San Diego recipe developer and photographer Rachel Conners started her baking blog, Bakerita, while still in high school. When her sister was diagnosed with Lyme disease and adopted a diet free of gluten, dairy products and refined sugar, Conners began developing recipes that her sister could still enjoy. Then she adopted a gluten-free diet herself and discovered that her headaches disappeared and her mood improved.
When she shared her new baking recipes on her blog, she found there was huge interest from people struggling with autoimmune disorders.
Now, more than 100 of her recipes are collected in her first cookbook, “Bakerita.” There are all kinds of healthy treats, from breakfast baked goods to chocolate chip cookies, an Apple Crumble Pie and even homemade gummy bears.
She says this recipe for vegan pancakes is a good starting point that can easily be customized: “The applesauce can be swapped out for banana or pumpkin puree to create your own flavor variations — banana-walnut or pumpkin-chocolate chip pancakes, anyone?”
Fluffy Vegan Pancakes
This recipe doubles or triples easily to serve more people. Makes 6 to 7 small pancakes. Excerpted from “Bakerita” by Rachel Conners. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
½ cup unsweetened almond milk or other dairy-free milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Coconut oil, for cooking
Pure maple syrup, coconut yogurt, fresh fruit, nut butter, bittersweet chocolate, or a combination of any, for serving
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and vinegar and let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes to curdle.
In a blender, combine the curdled milk, oats, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon if using, and salt. Blend for about 30 seconds until the oats are broken down and the batter is quite smooth. Let the batter stand for about 5 minutes to thicken up.
While the batter thickens, heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium heat until it’s medium-hot. Grease the pan with a small amount of coconut oil. Ladle or pour ¼ cup batter into the pan and gently spread out with the ladle or the back of a spoon. (If you’re using a griddle or large pan, you can cook more than one pancake at a time.) Cook until the edges of the pancake look cooked, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake gently and cook until golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. Keep the heat medium-hot to prevent burning. Transfer the pancake to a plate and keep warm by covering with a clean dish towel.
Repeat until all of the batter is gone, adding a little more oil to the pan between each pancake and stacking them on top of each other on the plate.
Serve warm, with maple syrup, yogurt, fresh fruit, nut butter, and/or chocolate.
If saving these pancakes for later, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.