Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweet Potato Apple Spice Pancakes

I know, I know- enough with the apples and spice already! I promise you, dear readers, that next week something different will be in store, but for now I cannot think of anything but my precious Topaz apples. I stopped buying them by the kilo and started buying them by the two-kilos. I think things are getting out of hand.

This fine Sunday I had two remarkable ingredients on hand (aside from the apples, naturally). The first was this humble sweet potato, which i microwaved until it hissed and begged for mercy, and then peeled. If you're feeling classier, you can stick it in the oven the night before with your dinner.

The second was this precious stuff: a bag of whole-wheat flour gleaned from a small mill in a neighboring town. It was cheap, the people I bought it from looked appropriately friendly and agrarian, and it was tied with a piece of rainbow twine. Unless you're grinding your own, flour doesn't get much more exciting than this.

(Vegan) Sweet Potato Apple Spice Pancakes
(yields 10 large pancakes, or 15 stingy ones)

The dry stuff:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder

The wet stuff:

1 sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4-1/2 cup non-dairy milk

The goodies:

2 1/2 smallish apples, chopped into small bits
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
1/3 -1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Same principle as before: Mix up the dry stuff, mix up the wet stuff, then combine and stir in the goodies. Drop a bit of batter in a pan, and start looking out to flip the pancakes when your kitchen begins smelling delicious. Remove from heat when golden. Serve with maple syrup, or, if you're feeling adventurous, the finest coating of acacia honey.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

(Vegan) Apple Walnut Spice Pancakes

Welcome, welcome, pancake- and wafflephiles! I do believe this is the first ever transatlantic father-daughter pancake and waffle blog, and I hope it does not disappoint. My father introduced me to the wide world of weekend pancake experimentation, and for the past few years I've been doing a good deal of my own pancake research. Lately we've started comparing notes over skype (he lives stateside, I'm living in Germany), and I decided it was high time the world learned all that a pancake (or waffle) can do. Here you'll find the records of our weekly attempts at deliciousness. You'll note that my dad and I have slightly different approaches--I usually try to keep my recipes vegan, and, sans waffle iron, I mostly make pancakes. My dad, on the other hand, makes a lot of waffles, and usually concentrates on making them reasonably healthy. The approaches aren't mutually exclusive at all, though, and you'll find that many of his substitutions and additions work for my pancakes, and almost all of his recipes can be easily adapted to be vegan.

But on to the real reason you're here--FLAPJACKS! It's cold here right now, deathly cold, and for that reason I wanted something spicy and dense. The apples were simply what I had on hand; yesterday I picked up two kilos of gorgeous elstar and topaz apples from the farmer's market. One of the very best things about living in Germany are the apples, which tend to be a little less sweet than American varieties, and can be gotten from local growers almost year-round. If you don't have access to elstar or topaz apples, however, you can easily subsitute them for a variety with a bit of sourness.

Apple Walnut Spice Pancakes
(yields 9 large pancakes, or 12 smaller ones)

The dry stuff:
1 1/2 cups flour (I used white, but go for whole wheat if you're feeling virtuous, or a half and half mixture)
1/2 cup quick oats
2 Tbsp. sugar (I use the raw stuff, or you can subsitute agave nectar)
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder

The wet stuff
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower, but you can splurge on coconut, if you like)
1 1/4 cup soymilk, or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

The goodies
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger root
2 1/2 apples, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1/3 - 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions: Mix up the dry stuff, mix up the wet stuff, then combine. Mix in the goodies. If you're really talented, you will have gotten the peel off each apple in one fell swoop.

The rest you know how to do well, I'm sure. Heat up the oil of your choice (I used sunflower again) in a frying pan or griddle. Then drop that batter! Flip the pancakes when they've become beautiful and golden brown on one side. Remove from heat when golden on the other side. I trust your judgement. Serve with maple syrup for maximum effect.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Waffles are my weekend treat. I strive to blend healthy leftovers, flax meal, and other ingredients to create unique breakfasts. Starting this weekend I'll share my recipes and pics on this blog. Stay tuned!