Perfect Paleo Pancakes

September 15, 2012 in Categories: , by

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These hotcake-style pancakes were a serendipitous accident.  I was working on a crepe recipe (which I later posted here!) and my first attempt was not crepe-like at all. Instead, I got a light, fluffy and delicious (if maybe a little too thin) pancake.  Once my crepe recipe was perfected, my next priority was taking a step backward to see if I could thicken up the first batter variation to make an even better pancake.  The results were more marvelous than I could have hoped for.  These pancakes are awesome!

One of the biggest complaints about paleo pancakes is that they are difficult to flip.  Because almond flour batters don’t hold together very well, you have to make small 2-3” diameter pancakes that also take an eternity to cook.  Coconut-flour pancakes hold together marginally better, but many people (myself included) don’t like either the texture or the flavor, and they still take 15-20 minutes to cook over low heat so they don’t burn on the outside before cooking on the inside.  Paleo pancakes also tend to be very dense.  I have tried 7 or 8 different paleo pancake recipes from other blogs, looking for one that works or was at least close enough to use as a base to experiment with.  I never found one I liked… until now!

These plantain-based pancakes are not dense; instead they are so light and fluffy.  They cook quickly (about 6 minutes total, which is comparable to traditional pancakes).  They are so easy to flip that you can make them as big as your pan (I made mine 5-6” in diameter) or as small and dainty as you like.  They also happen to be nut-free, and you can sub any fat you want for the coconut oil to make them coconut free.  See my recipe for plantain crackers for tips on picking and storing green plantains.

What can you top these with?  My kids love maple syrup and butter (total shocker, right?), but berries, sliced peaches, sliced bananas, or pretty much any sliced fruit would be delicious.  Nuts or a dust of cinnamon would be good additions too!  You could throw some coconut cream on top to be extra decadent. You can buy coconut cream in a box or you can take the thick fatty top part of a can of full fat coconut milk that has been sitting in a cool pantry or refrigerator overnight.  However you choose to dress these pancakes, I hope you enjoy them!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your skillet)
Servings:  6 large 5-6″ diameter pancakes

Ingredients:

  1. Peel plantains (I find it easier to quarter them before I peel them) and place pieces in your blender (preferred) or food processor (okay) with the eggs.  Blend to form a smooth batter (if your blender has a smoothie function, that works well here).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender or food processor and process on high for an additional minute (or 2-3 with a food processor to get a really good smooth batter).
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat.  Pour batter into the frying pan until your pancake is the desired size.
  4. Let cook 4-5 minutes on the first side, until the top looks fairly dry with little bubbles in it (just like regular pancakes!).
  5. Flip!  And cook on the second side for 1½-2minutes.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter, adding a little more coconut oil to your pan as needed.

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:

Comments

[…] I travel about a week a month, sometimes more. I find it hard to eat well in the morning.  At home, I’ll have a bulletproof coffee, sometimes I’ll add raw eggs and/or whey protein powder to it. And on weekends I’ll eat these amazing plantain pancakes. […]

It appears that you need a high-power blender for these to come out right, because they ended up dense, salty, and generally nasty (especially the ones at the bottom of the batter bowl) when I made them in my 14 C Cuisinart — yes, I processed them for 4 minutes initially and during the second run.

Hi,

I buy plantains and freeze them. After defrosting, by running cold water on them or putting them in the fridge, they are soft and easy to blend.

You could try that. Take care.

Dr. Sarah, Excellent recipe. I’ve made these a few times with mixed success, but this time I followed the recipe more carefully — and voila, it produced 10 perfect pancakes. I ate 3 and saved 7 for leftovers, but my non-paleo gluten-glutton husband ate all 7 in about 10 minutes exclaiming that they were delicious.

Cooking notes:
-Consistency is perfect in a Vitamix.
-On my high-BTU gas range top and All Clad D5 stainless pans, these cooked best started at low-medium, then reduced to low-low-med after the first batch of 3 (I made in batches of 3-3-3-1).
-Used < 1 T of coconut oil for all 10 pancakes, starting with all of it in the pan for the first batch, but I poured off the excess into a glass bowl and used a little of the leftover for each remaining batch.

Question for Dr. Sarah/anyone who's tried these:
-Ignoring dietary restrictions, any opinion on how alternative fats for the batter would work in terms of consistency and cooking quality? I usually love coconut, but found these to have a dominant coconut taste.
-Would they turn out OK with softened grass-fed butter in the batter, rather than coconut oil? Seems like this could produce a consistency similar to solid coconut oil, yes?
-I also use Nature's Way liquid coconut oil (has much less coconut taste but still high MCT), but since already liquid not sure how it would affect batter/cooking.
Thoughts? Many thanks in advance!

There are coconut oils that do not have coconut flavor. I use an expeller-pressed coconut oil whenever I don’t want coconut flavor.

We use melted butter with great success!
We make these a couple times a month and sometimes a batch for kid snacks during the week.

Extra virgin & virgin coconut oil have the coconut taste. Refined (expeller-pressed) coconut oit is tasteless and odorless. I have tried them with refined coconut oil and lately I have substituted with lard, in both the batter and the skillet. Taste and consistency are good. However, I do find them a little dry. I have been wondering how to make them moister. Any ideas?

[…] Perfect Paleo Pancakes – The Paleo Mom These are THE best paleo pancakes I've ever tried. They depend on you having green plantains, though. Ripe plantains can be used but the pancakes will be sweeter and banana flavored. If you have green, you'd swear they're regular wheat pancakes. Out of context quote for the day: Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. – Urban Forager Reply With Quote […]

These are awesome, but wondering how thick the batter is supposed to be? Mine comes out not pourable, needs to be scooped and spread in the pan, is this correct? If not, what’s the best way to thin it? Would coconut milk work? Thanks!

I’m wondering the same thing…but was thinking about chia eggs. I will probably try it tonight since I have a few plantains in the freezer right now.

YES!! Finally the perfect paleo pancake! I’ve tried so many versions…. this is the ONE!! and the kids agree! Threw all the ingredients into the nutri-bullet, and poured right into the pan,… thick but just spoon out the last bit…. I’m even more excited to have discovered the versatility of plantains for more batters/breads, instead of Omega-6 loaded Almond flour…. Thank You!!

I made them with just the yolks, (half recipe = 3 yolks) and they were GOOD! I didn’t have any vanilla, and they were still great.

I made these this morning and they were delicious! I’m not great in the kitchen and was able to make them very easily. I have a vitamix that I blened them in. I wasn’t sure how good they would taste and was very surprised how good they were. My husband even said they were good and he is not one to like alternative ways of making food items. I will be making these again and again. Thanks for the recipe!

The first time I made these I didn’t have a great turnout on them. I think my plantains were too small. The second time they were very good. I added lemon oil rather than vanilla and fresh blueberries to the batter. The blueberries got a little well done with the amount of time it took to cook them through but still tasted great.

We make Belgium Waffles with this recipe every weekend and we use the greenest plantains we can find. Makes perfect waffles that way. We have used ripe plantains with the peel turning yellow and the waffles were too soft and floppy. Now we put the green plantains in the refrigerator if we can’t use them all that day which keeps them in the firm state much longer.

Green plantains are not the same as yellow plantains. Yellow plantains are often used when they are mostly- or completely black for maduros/amarillos (sweet side food) and are sweeter in flavor. Green plantains are used to make tostones (savory side food), are not sweet in flavor, and are used when completely green, or only a very small amount of black is showing on the peel. Green plantains will hold up better than yellow ones when used as a substitute for flour.

We have these in Belgium Waffle form every weekend. My husband mixes the ingredients in the Vitamix and they make perfect waffles. We use a Waring Pro Double Belgium Waffle maker and he brushes the waffle maker plates with a little melted coconut oil and they come out easily that way. Using the Double waffle maker let’s us eat together too! He also folds in thawed frozen blueberries with a spatula AFTER mixing the other ingredients in the Vitamix so they’re not completely pulverized. Thank you for such an awesome recipe that makes us very happy! :)

If you live near a Mexican restaurant…. there is always plenty!! Tapatillo, Cardenas, or any fresh Mexican Market sells them. Mexicans buy them ripe and then fry them long thin strips, we will put sour cream and cinnamon with a touch of vanilla bean syrup. soooo good!!! We make them for breakfast!

Hi,
My son is allergic to eggs. Is there an egg substitute for the recipe. I was reading online that adding 1T of oil per egg maybe a good option. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks!

Great recipe! Just tried these out and topped them with butter and fresh berries.. some of the best grainless pancakes I’ve made! Thanks :-)

We make these a lot and really enjoy them. One of the best things about them is that unlike regular pancakes they down give you that blood sugar drop later.

If you ever consider making them with ripe plantains (Yellow) STOP. They are impossible to flip without a mess and horribly sweet.

Everybody loves your recipe here! A friend told me recently she does these pancakes every weekend, it has become a staple recipe for her :)
I made them for a brunch and nobody believed me when I told them they were grain-free. One of my friend is married to a guy with celiac disease, she’s glad to finally find something that is gluten-free and delicious :)
Thanks for sharing!

Wow wow wow!!! These are amazing and so close to the real pancake texture than any other recipe I have tried. If your batter ended up lumpy it just needs to be processed longer. Be patient and make sure you continually scrape down the sides of the machine you’re using. Paleo Mom, you’re a pancake recipe superstar! I can’t decide if these or your perfect pumpkin pancakes are my favorite!

Why am I just now finding this recipe??? Made it this morning for my kids and it was a huge hit! For years I’ve been doing the banana/egg recipe but I have to give them like 5 or 6 each because they’re so thin. These are at least 3x the size of those! Now I have leftovers for another meal! Thanks for these awesome pancakes!

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