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Ben's Friday Pancakes

This unique pancake has no flour but uses highly digestible soaked whole grains.  Adapted by Bastyr student Ronit Gourarie from Rebecca Wood's superb cookbook The Splendid Grain (William Morrow and Company, Inc, 1997). Ronit routinely served these beauties to her son Ben every Friday.  

2/3 cup
steel cut oats
1/3 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
cup water
1 egg
teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

teaspoon grated nutmeg

Combine oats, buckwheat, yogurt and water in blender jar.  1 cup milk* can also be used. Cover and let soak overnight or 6-8 hours in the refrigerator.  

Put blender bowl on base.  Add remaining ingredients to grains and blend until smooth.  Add a little water if needed. Preheat an oiled griddle or skillet.  Pour about cup batter onto griddle and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden.  Repeat until all batter is used.  Keep finished pancakes warm in the oven while you finish.

Prep time: 15 minutes plus 8 hours soaking time
Makes 6-8 pancakes

FOR BABIES 10 MONTHS AND OLDER: Cut pancakes into small pieces and serve.

*Any milk, cow, goat, rice, soy or nut, can be used.  I also like using a combination of yogurt and water to soak the grains.


Lynne Lillie
These look exceptional! Can't wait to try them. I love soaking grains overnight for cereal--more easily digested that way, I'm told. My current recipe for pancakes uses spelt and kamut flours--it's a crowd pleaser. Yet pancakes without flour, and with soaked grains seems like an even better idea. Thank you.
March 19, 2009, 8:49 pm

Nicole Pita
I've made these pancakes several times now and the best trick I've found is to follow the recipe to a T, without adding any extra water, even if it seems to need it! I've fed my roommates and boyfriend these pancakes and only afterward told them they were wheat free. We all love them! Thanks for this great recipe.
November 8, 2009, 7:32 pm

Suzanne Teller
Hi Cynthia, I bet this recipe will be a BIG hit with my pancake-lovin' 2 year old! One question: Do you think it would work to substitute whole oats in place of the steel-cut oats? Thanks!
December 5, 2009, 4:47 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi Suzanne, Whole oats should work fine. Just be sure to give them the full 8 hour soak (10-12 would be even better) and really let the blender run so the batter isn't grainy. Enjoy!
December 5, 2009, 8:55 am

Hello! I am loving your cookbook and this site. You have made cooking healthy food fun and delicious! I have a question about a pancake recipe in your book (Goldie's Whole Grain Pancake Mix, p. 87): It calls for blue cornmeal yet I am having trouble finding it near me. In your opinion, would yellow cornmeal work or should I hold out until I find blue? Thanks in advance!
February 11, 2010, 3:44 pm

Madeline B
My husband and I LOVE this recipe! The nutmeg totally makes it. It seems as healthy as eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast too, which I love. I wanted to share it with someone I know who is allergic to gluten -- but she told me that oats contain gluten! It that true? I thought gluten was only in wheat and barley...
February 22, 2010, 3:36 pm

Cynthia Lair
Julie - yellow cornmeal will work fine! Madeline - oats don't have gluten (though some dispute this) but they are often contaminated by being processed in a plant where wheat is also processed. Certified gluten free oats and oat flour are available from a company called Montana Monster Munchies.
February 22, 2010, 11:06 pm

Cynthia-is there a short cut if you have forgotten to soak the grains over night? Would it help to toast them in the morning? Thank you!
May 9, 2010, 7:02 am

Leah Niu
My daughter has been asking for pancakes every morning for the past week, I think her grandma has made them for her. I've never made pancakes before and I'm super glad to have this recipe so I can make these for her 2 year birthday breakfast! One question though, what could I use to make these vegan? I was thinking of replacing the egg with either egg replacer or apple sauce, any suggestions?
May 24, 2010, 10:16 am

Cynthia Lair
Hi all, THere are not really any shortchuts for soaking. The soaking softens the grains so that they can be blended. This process takes time. You can make vegan pancakes by omitting the egg. It doesn't have to be replaced. The pancakes will be thinner, less buoyant.
May 24, 2010, 1:42 pm

Linda Parker
Is there a way to adapt this recipe to make waffles?
May 28, 2010, 11:01 am

erin l
Our son is allergic to dairy and soy. What could I sub in for the yogurt?
June 3, 2010, 7:13 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Erin, On the recipe above I list alternatives using an asterisk at the bottom of the recipe. Using 1 1/4 cup of nut or rice milk works fine.
June 4, 2010, 7:49 am

Amy P
My family wants me to make these for them when we go camping (b/c it worked great last time). Last time I soaked the grains overnight, blended them, then packed them up until the next day's breakfast (so grains soaked for 48 hours prior to adding eggs, etc). Will this work for a longer trip? How long can the soaked grains (soaked in Almond milk) last?
June 16, 2010, 12:49 pm

Cynthia Lair
Amy, The grains can keep soaking for several days. Eventually they will sprout. Then you will have sprouted grain pancakes. Haven't tried them but I'm sure they would be good. The sprouting increases digestibility and sweetness but would change the texture some.
June 19, 2010, 6:28 am

These are the best pancakes I've ever had. The nutmeg is terrific. I like them with sliced banana or chocolate chips added as it's cooking. How about a crepe recipe?
September 5, 2010, 9:19 pm

Amy P
Thanks! This totally works for crepes as well. No nutmeg and add more eggs (and we do a nut-milk instead of the dairy), and they become pretty awesome crepes!
September 23, 2010, 5:46 pm

Sara L
I made your pancakes for my husband this morning and we both LOVED them! Thank you for such a great recipe!! Could you do a video on how you treat your cast iron pan? Can I use coconut oil instead of lard, and do I need to heat it? Are you supposed to do this every time you use the pan? Thanks!
November 3, 2010, 5:44 pm

Michelle L
I had not made these for awhile and made them today and added some pumpkin puree, allspice, and cinnamon, so wonderful! Love this recipe :)
November 4, 2010, 4:41 pm

Cynthia Lair
Michelle - adding the pumpkin and spices sounds like a winner.
November 5, 2010, 7:04 am

Cynthia Lair
Sara, We use either coconut oil or lard to season skillets in the Bastyr kitchen. We will definitely do a season your skillet video . Thank you for the suggestion!
November 5, 2010, 7:10 am

Natalie Bennon
I was wondering about draining off the soaking liquid and adding new water before blending? I thought that there was phytic acid released from grains when being soaked that needed to be drained, and then new water used. (Or so says Nourishing Traditions/Sally Fallon, at least, according to my understanding). (BTW, I love your FTWF book so much and have bought gift copies for several people).
November 8, 2010, 1:16 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Natalie, If you want to follow Sally's advice, yes I would soak the grains in water, then blend them with fresh yogurt and water. Sally likes to soak grains in fresh whey. If you're up for that, go for it!
December 30, 2010, 10:05 am

Melissa Bilbrey
These pancakes truly are Fabulous! This recipe has inspired me in many ways from making Muesli and also taking the time to soak my GF grains for general recipes. My 2 1/2 yr old has a severe gluten intolerance but also can not have Rice or Tapioca which is in most GF flour blends. Do you have any more (soaking)recipes similar to this one for cakes etc? SO appreciate your book and site your support has made my life easier and more fulfilled!
February 25, 2011, 2:20 pm

Cynthia Lair
HI Melissa, I have never tried to make a cake out of this batter so I can't help you. It might bake into something but I don't think it would be much like cake. Thank you for your kind comment about the site. This is a tough issue - gluten free and no rice either. My suggestion would be to just steer clear of baked goods rather than trying to duplicate.
February 25, 2011, 6:08 pm

matt sexton
I'm fixing the pancakes for a lactose intolerant person, so instead of yogurt and milk I'm putting soy milk and lemon juice for a buttermilk effect. I'm not sure how much of the substitute liquid I should put. Would it be 1.25c instead of the yogurt and water?
May 27, 2011, 11:20 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Matt, We make these dairy-free a lot in my classes. Soak the grains in 1.25 cups of any milk you like. They work fine.
May 28, 2011, 8:34 am

Natalie B
What kind of blender works best for these? I can't afford a vitamix, and I've burned 2 blender motors once I started making these, including the Oster beehive (although our beehive was 8 yrs old already; but it died after I started making these pancakes).
November 19, 2011, 8:39 am

Cynthia Lair
HI Natalie. Good question. We need to order new blenders for the Nutrition Kitchen at Bastyr University. I read the Cooks Illustrated test (they're usually right on) and one of their top two picks is the Kalorik BL Blender. I put it in our amazon store (page 6). Reasonable price too.
November 19, 2011, 9:41 am

Made these for brunch over the weekend with your applesauce recipe. They were delightful! Since brunch was an adults-only affair we added a little bourbon and vanilla to the yogurt/water mixture.
November 21, 2011, 12:56 pm

Marsha Stroh
This is the first recipe I tried on your site a long time ago and I have made it many, many times over. I am transitioning over to a more 'veganish' lifestyle and made these vegan for the first time today. I substituted a flaxseed 'egg' and soaked the grains in water instead of milk or yogurt. I threw in a handful of soaked almonds before blending this morning. The results were excellent! Thank you for posting such a flexible, nutritious recipe.
January 30, 2012, 8:34 pm

Kelly Merta
Great recipe!
June 6, 2012, 1:51 pm

Renee Pech
Pretty yummy! I made these today as breakfast-for-dinner waffles. Grainy-er than our usual flour waffles/pancakes, but they were good. I'll make the overnight pancakes, as indicated, some time soon.
February 25, 2013, 7:27 pm

Warren Leiden
I've been making these pancakes for years every Sunday. I use brown sugar instead of cane sugar, and cinnamon instead of nutmeg (except the time i used cumin, accidentally). Also, I separate the egg and whip the white to a soft peak before folding into the mix. Makes the pancakes rise higher and lighter.
August 21, 2016, 4:32 pm

Marguerite Girton
Thanks for posting the recipe! I make these all the time using buttermilk and baking soda. So delicious!
August 28, 2016, 7:58 am

Cynthia Lair
Warren and Marguerite - I like both of your ideas!
August 31, 2016, 7:50 am

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