Gluten Free Banana Chia Pancakes

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Well, it is just a bonanza of successful cooking over here this weekend!  I guess that what a rainy weekend with no big plans will do…

My son is a big fan of pancakes, so I usually use the 365 Whole Wheat Buttermilk pancake mix and make a big batch for the freezer once every week or so.  We have him on a dairy free trial right now though, so I couldn’t use the mix because it has buttermilk in it.  This morning I thought I would just make a batch of pancakes from scratch without dairy.  So I mixed up all the wet ingredients and then realized I had no regular flour in the house.  Doh!  I did have some gluten-free all purpose flour, but most of the gluten free recipes call for xanthan gum as a binder and thickener, which I didn’t have either.

Thinking quickly, I decided to try chia seeds (read about the health benefits of chia seeds) in place of the xanthan gum due to their ability to thicken and bind..total experiment…and it worked out great!! As long as you don’t mind the little seeds in your pancakes, they don’t change the texture much at all, which was a nice surprise.  They were lightweight and very flavorful with a hint of coconut from the oil (read about the health benefits of coconut oil).  You might leave out the sugar if you are going to eat them with syrup though, as they came out a bit sweet. But I like ‘em like that just straight up!

Gluten-Free Banana Chia Pancakes

Adapted from Basic Pancakes, Everyday Food, September 2006

1 banana, mashed

2 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, or other vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 cup milk or dairy-free milk**

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour* (I used trader joe’s)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 Tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Melt the coconut oil or butter.  Add the mashed banana, egg, milk, vanilla, and chia seeds.  Whisk together until well combined. Let mixture stand 10-15 minutes for the chia seeds to soften and thicken the mixture.

Add other ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Lightly oil frying pan with an oiled paper towel.  Spoon mixture into pan and cook 1-2 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.

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Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more, until lightly browned on both sides.  Serve as is or with pure maple syrup.

*If your gluten free flour mix contains xanthan gum, omit the chia seeds, as the mixture may become too thick.

**If you are using a solid fat like coconut oil or butter, let your milk come to room temperature first so the fat doesn’t clump up

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