My personal Saturday morning ritual is lying in bed, nursing. Vaguely I hear sounds of blending, stirring, cracking, and, occasionally, crashing. Then I tumble out of bed and enjoy my husband’s amazing pancakes with him and the small people who helped make them.
But, alas, today my master pancake-maker was gone. So last night I promised the small people I, their fearless mother, would make the enormous double-batch of pancakes that have become a requirement for our Saturday mornings.
Pancakes start with milk. Almond milk. Cashew milk is too precious for baking! Also, I like to alternate our milk subs to gain a variety of trace minerals and other nutrients. Almonds, of course, have lots of bio-available calcium. Unfortunately, most folks strain their almond milk which removes many of the benefits of the almonds. Sure, you can make cookies from the pulp, but do I ever get around to that? No. So I have spent many years perfecting the smooth, non-strained almond milk I share with you here. Here are our natural (not organic, btw) raw almonds, soaking.
Soaking is the key to smooth almond milk. A long soak makes this milk really nice. Soaking also increases the nutritive value of the nuts, but really, I do it for the creaminess. These almonds have been soaking about 10 hours. On the left you see the plumped up, water-logged soaked almonds and on the right, the shriveled dry almonds.
Add your soaked almonds to your blender with enough water to make 2 cups, and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, depending on your blender. In a Blendtec, use the whole juice setting. (A high-speed blender does make this recipe easier, but most decent blender will do. I used to make this in a Sunbeam.)
Now add a pinch of sea salt (I use Real Salt or pink Himalayan salt), a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses (or 2 t of old-fashioned),
plus vanilla and stevia to taste. This is stevia extract but the green herb powder works also.
Half my batch is for the fridge where it will be gone in maybe 28 hours (swirl gently before pouring)
And half is for the pancakes.
Pancakes. Our pancake recipe is precious! We have perfected it by trial and error for years. We started with the recipe in Whole Foods for the Whole Family by La Leche League, and the recipe in a 1970 edition of Betty Crocker. When my husband makes these, he never tinkers with the tried-and-true formula. But I, well, I just can’t help it. I am obsessed with increasing protein content of all baked goods….
Vegan protein powder! I start with 2 scoops . This brand, Biochem, tastes pretty good. Biochem 100% Vegan Protein Powder, Vanilla Most brands do not. Beware.
So, 4 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour (this produces a very light pancake similar to white flour pancakes and a good place to start if your family isn’t eating whole grains regularly yet), plus 2 scoops of vegan protein powder. Add 6 eggs (no, we’re not vegan). If you are vegan, add 6 Tablespoons ground flax and 12 Tablespoons water. Dump in your milk. Add ½ cup oil- we use melted raw organic coconut oil. Add 4 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Add ½ c to 1 c of your sweetener of choice. Today I am using 4 very ripe bananas, blended with the milk, and a small dash of stevia. My husband always uses raw honey, but I prefer that raw honey be eaten raw. Maple sugar works well, and rice syrup does too, although it makes the texture extra-dense. Beat it all.
Then have your seven-year-old make the cakes while you take your teething toddler off to nurse. After all, he didn’t get his ritual Saturday morning nursing session.
“The child must be well-fed.”