Carrot Cake Pancakes (Vegan)

IMG_1205 ps edit 2

     For someone with a serious sweet tooth, pancakes are a quick and convenient way of whipping together a satisfying meal using ingredients that I already have on hand. They are also a low risk way of experimenting with a variety of wheat and non-wheat flours, and are easily made without eggs or dairy. Lately it has become a worthy challenge for me to prepare all the food that I make for myself with ingredients that are organic but also cheap and accessible, and as a result pancakes have become a staple in my diet. If you can’t find organic currants, a 1/4 cup of raisins or chopped dried apples make tasty alternatives. Top these fancy hotcakes with freshly sliced bananas and maple syrup and invite your best vegan friends over for breakfast.

IMG_1144 ps edit

 Carrot Cake Pancakes (Vegan)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unbleached white pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour), spooned and leveled

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled

1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

3 tablespoons organic raw sugar or sweetener of choice (I often use sucanat)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup shredded carrot, lightly packed

3 tablespoons organic dried currants

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the currants and toss to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour for the wet ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, raw sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Try to dissolve the sugar as much as possible by giving the mixture the occasional whisk until it is time to combine the liquid with the dry ingredients.

Heat some oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Prepare the shredded carrot while you wait for the pan to become hot.

Add the grated carrot to the wet ingredients and give the mixture a final good stir. Poor the liquid into the centre of the flour and use a wooden spoon or a small stiff spatula to stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Begin in the center and work outwards, slowly drawing the flour into the milk in circular motions until no streaks of flour remain.

Spoon 1/4 cup sized scoops onto the hot pan. Let the pancakes cook until there are open holes on the top of the cakes and the edges are a noticeably darker colour. Flip the pancakes and cook for several minutes more until the bottoms are a dark golden brown. Serve immediately.

Honey-Rye Flapjacks

Flapjacks are a sweet, sticky, almost-candy bar tray bake that serves as an understandably popular breakfast treat over in the UK. Rolled oats are combined with butter, sugar, and golden syrup, scraped into a pan, and baked in a low oven until the edges are wonderfully caramelized and the center is soft and gooey. A flapjack is certainly not a granola bar, and they are much richer than your standard oatmeal cookie, which places them squarely in the same category as sticky buns and coffee cakes: dessert for breakfast.

Traditionally prepared with large flake oats and golden syrup, this recipe kicks up the flavour with the use of rolled rye flakes and a mild honey. While oatmeal is fairly bland, rye flakes have a slight sharpness and tang to them, which pairs nicely with honey, a pinch of cinnamon, and some vanilla to round out the flavour. Dried fruits and nuts are common additions to the basic recipe, and we chose black currants because these small dried berries pack a unique fruity punch. The result is a rustic, indulgent and satisfying snack that goes well with a hot drink on a cold Saturday morning.

Honey-Rye Flapjacks

Inspired by: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/flapjacks_86993  and http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/honeyflapjacks_73203

Yields: 16 squares
Prep: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

175g unsalted butter
175g dark brown sugar
175g mild honey
1 large pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
350g rolled rye flakes
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on lowest heat.

Meanwhile, place the rye flakes in a large bowl, add the cinnamon and toss with hands to combine.

Once the butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar, honey, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula, for several minutes or until the sugar has dissolved (do not boil).

Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Add the rye flakes and currants to the pot and stir well to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and use the spatula or your fingertips to squish down and smooth it evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the edges are a deep caramel colour. Cool completely in pan and use parchment to lift out. Cut into 16 squares.