Saturday, October 29, 2011


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Cranberries are one of my favorite foods and the holiday season gives me plenty of opportunities to use this tart, healthful fruit in many dishes, both sweet and savory.  I'm going to devote the next three days' posts, the remaining days of MoFo, to the cranberry and its uses, along with three of my favorite recipes using this ruby-red berry (in the case of the aforementioned recipes, it will be in the dried form).

I developed this recipe about 3 years ago when I was determined to make a light, fluffy vegan pancake that was all whole grains but didn't SCREAM whole grain.  For a holiday recipe, I added one of my favorite flavor  trios: orange, cranberry and pecans.

Some of you may know that I'm in favor of using our healthful, antioxidant-rich North American berries, such as cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants, instead of jumping on every passing bandwagon of exotic, supposed "super-fruit" (such as goji or acai, for instance).  I wrote a bit of a rant about this, as a matter of fact, about 4 years ago, so I'll let you read it if you like, rather than repeating myself.

But a few facts: Native Americans used cranberries for food and medicine, both raw or or cooked and sweetened with maple sugar. In addition, they used them in poultices for treating wounds, and the leaves for diarrhea and urinary disorders. Cranberries were also used to prevent scurvy.

Cranberry juice may prevent the formation of certain types of kidney stones. A glass or two of cranberry juice every day for 1 to 2 weeks will increase the acidity of the urine, and decrease the risk of a kidney stone formation. As an added bonus,cranberry juice does not contain high levels of oxalate, a substance which can promote the formation of kidney stones.

That's enough science for today-- more facts to follow in the next 2 days!  Give the pancakes a try.  They contain four different kinds of whole grain flour, a combo that makes a very light pancake.  I like to keep all of these flours together in the freezer to have at a moment's notice when we feel like having pancakes, without scrambling around to find everything.

Printable Recipe

Serves 8
Yield: about 32/ 3 1/2" pancakes
Light, fluffy ALL-whole-grain vegan pancakes with the added fiber and antioxidants of flax, cranberries, and pecans. You can use this recipe as a template for plain multi-grain pancakes or pancakes with other flavors, fruits and nuts or seeds.

Juice of 2 medium organic oranges + soy, hemp or nut milk added to make 2 1/2 cups
Grated zest of 2 organic medium oranges
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons golden flaxseeds, ground in a dry electric coffee/spice mill (one that is NOT used for coffee)
2 teaspoons Ener-G or Orgran No-Egg egg replacer powder
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR a whole grain-based GF flour mix (such as this one)
1/2 cup oat flour (or grind rolled oats to powder in a DRY blender or coffee/spice mill and then measure)
6 tablespoons corn flour (NOT cornstarch—corn flour is finely-ground cornmeal; you can grind cornmeal as for the oats above if you can’t find corn flour in a HFS)
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Vegan "Buttermilk" (above)
Vegan "Eggs" (above)
2 tablespoons oil
VARIATION: For plain pancakes or other flavors: omit the orange juice and use 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus non-dairy milk to make 2 1/2 cups). Omit the cranberries and nuts for plain pancakes, or use other dried fruits and nuts or seeds.

Step 1) Mix the juice and nondairy milk of choice and set aside. (This is the vegan "buttermilk".)

Step 2) Heat up your pancake griddle- - you can use good, heavy, large nonstick or seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle on top of the stove instead, or an electric griddle-- and spray with oil from a pump-sprayer or wipe with non-hydrogenated shortening before each batch. You may want to wait until your batter is almost finished before heating the pan/griddle on medium-high heat. Drops of water should sizzle when sprinkled on the surface if it's ready. (On the flat plate[s] of an indoor grill, use the high or "sear" setting.)

Step 3)
Mix together the Dry Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl-- I use a whisk. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Set aside.

Step 4) Mix the water, ground golden flaxseed and the egg replacer powder with a hand/immersion (stick) blender or electric hand mixer until like a thick, frothy egg white. (If you don't grind the flaxseeds first, you will have to use a regular blender or VitaMix to blend the wet mixture.)

Step 5) For the Wet Mix, combine the Vegan "Buttermilk" and the Vegan "Eggs" together briefly, and stir in the oil. Pour it into the Dry Mix. Whisk briefly just until no dry flour is visible-- it will be lumpy and quite thick.

Step 6) Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the hot, oiled griddle and spread it out gently to a 3 1/2" circle with the back of the spoon. (I use a small gravy ladle that holds about 3 tablespoons of batter and that's perfect.) Cook until it has puffed a bit, bubbles appear in the surface and the bottoms are golden.

Carefully loosen with a spatula/pancake turner (if using a plastic one, make sure that it has a nice thin edge on it) and turn over gently. The center will rise a bit and be set, and the other side golden when done. Don't overcook the pancakes, or they fall and lose their lightness.

Serve on warm plates with Earth Balance and warm syrup (we like real maple syrup) or amber agave nectar. Yum!

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 4 pancakes): 415.0 calories; 20% calories from fat; 10.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 310.8mg sodium; 373.9mg potassium; 77.5g carbohydrates; 10.4g fiber; 3.5g sugar; 67.1g net carbs; 7.2g protein; 8.3 points.

WITHOUT THE NUTS AND DRIED FRUIT the nutrition facts are as follows: 
Nutrition (per 4 pancakes): 214.2 calories; 24% calories from fat; 5.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 309.0mg sodium; 332.3mg potassium; 36.3g carbohydrates; 6.8g fiber; 3.3g sugar; 29.5g net carbs; 6.8g protein; 4.0 points.



Sarah E. Hoffman said...

Cranberries are awesome! Those pancakes look good too!

urban vegan said...

Delicious! This makes me think that maybe next month should be Cranberry Vegan MoFo ;)