I have to confess I have come a little late to the coconut party. For years, I’ve been reading about the health benefits of coconut, particularly coconut oil, but I was having trouble digesting (pun intended) some of the conflicting information out there. I decided recently – thanks to a shipment of goodies from Grace Foods Canada – to take a serious look at cooking with coconut products, primarily because I love the taste of coconut. My experimentation efforts got a boost when I received The Complete Coconut Cookbook, a treasure trove of practical information along with easy to make, nutritious, gluten free, nut-free, vegan coconut recipes. I’ve adapted a recipe from the book to create my version of coconut flour-based pancakes and expect I’ll be diving into the book again and again as I learn how to work with coconut in many different forms. My recipe produces gluten-free pancakes that are as delicious as they are hearty. Don’t skip the warm pineapple jam – it’s easy to make and incredibly flavourful.
Caramelized Pineapple Jam (make ahead):
- ½ fresh pineapple, grated (you want 1 cup / 250 mL) of grated fruit
- ½ cup (125 mL) water
- 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup (125 mL) oat flour *
- ¼ cup (62 mL) coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) potato starch
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon (.65 mL) salt
- 2 tablespoons (10 mL) coconut sugar
- ½ cup (125 mL) mashed, very ripe banana
- 1 egg, beaten **
- ½ cup (125 mL) full-fat coconut milk, stirred well before adding
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut water
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coconut or apple cider vinegar
- Additional virgin coconut oil for cooking
- fresh fruit, for garnish
* to make oat flour, simply pulse quick-cooking or large flake oats in a food processor or blender until they have the texture of coarse flour
** for vegan pancakes, omit the egg and add an additional ¼ cup of mashed, very ripe banana
For the pineapple jam:
- Combine the grated fruit and water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat so it is just simmering. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Add sugar and lime juice and cook an additional 20 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, some of the fruit will start to stick to the pot and turn amber coloured as it caramelizes; this will give the jam a fantastic flavour. Just be sure to watch the pot closely and stir often so the jam does not burn.
- Transfer hot, cooked jam to a clean canning jar and refrigerate for up to two months.
Makes one 8 ounce (250 mL) jar.
For the pancakes:
- In a large bowl, whisk together oat and coconut flours, potato starch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. (You can do this the night before to speed things up in the morning.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, mashed banana, beaten egg (if using), coconut milk and water, 2 tablespoons (30 mL) melted coconut oil and vinegar.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring quickly until just blended. Be sure there are no patches of dry ingredients at the bottom of your bowl.
- Heat a cast iron or non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add enough coconut oil to just barely coat the surface.
- Drop the pancake batter in ¼ cup (60 mL) portions onto the hot cooking surface, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon. Don’t overcrowd the pan or you will have difficulty flipping the pancakes.
- Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes, then carefully flip them over.
- Cook for another 2 minutes until golden brown on the bottom.
- Repeat with remaining batter, adding additional coconut oil to the pan or griddle as needed.
- Serve hot pancakes with warm pineapple jam and fresh fruit.
Makes approximately 12 – 14 hearty pancakes; enough for 3 – 4 servings.