Cinnamon Swirled Vegan Pancakes & Sweet Greek Yogurt frosting

IMG_3489The iHome above my Ikea bed frame read 9:51am.

Saturday’s don’t often see such an early rise, but the pitter patter above my basement room alerted fellow life. Consciously aware the weekend also opens ample time to play in our rather cramped space, slippers were slipped, and walking up the stairs.

My three roommates offered a likewise met smile upon my arrival into the kitchen. Continuing their own breakfast routine, there is an unspoken acknowledgement noting a lack in caffeine means to no more than a ‘Good morning’. Sleepily excusing myself behind Weston toward my assigned cabinet arena, somehow I managed to retrieve my ingredients from various canned goods, and market-branded bottles.

Pinterest is my ultimate hub of culinary inspiration, and these findings soon would be enhancing my ‘For Eyes Bigger than my Stomach‘ board. On a constant quest to transform the health factor of decadent treats, Chocolate Covered Katie has been popping onto my recipe radar and in fact, was the inspiration for these pancakes.

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In Katie’s words, her blog, “lets you satisfy your cravings in a healthier way.” Similar to my own curious concepts deceptively masking nutrition in commonly avoided foods, there was no denying my intrigue. Healthy cookie dough brownies? Sign me up.

Since moving to another humble abode in Seattle, my roommates have recognized my weekend kitchen residence causing raised eyebrows from my disclosed morning plans. Remarking on the absence of butter, sugar, & regular flour, I could only advise to wait for the final creation.

You think to yourself, ‘They have no idea this sweet, indulgent bite was made with garbanzo beans and dates.’

When someone else tastes my food, I happily indulge in my own little secret; you think to yourself, ‘They have no idea this sweet, indulgent bite was made with garbanzo beans and dates.’ You said you liked it, there’s no take-backs!

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While the pancakes themselves were actually quite easy to make, my tastebuds were initially pleased by the sponge like identity of dates. Not referring to the texture(these cockroach replicas want to stick to your fingers), but to the partnership of cinnamon and cashew milk whirling ‘nature’s candy’ into a legitimate cinnamon roll swirl. Good luck not finger dunking your bowl before giving the pancakes some love.

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The trick to a visible spiral post-flip is piping immediately after the batter is laddled into the pan. A Ziploc bag with a small clip in the corner does the trick for optimal consistency.

The recipe produced about four medium sized pancakes opening time to design the plate. As a strong believer in presentation contributing significantly to one’s dining experience, you could say this creation’s accumulated 3 hours was correlated. Yes, 3 long, glorious, artistic hours showcasing the details on a white foundation.

Beginning the Presentation

Bedding the star, dollop a hefty spoonful of the cinnamon whipped greek yogurt in a corner. Using the back of a cold spoon, press straight down into the scoop and rapidly spread in a circular fashion. Take a smaller dollop of the ‘frosting’ and place a few inches down from the original; follow the spiral in the same manner.

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Arranging the pancakes is up to individual discretion, but if circular stacks aren’t cutting it for you, feel free to let your geometric flag fly. Straight, long cuts are best for building hexagons, triangles, and squares. This is also the time to play. I kid you not, Weston literally brought a timer claiming I had ten minutes to finish. Some just are not so experimental.

IMG_3476Cutting the pancake into squares, the swirl is lost a bit, but I will guarantee, the flavor lives on. IMG_3489

I have no doubt my weekend foodie career will continue to be met with such remarks as, ‘Are we eating anytime today?’ ‘Hey, I’ll look forward to trying this around dinner time.’, but I have come to discover my perfectionism isn’t about impressing anyone else… this is my own selfish test; a time to build my own sense of pride.

2014 was a year of rough patches, scratching me with disappointing performance, and strong shadows casting over my successes. But when I’m in this place of complete freedom, no one can define right or wrong. There is no all-up guide to the perfect food; opinions are not facts. You are your own critic.

As an escape mechanism allowing opportunities to surprise and delight my supportive roommates, why wouldn’t I stay in the kitchen all day? Let me know what drives you to set up a food shop on Twitter. Happy hopping.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Cinnamon Swirl
  • tightly-packed 1 cup dates (140g)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

Blend everything together in a small food processor (scraping the sides down occasionally) for a long time until completely smooth. Transfer to a small plastic bag, making sure to get every last bit out. (Make sure all air is out of bag, then close with a rubber band.) Cut just the very edge off one corner of the bag. Now set in the fridge and make your pancakes:

Pancake Batter
  • 1 cup Bob’s garbanzo bean flour (or any variety of gluten-free flours)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tb cinnamon
  • 1 ts ground ginger
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil (20g) or unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Yogurt Frosting
  • 3/4 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tb cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia (optional)

Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, and stir very well.

Whisk together all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the dry into wet, and stir to form a batter. (If the batter is too thin, just add a little more flour until you get a pancake-esque batter.)

Lightly grease a medium skillet, and place over medium heat. When the pan is hot, turn to low and drop one small ladelful into the pan. Immediately take your filling bag and squeeze in a swirl pattern over the pancake. Repeat with other pancakes. Flip pancakes with a spatula when the edges begin to look dry. and bubbles form.

For making the ‘frosting’, simply add the yogurt and cinnamon into a small bowl and stir until spreadable.

Makes 20-24 pancakes (the size of the ones in the photos).

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