October 29, 2010

Quinoa Pancakes: grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free & sugar-free

In the beginning of our gluten, dairy, and sugar free diet I had so much difficulty cooking pancakes that I began to use pancake recipes as my litmus test for cookbooks or blogs.  I can not even guess how many recipes we went through, until I found Ali's pancake recipes at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.  Ali is a dedicated wife and mother of four precious children and amazingly she still finds time to bless us by sharing her healthy and nourishing meals. I admire her masterful abilities in the kitchen. Just visiting her blog inspires me to be more creative and absolutely makes me awfully hungry! We enjoy many of the recipes from her blog and cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.

Recently, when we began eating grain-free, I wondered if I was going to have the same difficulty making pancakes as I did when we first began our gluten-free journey. I decided that I should start with the best tested recipe and work from there.  I hoped that maybe with a few modifications, I could create a grain free version of Ali's Apple Cinnamon Teff Pancakes.  We didn't want to miss out on our favorite pancakes, so what did I have to loose?

I knew that from previous experiences, baking with quinoa flour and coconut flour, I would need to have different proportions of flours and liquids. Both flours tend to be very dry and absorb liquid.  While I was at this experiment, why not see how they would taste with a little less honey and drop in some stevia. Amazingly, my first test turned out delicious-crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  No changes needed. 

I love it when kitchen experiments turn out so well that it fuels me to keep going just when I needed it most.

If you love pancakes as much as we do, and want a grain-free version, then I think you will enjoy this recipe.  A great big thanks to my friend, Ali.  May you be blessed as you are a blessing.

 Quinoa Pancakes
Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free

Mix the following dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl:

1 1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Set aside.
 In a separate bowl, mix the following wet ingredients together:

 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, lite
 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
 2 large eggs
 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted (need extra for greasing the pan)
 1 tablespoon honey
 15 drops of liquid stevia - I use Body Ecology Stevia*

*Body Ecology Stevia Conversion Chart

1 cup sugar= 1 teaspoon liquid or powder

1 tablespoon sugar= 1/4 teaspoon powder, 6-9 drops liquid

1 teaspoon sugar= pinch to 1/16 teaspoon powder, 2-4 drops liquid

While I mix the ingredients together, I begin to heat a very large stainless steel frying pan over medium low heat.  (My pan is very heavy and takes a while to heat) 
Sprinkle a few drops of water onto your pan. If it 'dances' or jumps from the pan with a sizzle, the pan is ready for the batter.

Melt approximately a tablespoon coconut oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan.  Using a ladle, a measuring cup or spoon, pour the batter onto the hot frying pan.  Cook pancakes on first side until bubbles form along the edges and the bottom is brown.  Using a spatula turn them over and cook on the other side until browned. Remove from the pan and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

A few links to some of our favorite recipes at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen


  1. Wow, awesome job on these pancakes! I couldn't agree more on Ali and her recipes. She does such a fabulous job with everything on her blog and in her and Tom's cookbook. It's really so much more than a cookbook because it has great reference and resource info, too. :-)


  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Shirley! I am very thankful that I have support and people like you cheering me on. Pancakes are such an important part of feeling "normal" for my boys and I'm glad they turned out. Thanks for stopping in to visit. ~Debbie

  3. Your quiboia pancakes look amazing & I must try them tomorrow evening!

    They look so appetizing!

  4. Thanks Sophie! Oh, I hope you like them! It's good to see you here!

  5. These sound and look delicious! I need to buy some quinoa flour so I can make them. Do you have any idea how much powdered stevia you would put in?

  6. Iris, this is a really good question! I have updated the post with a Stevia conversion chart, but really it depends on what brand of powder you use. Some of the powdered stevias may contain fillers and bulking agents. It is really difficult for me to guess, but I hope the chart may help. I would try less than listed to start with, because you can always make a few pancakes to taste and add more as needed. You definitely don't want to add too much. The liquid I use is 95% rebaudioside crystals. Thanks again for such a great question. If you figure out please let me know.

  7. Oh my gosh, I love cooking with quinoa and I am also so glad I found your blog. I am your newest follower and found you through bklogfrog. I was wondering if you would be interested to share your favorite gluten free or quinoa recipe in a feature on my new kitchen blog, if so I would love to feature your recips and your blog! please email me if you are interested and have a great weekend! homeschoolfam@gmail.com

  8. Those pancakes look great. Ali is a terrific resource. Debbie, you do a wonderful job caring for your family and meeting all of your health needs. Your mother's heart always shines through on your blog.

  9. Linda, your words wrapped around me and encouraged me today. I appreciate your taking time to stop by. Lots of love.

  10. These look delicious! I'm still not eating quinoa or starches but I'm definitely keeping this for later!

  11. Hi Linda
    I'm also impressed with your blog, both the very thoughtful information clearly communicated and your recipes. I too am wondering if you would be okay with my featuring a few of your recipes in my blog? I would of course provide credit and links back to yours. Please let me know by leaving a message at my blog... thanks so much! (Merry Christmas & Happy New Year too).

  12. Hi,

    I thought that quiona was a grain?

    1. Hi Anonymous ~ You ask a very good question. Quinoa often is referred to as an "ancient grain" but actually it is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. I am guessing that this confusion arises due to the fact that it cooks like grains.


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