It’s an undisputed fact that vegetables in pancake form are more fun to eat than non-pancake veggies. Also, savory pancakes are great because you can top them with just about anything — hummus, salsa, stewed tomatoes, fajita veggies, sliced tomatoes, etc. — and BOOM, you have a delicious meal! You can always just make a lot and keep them in the freezer for those nights you don’t know what to cook for dinner. Bonus: There’s a good chance your kids will like these squash and chickpea pancakes too!
If you’ve never cooked with chickpea flour, I highly encourage you try it. It’s surprisingly inexpensive ($2.99 per lb.), and is a great source of protein (one serving has the same amount of protein as one large egg!) and iron. In addition to chickpea flour, these pancakes contain grated butternut squash, chopped leeks, and milled flax seeds.
This recipe may seem a little involved, but really it’s only two more steps than it would be to make regular pancakes. And if it gets your kids to eat some extra veggies, it’s totally worth it! To make things easier on yourself, I encourage you to buy butternut squash that is already peeled and cubed. That way you can just throw it in the food processor, pulse for a few seconds, then measure it out for the recipe. Easy!
This recipe is based vaguely off of a chickpea pancake recipe in Bon Appétit. Their version contained an egg and yogurt, so I adapted it to make it vegan (and thus better for you).
To make a vegan egg, all you have to do is combine 1 T. milled flax seeds with 3 T. water and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. This substitution works in most, but not all, recipes, so you’re just going to have to experiment. This also works with chia seeds.
Instead of using yogurt, I made a vegan buttermilk and added it to the pancakes to thin the batter. The original recipe served the pancakes with yogurt on top, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, to make vegan buttermilk, pour out half a cup of unflavored/unsweetened nondairy milk and add 1 T. vinegar. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes so it sours a little. Now it’s ready to use in your recipe!
I used canola oil to coat my pan when cooking the pancakes over medium-high heat. To read more about oils and their various smoke points, check out my RD friend Megan’s blog post!
Squash & Chickpea Pancakes
- 1/2 c. unflavored/unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 T. vinegar
- 1 T. milled flax seed
- 3 T. water
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts, chopped
- 1 cup grated peeled squash, butternut or kabocha (try to buy already chopped; pulse in food processor about 30 seconds)
- 3/4 c. chickpea flour
- 1/4 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 t. canola oil (for coating the pan/griddle)
- Garnish of choice: fresh herbs, hummus, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, greens, squeeze of lemon, etc.
- Prepare vegan buttermilk by combining nondairy milk and vinegar. Set aside.
- Combine flax and water, stir, and set aside. Let sit for about 5 minutes. This is your vegan egg.
- Heat 1 T. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the squash and cook, stirring, about 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, flax egg, baking powder, 1 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 cup water, 3 T. vegan buttermilk, and more black pepper if desired. Add the cooked vegetables and stir to coat.
- Heat 1 t. canola oil in a skillet or on a griddle over medium-high heat. Portion batter onto hot surface using 1/4 cup at a time. If batter doesn’t spread easily, add more vegan buttermilk. Now cook just like you would with regular pancakes, flipping when bottoms are lightly brown and bubbles form on top (about 4 minutes). Repeat until batter is used up, transferring each pancake to a plate lined with a paper towel (to soak up any extra oil).
- Serve however you like! Cut with cookie cutters for the kids, or serve atop fresh greens with pico de gallo, hummus, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lemon. Get creative!
What a great lunch! The leftovers are in the freezer for dinner sometime next week, and I’m already looking forward to it!