Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quinoa Pancakes

I bought a new packet of quinoa this week. Ever since our trip to Peru six years ago, I have always wanted to cook with quinoa but never had a chance.

When we were in Peru, we had lots of yummy quinoa soup, but that recipe looked time-intensive. So I was on the search for a quick quinoa recipe.

I ran into this quinoa cakes recipe in Martha Stewart's website, and this looks like the perfect candidate. I LOVE PANCAKES and other breakfast items, like PANCAKES. She also has a good number of quinoa recipes: clusters, cereal were just a few examples. But the pancakes.... well, enough said.

Preparation and Cooking

Since I have not cooked with quinoa before, I followed the cooking instructions on the package.
I also remembered that our guide from Peru said that we need to be extra careful preparing quinoa: rinse, rinse, rinse is what she said. So it's better to be safe than sorry.

I thought it cooked longer than what the package said, but that can just be due to my old stove.
I also decided to follow the recipe to the letter (well, almost). I used low-calcium soy milk instead of low-fat milk, and I had a few additions near the end of preparing the batter. 

preparing the batter
Preparing the batter

If you've made pancakes before, making the batter and cooking the cakes were straight-forward. The quinoa does add a certain lumpiness which makes it look more interesting. The batter seemed to be a bit bland, so I added about a teaspoon of agave nectar and alcohol-free vanilla extract would be a good addition (I would think regular vanilla extract would work, too).

quinoa pancake batter
Lumpy batter: Almost like mixing tapioca

Making quinoa pancakes
Cooking like a normal pancake

Here's the recipe.

Quinoa Pancakes
Slightly modified from Martha Stewart's Quinoa Cakes

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (prepare as package directed)
  •  3/8 cup all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
  • 1/8 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used alcohol-free)
  •  Non-stick spray, for cooking
  •  Maple syrup, for serving
  •  Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (optional), for serving

  1.  In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2.  In another medium bowl, mix together egg, egg white, butter, milk, and syrup until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
  3.  Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter and heat over medium. Drop about 1/4 cup of into skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes.
  4.  Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter (depending on your stove, reduce heat to low if overbrowning).
  5.  Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit, if desired.

Verdict and Next Steps

I love the difference in texture and flavor provided by the quinoa. I had fresh blueberries, so I served the cakes with the fresh fruit and about a teaspoon or two of maple syrup.

Quinoa Pancakes with Blueberries

I think this will be a regular part of my breakfast rotation. Just to make it healthier, perhaps I will use whole wheat flour or maybe even oat flour next time. 

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