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quinoa-pancakes-with-peanut-butterI said on Monday that I wouldn’t be back unless I had some kind of brainwave. I don’t know if this qualifies as a brainwave, but we have just demolished a stack of the best pancakes we have had in ages. And it all started from a pack of something that the health and safety brigade would have chucked in the bin.

Here is how it happened that our near-trash turned into bona fide treasure.quinoa-pancake-ingredientsThe other day I found a pack of unopened sprouted quinoa, dated best before something or other 2012. Not one to say no to a bit of culinary danger (kids, don’t try this at home), I cracked it open and had a think. I may have even stuck my tongue out of the side of my mouth, so deep in thought was I. Nothing wacky but do-able immediately sprang to my tiny mind so I left the packet there to inspire me. Or mock me.


cooked sprouted quinoa

Anyway, today it was well past breakfast time and Miss R and I were hungry, our stomachs having stretched over Christmas and not yet shrunk, despite a small-portion Boxing Day. She asked if I would make pancakes. “But of course, my darling,” I answered. “You run along and I will bring them up to you with some coffee and the newspaper.” Or something like that. Except it was probably more like a sotto voce, “Grr, why can’t we just have avocado on toast? I’m knackered and it’s only 9.30.”

I grabbed the past-its-best quinoa packet, then rootled in my cupboards and found a nearly empty bag of gluten-free self-rising flour (Dove’s if you’re interested) – all-quinoa did not seem a good idea for a breakfast pancake.

As we had recently had peanut butter in regular flour pancakes – and damn fine it was too – I thought I would mix that in as well. This legumey addition may sound a bit weird to non-Americans, but it really is gorgeous if done with a light hand.quinoa-pancake-mix

And the fruit bowl was looking a bit sorry for itself, having been ignored in favour of a Terry’s chocolate orange, which nestled apologetically in the bowl trying to disguise itself as a real orange. A couple of pears looked edible enough so they were plucked from a mouldy fate and used too.

Having never made up sprouted quinoa before I read on the packet that I could just soak the stuff and when it rehydrated it could be eaten as is. Fair enough. But to be honest I wasn’t too sure about a crunchy pancake and I couldn’t be faffed with the 45-minute wait – that ripe avocado was calling me at this point. So I simmered up the quinoa with half water and half almond milk, and wonder of wonders it tasted great just like that. In fact I will do it again at a later date as porridge as I am not so keen on normal quinoa porridge (if one considers quinoa porridge at all normal), and this was pot-scrapingly good. No trace of saponin-bitterness, and with a texture slightly more ‘poppy’ than normal quinoa. All good so far.

Then it was just a matter of whisking an egg with enough almond milk – and peanut butter – to make a batter that, if not crowded with quinoa, would be the consistency of single cream. Initially I did not sweeten the batter but after a test pancake I added just enough to let you know it was there. As for the pears, I sliced them thinly lengthways and sautéed them in a smidge of butter. I could have chopped or grated them and added them to the batter but I went for them as caramelised buttery topping instead.

Truthfully, if you hanker for a traditional fluffy pancake, this is not for you. However if you want a bit of rough with your smooth, and a satisfyingly protein-packed pancake without weird, saw-dusty protein powder, here you go. You could ditch the nut butter if it is not to your liking but do keep the cinnamon and maple syrup – or perhaps apple pie spice and honey. Just be sure to use in-date quinoa. Or you could live dangerously like me 😀

quinoa-pancake-stackQuinoa Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon and Pear

Last year: (Leftover Roast) Potato and Ham Soup with Dijon

Two years ago: Brilliant Blinis with Sweet and Savoury Toppings

Miss R’s track of the week:  Boots by The Killers

A very recent happy experiment from food to glow. Who would have thought quinoa and peanut butter would work. But it does. Go on, I dare you!

Sprouted or regular quinoa – 75g (½ cup)

Almond milk – 105ml (½ cup)

Water – 105ml (1/2 cup)

Gluten-free flour OR white spelt flour – 80g (½ cup)

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Vanilla powder OR extract (add with liquids) – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1 tsp

Almond milk – 300ml (1 and 1/3 cup)

Maple syrup OR date syrup- 2 tbsp

Egg – 1, lightly beaten

Peanut butter – 2 tbsp

Pears – 2-3

Butter or coconut oil – 2 tsp

Cinnamon – extra to serve

Maple syrup OR date syrup – to serve

Light oil – for cooking the pancakes

1. To make up the quinoa, rinse then drain if using regular quinoa; this isn’t necessary for sprouted quinoa. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan and add the water and almond milk. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and let steam for a further five minutes. You may need less time with the sprouted quinoa – I cooked mine for five minutes and steamed for five.

2. In a mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla powder (if using) and cinnamon.  When the quinoa is slightly cooler than just-cooked, stir this in.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup and a little of the milk; gradually whisk or stir in the peanut butter (a fork works best). Whisk in the remaining milk until all is amalgamated and smooth.

4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix well and – to achieve the best consistency – let the batter sit for about half an hour.

5. Just before you make up the pancakes, slice the pears and sauté in a little butter or coconut oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Keep warm or at room temperature.

6. To make the pancakes, heat a non-stick pan with a ½ tsp of oil until medium hot and a test splash of batter sizzles but doesn’t burn. When the pan is hot enough, ladle in ¼ of a cup of batter – one or two dollops in a pan. Cook until the bottom is golden; flip and do the same on the other side. Oil the pan as needed. Continue making pancakes – topping with sautéed pears, more cinnamon and maple syrup – until you are full and happy!

Make 10-12 pancakesquinoa-pancakesquinoa-pancake-stack

61 thoughts on “Quinoa Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon and Pear – Best Grain-free Pancakes Ever

  1. Laura says:

    These sound amazing! Perfect for a pre-run breakfast!

    1. Erm, not the amount I would eat! Even though they are surprisingly light of course ;D

  2. Hah! This made me laugh! I have a similar attitude towards food. I stumble erratically between health/junk and “normal”/”fad” foods. Those meals that work best are often experimentation combined with desperation. These look lovely.

    1. Necessity is the mother of invention, or something like that. Actually I can’t stand waste. And of course dry goods are almost always absolutely fine when past their date, so no danger really. And I’m sure you are pretty much in the health/normal category! It is only this time of year that traditionally undoes good intentions, but soon we get sick of eating crap, don’t we?

  3. Bella says:

    Sounds strangely yummy – going on the list! Thanks 🙂

    1. I’ll take ‘strangely yummy’ as a compliment!

      1. Bella says:

        Good! It’s meant to be! 😉

  4. Bella says:

    Reblogged this on Belle Bites and commented:
    I’ve been on the hunt for recipes to trick my body into thinking it’s still in the throes of jolly-holiday overindulgence, whilst actually slowly but surely easing it into a more healthy routine! So these sound awesome to me – I’ll be trying these with coconut milk and rice flour since that’s what I have in the cupboard, and will top them with frozen berries and greek yoghurt. Yum. Thanks Food to Glow!

    1. Coconut milk and rice flour sounds a winner to me. And of course use what fruit you like. Antipodeans might like peaches. Darn them and their succulent stone fruits….

      1. Kellie, I love your site and the fact that you so creatively put things together. ! Bella , if you are looking for a pancake recipe that uses coconut and rice flour, you can try these ‘appams’ , which is a traditional Kerala (south Indian) recipe. Here’s a link to my site which has many such kerala recipes:

  5. I will try these and report back, for sure. Yes, this is a true epiphany! Best wishes! Shanna

    1. Aw thanks Shanna. Not sure about epiphany, but they are heckuva good pancakes to be sure.I hope you try them. Let me know. I noticed I left the maple syrup out of the ingredient list. It’s in there now. I really need an editor…

      1. Hi, Kellie – I did notice that. No big deal. That is the beauty of cooking a lot… you know what is missing. I often look over recipes for folks – and your are welcome to send yours my way for a quick review anytime. Copy editing is fun for others, not as much for ourselves, right? Best wishes! Shanna

      2. I love copy-editing for others, and even used to get paid for it – LOL

      3. Yes, me too. But it is actually quite fun. I am silly that way, Kellie. Who in their right mind likes to edit? Just me. Best – Shanna

      4. Me too! I also hate it when I get a book that I’ve paid good money for (just bought one yesterday) and there is a glaring error on one of the first few pages. (Ace, King Knave by Maria McCann, I am talking about you.)I distrust the book from then on. How sad am I?

      5. That makes sense to me. Those folks would benefit from a second eye (like yours!). Best wishes for a great 2014 to you and yours, Kellie. – Shanna

  6. toopretty12 says:

    Reblogged this on The Pretty Canary.

  7. I adore recipes that are inspiration from cupboard orphans and leftovers! The pancakes are amazing!

    1. Thanks Deb. I love rescuing things: close-to-death bees (honey on a teaspoon works), baby birds, old packets of food…

  8. the_artist says:

    Looks GREAT. Yum, will have to try…and maybe share the tasty with others. 😉 Best, Christine.

  9. How very delicious, Kellie!

  10. aryana0821 says:

    Looks amazing we need to give it a try the way your picture looks so great 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! The light is terrible just now and I don’t have any fancy photo-editing software/skills or styling nous, but at least they look pancake-ish. 😀

  11. Looks amazing as usual 🙂

    1. Cheers! Thanks for saying so 😀

  12. Haley says:

    This looks incredible! Definitely a brainwave if you ask me, thank you for sharing.

    1. You are welcome. I hope you give them a try and let me know how they are for you.

  13. Jemz says:

    yum, they look great but when i make (american) pancakes they burn and i dont know why???

    1. Too high a heat? Do a little test one the size of a quarter. If it burns before the top is even dry, it’s too hot. Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Jemz says:

        THANKS? Ill try again ALTHOUGH i make mine on one of thoses non-stick hotpan things u know the ones that you plug in and change the heat dial!! And on all the heat setting its burns only when i put butter or oil on it lessens the burning !! What type of pan do u make it on!!
        xx Jemz

      2. I use a thick-bottomed non-stick. I find good quality, although more expensive, give even heat distribution and all-round better results. I try and buy the best I cam afford. But I also have a gas hob/stove which is more immediately responsive to adjusting temperature. If you ever get a chance to cook on gas you will see a big difference. Good luck!

      3. Jemz says:

        Thanks for gettong back to me normally bloggers dont answer peoples questions!
        I cant remember wat brand my hot pan is i got it as a present from a friend and ive not used a hob/gas ring yet becuase ive only made pancakes once and thats when i made it on the hot pan i did make two seperate batchea but both batches turned out @€#% lol! What brand do u recommend i dont think i slighly mind about the proce sortof my mum will dish out sum money from somewhere lol!:) oh yea what country are u from!

      4. I’m in the UK. Proper namebrands wherever you are will be good. What I look for is something that’s heavier than anything else its size (excluding cast iron). Heavy and nonstick. I usually pick them up at TK Maxx. In the US I would go to Marshalls. I get my dad pans there 😉 Btw, I’m sorry other bloggers haven’t answered questions. I like to feel I can be of some use to somebody! And if someone has taken the time to read my post and ask a question, I will always get back to them. I appreciate all comments.

      5. Jemz says:

        wow ur sweet lol 😀 haha
        thnx oh and my hot pan is very light (**PROBLEM**) im goin shoppin next monday so ill pick something up!!
        luv ya xx

  14. I love this! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try this with my family.

  15. narf77 says:

    My wonderful daughters gifted Steve a selection of wines and beers from “the rest of the world” as his Christmas gift this year (in a vain attempt to educate him about “foreign food” being good) but decided to throw in lots of U.K. Christmas sweets to top off his Christmas happiness and one of the delights nestled amongst the Japanese merlot and the Lucky Chinese beer (“Lucky” it tasted good, we were culturally impressed! 😉 ) was a Terry’s chocolate orange. Steve promptly whisked it off to his treat cupboard and it never got to fraternise with my wayfaring pears and half cut lemons (on their last legs…) but I am smiling reading about your clever concealment of candy in the fruit bowl…I am sure NO-ONE noticed! ;). I used to eat peanut butter (we called it peanut paste here in Australia as kids) out of the jar with a spoon so you don’t have to sell this unctuous creation to me twice! Must say, I have my quinoa in the freezer. It would have expired years ago otherwise ;). Everything in the freezer is like Narnia in my mind… frozen = Mr Tumnus good and both invincible and eternal

    I will drop the egg (chia egg for me…) and will use a little date paste to sweeten these pancakes. I might even liberate my frozen Siberian tundra wasteland quinoa from the freezer today and I will take your advice and cook it with half water, half homemade sesame milk (cheaper and more nutritious than almond milk for this little black vegan…). I don’t mind the odd pancake. Here in Australia a “pancake” is pan sized and a “pikelet” is what we see offered up to us as U.K. and U.S. “pancakes…flapjacks are also pancakes to us NOT those pans full of pressed oaty goodness and we Aussies have certainly had to adapt our vocabulary for the worldwide market 😉

    Cheers for this hearty serving of protein, fibre and happiness on a breakfast plate. Glad you dove into the expired food market. Now you can count fregans (laughing BIGTIME here because my spellcheck wants me to change “fregans” to “freaks” 😉 ) in your blog followers. You might just have to add a weekly post on dumpster diving gourmet grub from now on to satisfy them is all…just sayin… 😉

    1. You are so welcome. Thank you for your very warm and generous comment. The Terry’ s was in my daughter’s Xmas stocking and just happened to migrate to the neglected fruit bowl when setting up to play the board game, Smorgasboard (spelling deliberate). Honest! I should’ve reminded folk about chia/flax egg option, but any vegans will automatically know what to do. I may do an occasional feature on odd stuff and out of date stuff I find in my kitchen. Good idea! I don’t think I’m *quite* ready for dumpster diving just yet though 😉

  16. Deena Kakaya says:

    I can’t believe you ate that quinoa! But those pancakes do look so beautifully golden an surprisingly moist. I will have to try these out x

  17. Nazima says:

    these look stunning. I have not tried grain free pancakes but have some quinoa in the cupboard so will try this out. I have to say I am glad you mentioned the issue of rinsing and draining it as I have always found quinoa has a funny bitter taste but then someone told me I should have been rinsing it first.

  18. Sally says:

    Belated Happy Christmas Kellie and wishing you all the best for 2014. Sorry my comments haven’t been as regular but always love reading your beautiful, colourful posts. Sell by dates and codes are there to be ignored I think 🙂

  19. foodbod says:

    Definitely bookmarking these, they look good 👍👍

  20. Eat Your Veg says:

    A very belated Happy Christmas Kellie! I’m loving the idea of Quinoa and Peanut Butter pancakes. Especially ones topped with sauted pears and maple syrup. Heavenly, whilst still being choca full of goodness. Gorgeous recipe.

  21. This looks absolutely delicious…. Sounds like the perfect recovery breakfast for after New Years!

  22. These sound like a great gluten-free pancake to try for our family. I am not sure I understand why they are grain-free though, is it because the quinoa is sprouted? I was sure quinoa is a grain am I wrong? I will totally try this recipe though, I pretty much always enjoy your recipe ideas. 🙂

    1. Hi Emilia. Quinoa – hooray! – is a seed. So not only is it grain-free but it’s a complete protein. Good news, huh? And thanks ;D Happy New Year

      1. I knew it was a complete protein and a seed, but for some reason I still associated it with the word grain, even though that does not make sense. Haha, thanks for setting me straight 🙂

      2. ;D I love quinoa and it makes sense to use it as replacement for grains when it seems a reasonable fit.

  23. HotDish says:

    Hi, thanks for the post! I made these this morning for new year’s day brunch. 🙂 My husband keeps his cholesterol low naturally and doesn’t generally eat any grains or sweetener, so breakfast foods are always a challenge. So I was pretty excited when I saw your recipe. My pears weren’t ripe so I used apples, and I cooked them into the tops of the pancakes. The peanut butter flavor was great. My husband loved them, and my mother-in-law actually asked for the recipe so I’d say it was a great success. Thanks so much and happy new year!

    1. That’s great that your husband manages his cholesterol with diet – I wish more people could! I am so pleased that you took the recipe and made your own adjustments. That’s really what I like to hear! Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for reading – and cooking from! – food to glow 😀

      1. HotDish says:

        Happy new year to you and yours, too! I am a huge fan of your blog. I usually prefer to come up with my own creations, but literally everything you post sounds like something I want to make–I’ve tried three of your recipes so far. 🙂 Have you considered coming out with a cookbook?

      2. Thanks so much. I am always thrilled when I hear anyone likes my recipes, especially if they have taken the trouble to make them. I would be interested to know what you’ve made! And yes, I am putting together a proposal (trying to!) and will hopefully be able to submit it by the end of February. So watch this space. I have a cookbook for the cancer centres that I work with but it isn’t commercial and needs updating. Unfortunately I am not very single-minded with projects and I get easily side-tracked, but hopefully once school starts back up and I have a bit more ‘me-time’ on non-work days I can put a bit more thought and effort in. Sorry, you probably didn’t want an essay for an answer!

      3. HotDish says:

        I’m glad to hear you’ve got one in the workings – I’ll be keeping my eye out. I made a pie-shaped version of your apricot and citrus no-bake bar recipe for Thanksgiving dessert, and also your corn fritters (I wrote you a note about those, as my four-year-old was crazy about them–it isn’t always easy to find things that fit my husband’s diet that are appealing to my little one as well!). Good luck with the proposal, and thanks again for sharing your delicious recipes!

  24. HotDish says:

    P.S. I heard recently that quinoa is not a protein unless uncooked. I haven’t checked the validity of this statement, however. Have you heard anything about this? I can’t think of anything I’d make with uncooked quinoa!

    1. No, to my knowledge that isn’t true. The amino acids remain intact during cooking. What is true is that soaking and sprouting (just overnight) makes the protein even more digestible for some, and can be eaten raw this way. Maybe that is what was meant?

      1. HotDish says:

        Interesting, and thanks. Sounds like it was just misinformation–or else a particularly bastardized broken telephone version of what you said! 😉

  25. Mmmm makes me hungry. I wanna try this

  26. Egginon says:

    Can’t wait to try these – I love pancakes and am always looking for new healthy recipes! Thanks for sharing

  27. Heather says:

    Hi Kellie! Your Quinoa Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon and Pears is one of the Top Features from last week’s Sweet Wednesday Link Party, congratulations!

    Also, this recipe has been pinned to my “Features from Sweet Wednesday Link Party” board:

    Thanks so much for linking up, I appreciate you!

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