I spent three years with a very angry gut, and a string of doctors telling me I must be pregnant. I’m not an elephant. It’s been three years. I’m not pregnant. I gave up on the medical system, did some research, and went back to the doctor with a list of things I wanted tested. We ruled out celiac disease, and a host of other issues. The doctor told me I was perfectly healthy. I wondered how someone so healthy could spend so much time curled up in pain. I decided it was time to change my diet. I tried to cut all grains and sugars from my diet, along with most carbohydrates. I jumped into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I felt amazing. I didn’t even really go through the awful achy stages I was warned about.
I didn’t think I would ever eat pancakes again. I’m not a fan of veggie burgers, tofurkey, and any other food that pretends to be something it’s not; why make pancakes from anything but wheat flour? I didn’t really feel the need to make muffins and breads from almond flour. I tried once, and ended up with a mess of muffin crumbles we ate with a spoon. I was happy to give up breads and baking, because I felt so much better without it. I just ate an entirely different diet. Fresh fish with buttered veggies. Quinoa and corn with veggies. Veggies.
Then I found a recipe for buckwheat pancakes. I made my own buckwheat flour, because I just couldn’t wait to try the pancakes – the Vitamix works almost as well as a grain mill for this. Just freeze the grains, add to the Vitamix, and grind on high-speed for about 30 seconds, or until the buckwheat looks like flour. After that, the pancakes came together as easily as any wheat pancake I’d ever made.
They were delicious, simple, and grain free. They even looked like pancakes. I ate them for breakfast, and made them into sandwiches. I’d added something to the rotation that the bread loving husband wanted to eat.
And then I fell off the wagon. My gut was happy enough I could handle an occasional plate of fettuccine, or a few crackers and cheese, or even chocolate chip muffins. I’d have a hotdog at a BBQ, pasta at the in-laws, and cookies at workshops. I’d promise myself to eat some veggies when I got home. School and life caught up with me, and I resorted to buying crackers, instant noodles and Kraft Dinner for the last-minute dinners. And then my angry gut started to sneak back in, and my energy went out the window. I want to get back on track. I haven’t, yet, but I still make the pancakes. We like them better than regular pancakes.
A few days ago I worked up the confidence to try pancakes in my cast iron pan. I’d read that the trick to cooking in any pan that isn’t non-stick is letting the food sit in one spot, and resisting the urge to check it, or scoot the food around. Success! The pan was almost pancake free at the end of cooking. Abandoning the non-stick pans we received as wedding gifts (they’ve been great in the process of teaching my husband to cook) is just one more step towards getting back on the healthy, sustainable lifestyle wagon.
Here’s the recipe, adapted slightly from the Hodgson Mill recipe, found on about.com:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
Coconut oil for frying, or your favourite frying oil
1. Pre-heat heavy frying pan to medium or electric skillet to 375 F. Grease with coconut oil.
2. Mix dry ingredients; add egg, milk, and butter or margarine.
3. Check frying pan for readiness by flicking a few droplets of water into pan. If they dance and disappear almost immediately, the pan is ready.
4. Pour batter by 1/4 cup into hot frying pan. Cook until bubbles pop and stay empty around edges. Flip. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
Eat up! Or refrigerate, and make sandwiches later.