Gluten-free pancakes

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Top of the morning to ya! (Or whenever you read this blog post) Have you been thinking about moving toward a more gluten-free diet, but feel daunted by the different flours and starches and mixes out there? If you’ve ever tried it, you’ve probably discovered that gluten free flours rarely behave like regular flour does. They like to soak up any liquids you might add, giving an appearance of binding action, only to fall apart when cooked. I’ve been there. I’m there often, in fact…

…Well, have no fear! There IS a ray of light at the end of the gluten-free tunnel! At least for breakfast.

Just go down to Lemongrass or Wenatchee Natural Foods and pick up a little bag of rice flour (brown or white – doesn’t matter). Tuck it in your cupboard and then wait until you have a few ripe bananas sitting unappetizingly on the counter. Or if you’re a momma of action, just go get them on discount from that little corner section at the grocery store. Then, it’s time to break out a mixing bowl and have some fun with this pancake recipe! It’s become my most FAVORITIST one yet! Yes, I know that’s not a word…

Just a few more items: baking powder (a few teaspoons), sea salt (a few pinches), an egg or two depending on how many pancakes you want, oil (A few big-T’s). Mix it all up and I highly recommend some cinnamon (if you like).

Oh yeah, bananas are so sweet, the only added sugar will be your toppings!

Since it’s a pretty versatile pancake, I think it’s worth a try to play with it if you have other dietary needs. If you need to go eggless, you could probably use an extra banana, some ground chia or flax, or applesauce. Here’s a cool chart about egg substitutions. Also, since the recipe uses oil and you can use any kind of milk, it’s great for those who need lactose-free.

So, depending on how well you mash those bananas, you’ll be ready for the next part of this adventure. Make sure it’s pretty runny batter, heat up that skillet, and fish out that rarely used turkey baster.

My dad was a pro with batter and a baster. He made cute little creatures, clowns (of the nonscary variety) and pretty much whatever I requested, but I’ve never quite been able to measure up to those fantastical childhood recollections. My determination usually grows with failure; although in unpredictable spurts, because it has to compete with my special brand of perfectionist procrastination. But today, I had just the right blend of runny pancake batter and one magical cup of joe (it somehow never got cold), which probably gave me some added confidence on this particular morning.

Just give it a try, remembering to check before you flip! You should see some bubbles like “regular” pancakes, but I cannot guarantee that. Eat the mistakes; they’ll taste good anyway.

As I encouraged in a post blog last summer, our kids really need to see us try stuff or they won’t try stuff. I’ll even be forward enough to say that kids need to witness their parent make a cat that actually looks more like a six-tentacled octopus with ears, and then watch as you deal appropriately with the failure; perhaps a chuckle and a shrug or an “Oh well.” And then serve it up and try something else. Here are a few results of my culinary adventure:

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There’s that octopus-cat. See, they look like whiskers, right? And on that other plate is a crescent moon, a star, and a rocket ship…hehe.

I also tried a sun, and a flower. I like the added touch of butter in the center.

Not pictured: a bear with a funny-shaped ear (redeemed by chocolate chip eyeballs and smile), and a few “horses” (ok really complex blobs) which were gobbled up too quickly for a photo op.

Baby said, “When do I get a pancake?” Not yet, sweetheart, sorry. As for mom, I ate mine as I cooked. And then a few more afterward when everyone else had left the table. Mommies do tend to get the short end of the stick on pancake mornings. But at least I remembered to keep them warm in the oven this time.

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