remove skillet from the heat and apples are ready to serve with the pancakes warm, or at room temperature.

eakis@timescolonist.com

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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