Note: I understand these ingredients sound like I just robbed a Whole Foods. I'm really not that kind of person. Just try them yeah? *weeps*
Some people save pancakes for Shrove Tuesday or the occasional Saturday breakfast. This makes me sad. When I first fell out of university I ran a resturant that served crepes, and soon after another one that had 5cm thick, fluffy American style pancakes on the menu. We were open all day so in-between mealtimes my brother and I would riff on the menu to feed ourselves, stave off boredom, and find new dishes.
The most important lesson we learned is that pancakes have a place at every mealtime. They can be your burger bun, your wrap, your flatbread, sponge for syrup or compote, or a happy home for hummus. They're also cheap and ridiculously fast (even these middle class ones).
I was not about to let veganism get in the way of a longtime pancake habit. I used buckwheat here because I like the nutty flavour and firm texture. It also helps the batter to bind in the absence of eggs. You can probably safely substitute with plain flour, though. They are neither thick nor thin, but definitely closer to an English pancake than an American one. I ate them with some pretty urgent fruit compote but these aren't savoury or sweet so do what you will with them.
Ingredients - makes 8 pancakes
For the pancakes
200g buckwheat flour
2tbsp ground chia mixed with 10 tbsp water
250ml almond milk
1/2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
2 handfuls frozen berries
Juice of half a lemon
Maple syrup to taste
1. Mix the ground chia seeds and water in a bowl. Leave aside to set, you'll know its ready when it becomes unappetisingly gloopy.
2. Wash and chop the apples (no need to peel), add to a nonstick frying pan with a little spray oil and leave to cook. If they start to catch add some water.
3. Sieve the flour, salt and bicarb together. Add the chia mixture and the almond milk and whisk until smooth, you should have batter the texture of thick cream (is this useful in a vegan recipe?).
4. Heat another nonstick frying pan, add some spray oil. Pour in a ladle of batter and cook on a medium heat until bubbles appear. Flip and cook the other side. They should look pleasantly frilly! The pancakes are done when they look golden (ie universal sign of done-ness) - now cook the rest of the batter.
5. Add the berries to the apples when they're softened to your liking and heat until defrosted, or if they weren't frozen until just collapsing. Add the lemon and maple syrup and take off the heat.
6. Stack the pancakes, add the compote, marvel that they are vegan (and paleo and gluten-free).