For someone who’s never really cooked, December was a veritable cooking and baking storm. Early in the month, the kids and I visited my mom’s house, and the first casein-free, gluten-free, sugar-free foods we tried to make were pancakes.
Let me start by saying there is a reason I am such an awful cook*. My mom and I had a few options. She had found a packaged pancake mixture that said it was gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free, but its directions also called for you to add milk and sugar yourself. I also had a recipe from Elena’s Pantry, which was gluten- and dairy-free, but not sugar-free, and I had a recipe from a blog called Tula’s Story that follows the same restrictions. The only problem with that was it called for a few ingredients we didn’t have.
But, we figured, why let that stop us. Ingredients are more like suggestions than requirements, right?
- ½ cup organic pureed pumpkin (Check—except the can my mom had in her pantry listed 4 grams of sugar, which is natural sugar and pretty low, so we made an exception)
- ½ cup organic peanut butter (Check, though my mom grimaced when she took a bite of it—it needs sugar, she said.)
- 4 tablespoons ground flax (Hmm…I’m not sure what this is, nor do we have it. Oh, well.)
- 6 eggs (Amazingly, check!)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (Check!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (Check. Wait, no—baking powder is different from baking soda, we realized. We only have baking soda.)
We tried searching online for substitutes for baking powder and found we could use a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar instead, but of course, we didn’t have that, either. So we shrugged, sprinkled in a small amount of baking soda, and called it good enough.
Everything blended nicely, and Logan and Sadie had fun helping us mix. Then we ladled our batter onto the griddle, and crossed our fingers.
And who would have guessed—they turned out just fine. Well, we’ll say just OK. Mom didn’t like them, but I suspect she was wanting them to taste like pancakes should taste and be light and fluffy like pancakes are supposed to be. They weren’t very light, and they didn’t taste like pancakes, butter, and maple syrup. They tasted like peanut butter, mostly. But Logan and Sadie ate them and didn’t even ask for syrup (which I had—sugar-free!) All in all, it was a pretty good start to a holiday baking season.
*Love you, Mom!