In a traditional household, things like bread, milk and eggs are staple ingredients that can always be relied on to make a quick meal, add to tea and coffee, or form the basis of some kind of weekend baking activity. In most ways, my household is pretty traditional: I’ve got a kitchen, a bedroom, a comfy couch and lots of quirky nick-nacks, but my staple ingredients are far from bread, milk and eggs… My alternatives are easy switches in my book, but for the untrained eye, they’re inconvenient simply because you can’t just pick them up at any old corner store. While this might sound annoying, I truly believe that any opportunity to eat is a serious priveledge and delight– I’m not one for settling and you’ll sooner catch me agreeing to whip up a three course lunch for six friends, than eating a peanut butter sandwich during a moment of temporary starvation.
Before I get carried away and share with you the recipes I’d whip up for said three-course-meal, let me actually talk you through my favourite household staple: Chickpea Pancakes! These pancakes are nothing like the sweet, fluffy, cake-y pancakes of your childhood weekend mornings, rather they’re:
- Gluten Free
Oh, and did I mention they require only three ingredients! These guys are the real MVP. If you haven’t heard of, or seen chickpea flour before, it’s now excitingly available from supermarkets here and here and from bulk food stores like The Source and Naked Foods. Aside from chickpea pancake making, I also use this staple ingredient as you would regular flour in other baked goods.
These pancakes really are your answer to a speedy breakfast, lunch or dinner and the topping possibilities are endless:
- Roasted vegetables + sauerkraut + tahini sauce
- Guacamole + hemp seeds + coriander
- Baba ghanoooj + fresh tomato + rocket
- Nut butter + banana slices + cinnamon
They also pair really well with a warm bowl of soup and generally act as a great replacement for bread in all situations.
As daggy and farty as you probably think they are, chickpeas are a really incredible health food. They’re really high in fibre which is a fantastic thing, but not if your gut microbiome is not used to high-fibre foods. If you find that chickpeas are making you gassy, I’d highly recommend cooking them yourself from scratch, or trying chickpeas in flour form (like in these pancakes) as these methods are far easier to digest. The health benefits of fibre are so worth the initial farty-ness that chickpeas might create, as fibre is in fact the secret to all the health proclamations associated with a vegan or vegetarian diet, including: reducing likelihood of metabolic disease, lowering blood pressure, high antioxidant consumption, the ability to reduce inflammation and a lowered risk of obesity. Need any other reasons to incorporate chickpeas (perhaps this chickpea pancake) in your diet? I hope this becomes a staple in your home too.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan or crepe pan over medium heat. Add a tiny splash of oil, then pour in about 1/4 cup of batter, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for 60-90 seconds, or until you see bubbles appear. Flip and cook the other side for a further 60 seconds.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.