Simple 100% Whole-Grain Gluten Free Pancakes

sourmilk (13)

photo by vsimon

I have played with many kinds of whole-grain gluten free flours over the years. Well, some are not technically called grains. By definition, grains contain 3 parts. The germ, where the baby seed is. The endosperm holds food for the developing seed. And the bran, a protective covering.

All grains are seeds, but not all seeds are grains. Some nutritious gluten free seeds are treated like grains in baking and cooking. Buckwheat and quinoa are examples. For our purposes here, I lump all these flours into the whole-grain category.


When I meet a new flour, I start by making pancakes. Just the one flour in a basic recipe so I can see how it behaves, note the taste and texture. Pancakes are popular, quick, easy, and not a huge investment of time, effort, or ingredients. It is a good place to start.

Basic recipe 

This recipe is adapted from Best Buckwheat Pancakes on The gluten is gone and a bunch of fat. It is xanthan and other gum free. It works with or without dairy.

Dairy free if need be

I am not a fan of commercial dairy substitutes. They are often thin, tasteless, or taste awful, and are expensive. I use fruit juice instead. Apple, apricot juice, or pineapple work well. The natural sugars in the juice may make the pancake brown quicker. Just watch them and turn down the griddle if it burns too fast.

Fruity Toppings

We serve our pancakes with loads of fruit sauce. Most often pureed raspberries from our garden because we have so many. I like to add walnuts and whipped cream to make these a filling meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A hit of dark chocolate chips doesn’t hurt either. You won’t be hungry in an hour.

Blueberries and real maple syrup are lovely too. Or cooked sliced apples and brown sugar. Cranberries and pears during the holidays are nice.  

100% Whole-grain Gluten Free Pancakes

Serves 2

2/3 cup whole-grain gluten free flour, see notes below

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sugar, optional

½ tsp salt, optional

1 cup buttermilk, soured milk, or juice

1 egg

2 tablespoons oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and soda. Add sugar and salt if desired.

In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk (or other liquid), egg, and oil.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture, whisk until smooth.

Preheat and oil griddle. Ladle enough batter onto the griddle to make a 3-4” pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook a few minutes more.

I put a cookie sheet in the oven and preheat my oven to about 200 degrees. The finished pancakes keep warm while I finish cooking the rest of the batter. Everyone can warmly eat at the same time.

Here is what I found about each flour.

Which I go back to over and over? And which one’s I don’t like?

Clink on the links to more info for some of the flours.

And I caution you to use only certified gluten free flours. Trisha Thompson did a study of naturally gluten free flours that were contaminated during processing. You will pay more, but can be assured of gluten freeness if the product is certified.

Amaranth is mild flavored and moist, unpleasantly gummy. I don’t use this for pancakes anymore. It works well as part of a crisp topping though.

Buckwheat gives a dark thin pancake. It is best with sugar and salt added. This is our go to pancake flour.

Corn Flour makes a thin pancake with good corn flavor. I have tried adding 1 tablespoon to the batter for more texture, but it was not noticeable. And some sprinkled on top is not noticeable either. You could try adding 3-4 tablespoons if you want some extra crunch.

Masa harina is made from corn treated in a solution of mineral lime water. This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn, making the nutrient niacin more digestible. It comes in several grinds. Use finely ground masa harina for pancakes. It is beautifully yellow and has pleasant corn flavor. You will get a thick batter, but thinnish pancake.

Mesquite does not work. The flour has amazing flavor of cocoa and spice. But it thins out so much you cannot flip it. And it is so naturally sweet it burns. You do need to mix this one with another flour to be successful. Mixed 50-50 with brown rice flour works well. There is no need to add salt or sugar to batter.

Millet makes a light gold batter and a really tender and fluffy pancake. Adding 3 tablespoons whole millet gives a nice crunch.

Montina has pretty, thin brown flecks. This is one of my favorite flours too. I use 100% Montana flour, not the packaged blend.  You can make bigger pancakes because Montina is very high in soluble fiber and that helps it hold together. There is a shortage of Montina this year due to a small crop. Hopefully, next year will be better.

Oat flour is often heavy. I don’t use it for pancakes. Instead I reserve it for fruit crisps and the finest gluten free chocolate cake ever. See Beautiful, Gorgeous, Awesome, Gluten-Free, 100% Oat flour Chocolate Cake.

Quinoa flour can have a strong soapy flavor. I love quinoa grains, but not the flour. I don’t use it for pancakes.

Sorghum is lighter in color and mild in flavor, a good choice for those who don’t like dark pancakes. It is easily available and reasonably priced.

Teff is dark and delicious. I love this flour too, but it is pricy. It has a natural affinity with chocolate. I do too.

Timtana tastes grassy and needs lots of sweet and spice to hide the flavor. I don’t use it for pancakes, but did enjoy pumpkin muffins made with it.

Note: I use a different recipe for almond flour. It is adapted from Elena Amsterdam. I omit the vanilla extract, stevia, and arrowroot powder. But double the water. There are dairy free and delicious.

Roasted Witches Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

(reposted from 2009)

Trick or treat?  Treat for a Halloween dinner party, or family meal!

roasted witches fingers with honey mustard sauce

roasted witches fingers with honey mustard sauce photo by vsimon

And a treat when you use the non scary version of this recipe throughout the year- oven baked chicken tenders.

Do take it easy on yourself.  Once the hands are acquired, you can prep the fingers the day before and quickly roast, just before serving.

The honey mustard sauce can be made anytime.  It keeps in the fridge for weeks.  It is good as a salad dressing or on all kinds of cooked veggies too. 

We used grainy mustard here.  You can use any kind, even yellow.  That would look way cool on a black plate.

Roasted Witches Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

Serves 6 metric measures
1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast 600 gm
2 tablespoons oil 30 ml
1 cup tortilla chip crumbs, see note below 150 gm
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes 10 gm
2 teaspoons paprika 4 gm
½ teaspoon thyme 1 gm
¼ teaspoon black pepper .5 gm
15 black olives, sliced in half the long way 15
½ cup honey 120 ml
½ cup mustard 120 ml

Butterfly the chicken breasts so you have six portions.  “Butterfly” means to slice the breasts horizontally in half.  The halves will be thin and open like two pages in a book.  Cut each breast through, separating the pages.

Cut each butterflied breast so they look like hands with fingers. Butterflies, breasts, pages, hands, fingers.  Are you still with me?  Good thing there is a picture.

If you are making this on any given weeknight, cut the fingers all the way through.  So no scary hands.

Massage oil onto all the surfaces, including between the fingers.

Mix tortilla chip crumbs, dried onion flakes, paprika, thyme, and black pepper on a shallow plate.

Dip fingers in the crumb mixture until all surfaces are covered.

To make clean up easier, line a sheet pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.  Arrange fingers on top.   You can get 3D results of you scrunch foil to balls and drape the fingers over them.

Add a black olive half for each fingernail, omit for regular chicken fingers.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to roast.

You need a blazing hot oven to crisp these quickly.  So at least a half an hour before cooking, preheat oven to 425.  You could even heat to 450.

I can’t because that makes my smoke detector go off.  The oven is clean, the smoke detector just doesn’t like the heat.

Cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, or anytime, stir honey and mustard together.  Pour into a small serving bowl.

Note: you can easily make your own tortilla crumbs.  Pulse them in a food processor for just a few minutes.  Be sure to buy gluten free tortilla chips.

Southern Home-style Corn Flake Crumbs are gluten free, convenient, and tasty.  You might be able to buy them at your grocery store. Or you can order online.

I have done both, made my own, and used the premade gluten free crumbs.  Each works well.

Serve with  Foamy Bug Juice and eerie background music.

My costume is still undecided.  I have been a witch (not good this year), Marge Simpson with big blue hair (not good this year), a giant black spider (bug juice-also not good this year).   What are you dressing as this Halloween?

Foamy Black Bug Juice

[Reposted from 2009.]

I hope you are planning your Halloween dinner menu. How about starting the evening with Foamy Black Black Bug Juice?

foamy black bug juice

Foamy Black Bug Juice photo by vsimon

Foamy Black Bug Juice

Sweet, tasty, fragrant. Spicy fragrance, not icky stinky. And just gross enough in a clear glass. Make this right before serving for maximum foam. You can spike it with ETOH (alcohol) for the adults if you like.

serves 6 metric measures
1 tablespoon honey 15 ml
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 gm
2 tablespoons dark raisins 15 gm
1 cup grape juice concentrate 240 ml
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate 80 ml
5 cups sparkling water 1.200 liters

In a small bowl, stir cinnamon into the honey. Drizzle honey mixture around the inside rim of the glass. You will have sticky fingers if it gets on the outside. And that isn’t always a bad thing.

Add a few raisins to each glass.

Carefully add juice concentrates to a tall glass pitcher. Try to be neat and not to get it on the side of the pitcher. Or be messy, it just adds to the eeewww factor.

Add the sparking water and watch it foam.

Pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lots of foam. It will sparkle in your nose.

Stay tuned for the entree.