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Coconut Pancakes

I try to look closely at any prejudices I have, seeing if I can gently nudge them out of the dark recesses and into the light. And for the past few years, I’ve had a pretty deep prejudice against coconut flour.

You might have noticed the rise in all things coconut in the past few years. Coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut vinegar, coconut amino acids — coconut is having its star moment right now. When I was a kid, we had some coconut-flavored cupcakes once. I don’t remember it ever showing up in anyone’s kitchen, other than that. Now though, you can’t avoid it.

I first learned to love coconut milk in Thai food, with decadent rich curries. After we realized that my husband is lactose intolerant, I started using coconut milk in place of cream. I prefer it now. Coconut oil, I learned, makes tremendous popcorn. I never reach for the vegetable oil when we’re making a big bowl of it. And just recently, since I’ve been putting away the bleached white sugar, I’ve fallen for coconut palm sugar. It’s dark and only faintly sweet, lower on the glycemic index than the ubiquitous white stuff. More than that, it has a real flavor. So you can say now that I’m pretty well in love with coconut.

But not with coconut flour. It’s a pesky one. It soaks up all the moisture around it, so when I try to convert a traditional gluten recipe with coconut flour, the final baked good ends up dry and bulky. Ugh. I kept buying cans of coconut flour and tossing it in the back of cupboard.

However, this morning, I realized in the weak December light that I needed to nudge this prejudice away. I made a batch of coconut pancakes.

And they were pretty darned great.

It turns out that accepting coconut flour for what it is, embracing its coconut-ess, making pancakes with coconut palm sugar and coconut oil? That’s the way to wave goodbye to those prejudices.

COCONUT FLOUR PANCAKES, adapted from this recipe from Nourishing Days

4 large chicken eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
coconut oil for the pan

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and soy milk.

Combine the coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then combine them fully with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry if the mixture is thick. It should be almost as thick as wallpaper paste. (I know. There’s an appetizing reference!)

Heat a skillet over low heat. Add enough coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Plop 2 tablespoons of the pancake batter into the heated oil. We like to make 3 pancakes at a time in the skillet. Let the pancakes cook for a few moments until the bottoms have stiffened, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes. Cook them until the bottoms are browned and stiffened too.

Repeat with the remaining pancakes.

Makes about a dozen pancakes.

You can find more of Shauna and Danny’s recipes, essays, photographs and words of comfort about living gluten-free at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna shares food ideas and answers questions on Twitter. She also pins photographs and recipes on Pinterest and Foodily. There’s a great community at the Facebook fan page for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.

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