We’re kinda, sorta’ gluten minimalists around my house these days. It just seems like wheat (or the kind of wheat we all mostly eat) is getting a much-deserved hard look, and the picture isn’t pretty.
Cutting out wheat (mainly) also happens to rid us of some, though not all, of the empty, low-value calories in our diet, so that works nicely. In addition to ordering some Einkorn wheat flour (which is a varietal of wheat most folks ate before the new, easier to grow and less healthy, kind became the norm), I’ve been experimenting with alternatives.
I won’t burden you with the details of our experiment gone awry in attempting tempura with chickpea batter, which just has to work, but didn’t despite the implied promise of our favorite late-night Japanese cooking show…
More successful were these wonderfully vibrant sprouted blue corn pancakes, loosely resembling southern Johnny Cakes, and based on this simple pancake recipe. They fluffed up for a breakfast worthy of royalty, in shades almost too purple to eat. We doused them in maple syrup, and then nibbled the leftovers as snacks all day long.
One more thing: most pancakes, at least for me, leave me feeling both overstuffed and under-nourished by the fluff factor. In contrast, these were really filling and provided lots of good energy for the morning.
If your kids are older, these definitely beg for funny Grover or Cookie Monster faces on top, using bananas, blueberries, strawberries or grapes. Blueberries are great inside as well, for maximum purple effect.
For grown-ups, they’d also be nice blini-sized, with creme fraiche, greek yogurt or goat cheese smeared on them (though you’d want to thin the batter out a bit).
I also tried making polenta with this unique sprouted flour, using my stand-by recipe. It took longer to set up, but was delicious that way as well (next time I’d skip the rosemary, as it crowded the flavors a bit). It was worth all the stirring just to have this bubbling, belching purple cauldron on the stove.
This flour also makes awesome speckled purple playdough, per this recipe. I substituted the purple flour for 1/4 of the flour called for in the recipe, and it was still very Tyrian:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose blue corn flour (I used Flour of Life Raw Sprouted Purple Corn Flour)
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (optional: you could reduce, eliminate or sub in a natural alternative)
- 1 1/4 cups (organic, grassfed) milk
- 1 (organic, pasture-raised) egg
- 3 tablespoons (organic, grassfed) butter, melted
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and add the eggs, melted butter and milk.
Like Julia Child, we’re not afraid of butter ’round here. Melt it up and ladle them in. (These were, notably, too large, but also like Julia, we just went with it.)
Just like regular old brown pancakes, these do bubble. But they brown quickly as well, so check the edges and flip when those have firmed up a bit instead of waiting for bubbles throughout the middle.
Douse in maple syrup (optional: decorate with silly faces), and serve!