Quick fix: Veganizing pancake mix

Sunday always has me dreaming of waking up to fluffy pancakes. That are vegan. And made by somebody else. But since I married someone from a culture where eating sweet things for breakfast is incomprehensible, I’m on my own here. There are plenty of vegan pancake recipes out there in the universe. But sometimes I don’t want to make a huge mess in the kitchen or work that hard on a Sunday morning. Or, on days like today, we’re already running late for our hike and need a fast breakfast. And that’s where I envy the convenience of pre-made mixes. One box plus a few ingredients, mixed together in one bowl make for easy eating and minimal dishes. Darn you, omnivores.

IMG_0519As I prepare to – yet again – dismiss that dream of Sunday morning pancakes, my eyes light upon a bag of pancake mix I picked up last week when in Santa Fe for a friend’s wedding. In addition to being vegan, the ingredients sound divine: organic Hopi heirloom blue corn meal, whole pine nuts, and a blend of flours (spring wheat, whole oat, and organic soy), sweetened with beet sugar. Hello, Sunday morning. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

I tear open the bag and get started. Only three ingredients to add. Oil: check. Milk: no problem, non-dairy milk is an easy substitute. Last ingredient: 1 egg, slightly beaten. Argh. Really? Why’d you have to do that to me?

Looks like I’m going to have to work at this. Eggs can have many different roles in a recipe, and the first step is to figure out which is needed here. Is it for leavening? Probably not, as no one expects a pancake to be tall. What about binding, lightening, flavor, or structure? Don’t know. How about to provide liquid? Maybe. I grab a few cookbooks to review their vegan pancake recipes and see if I can figure out what’s different from their ingredient list vs. the one on the mix. They have the same dry ingredients, plus some kind of milk and oil. They have no eggs (duh). What they do have is water. Bingo. Easy fix.

griddleI whip up the mix with the required oil and milk and add in enough water so that the batter looks the proper consistency. I cook the pancakes on the griddle and toast some pine nuts for garnish. Everything comes out perfectly. Served with agave (we’re going for the southwestern theme here) and the toasted pine nuts on top, this is my new heaven. I can hardly wait for next Sunday.

The secret to veganizing pancake mix: Just add water.

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Quote of the Day

I did not become a vegetarian for my health. I did it for the health of the chickens.

~Isaac Bashevis Singer, winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature

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