Vegan Carob Chip Pancakes

by Gena on December 9, 2010

I was thrilled with the discussion on yesterday’s “cruelty free” post. Thanks so much, all of you, for adding to the conversation so intelligently! Lots to consider–especially the many interesting remarks about weighing vegan priorites and environmentally friendly priorities together. If you haven’t chimed in yet, do.

And today, I return to you with a post that’s considerably lighter. Let’s talk about pancakes.

The last time I shared a pancake recipe, it was the blueberry spelt pancakes that I prepared for my Mom during our staycation. That was quite a while ago! When I happened to mention vegan pancakes to M over Thanksgiving weekend, and saw him perk up with excitement, I knew that pancakes were destined to be our next vacation breakfast. The following morning, I woke up, surveyed the kitchen, and pondered what to make. The decision became easy when I remembered that M had a bag of vegan carob chips sitting in his freezer.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but carob goodies are one of my favorite varieties of vegan “junk food” — carob chips, and carob covered rice cakes in particular. Beyond that, I’m just a giant carob fan to begin with. This isn’t because I want a chocolate replacement: there is no replacement for chocolate! I just happen to think carob is delicious, and I like that it’s also a good vegan source of calcium.

This was my first time making carob chip pancakes (or chocolate chip pancakes, for that matter), and used a simple pancake “template,” adding carob chips at the end. It’s nice when we know the proportions of a certain kind of food (pancakes, soup, scramble, whatever) so well that the recipe sort of resides in our memory: that’s how I judged proportions on this one.

The kitchen smelled heavenly–as only kitchens in which pancakes are being prepared will–and by the time I’d finished up the batter, M and I were ravenous.

Gena’s Vegan Carob Chip Pancakes (serves 4, or two people who want leftovers)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour*
2 tbsp ground flax OR 3 tsp Ener-G egg replacement mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sucanat or brown sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegan carob chips

*NB: Normally I would use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour here, but what we had was either whole wheat flour or all purpose. To avoid an overly grainy taste, I used a combination, but you could certainly use all whole wheat if you like.

1) Mix all dry ingredients

2) Coat a griddle or large skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium.

3) Mix the sucanat and wet ingredients, and then fold them into the dry ingredients.

4) Fold in carob chips.

5) Ladle the batter by two heaping tablespoons at a time onto a hot griddle. When you see bubbles form on top, and the edges of the pancake can be lifted easily with a spatula, flip the pancake over and finish cooking.

Chef’s tip: if you’re worried about keeping the pancakes warm as you finish the batter, layer them in between cheesecloth or paper towels.

6) Top with real maple syrup, or earth balance…

or a sprinkle of fresh fruit…

…and enjoy!

Silence ensued as M and I devoured our stacks of warm pancakes, occasionally taking a moment to emit an “mmm” or “mmmohmygod, these are so good.” Who says that vegans need to miss out on brunch?

As an early riser by nature, I actually tend to ignore brunch as a meal, and with it vegan versions of the many delicious foods that brunch includes: pancakes, French toast, tofu scramble, etc. Even if I’m destined to rise at the crack of dawn, weekends are a nice time for me to put some thought into a special meal.

What’s the last brunch menu you created, and was good? Anyone have great meal recommendations for me?

See you on the morrow!

xo

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Christin@purplebirdblog December 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I have always loved the strange, earthy taste of carob… these are marvelous!

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Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan December 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

omg that is so weird i was so gonna make carob chip pancakes! I made homemade carob chips and everything!:

http://sketch-freeveganeating.blogspot.com/2010/12/homemade-unsweetened-carob-chips-vegan.html

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VeggieGirl December 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Oh Gena, those pancakes…. the former carob addict in me is shining through now! :D

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Gena December 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm

YAY! I got her to like carob again…

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Mama Pea December 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Did you write this recipe just for my family? Because I am going to tell myself that you did :)

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Gena December 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I did :)

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Vegyogini December 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I’m pretty sure I love carob way more than I love chocolate! These pancakes look delicious and it sounds like you and M shared a wonderful morning together.

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JL Goes Vegan December 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I need these pancakes! Great recipe!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Omg these look awesome! Only complaint would be that for me to get into pancakes, I have to drown them in syrup LOL. You used the syrup on 4 whole pancakes that I would have used on 1 bite. Not kidding, I confess, I eat pancakes just to eat syrup…haha :)

Seriously…Great recipe! It’s very hard to make vegan breakfast foods since eggs are so helpful with pancakes, waffles, etc. I also eliminate the gluten so it’s even harder. Something about GF mixes just dont really do it for me. So I am not a huge breakfast foods person, even tho as a kid I loved them!

Anyway, delish eats, as usual :)

Oh and carob. I like it but you’re right, not a replacement for chocolate…then again, is anything?! :)

And the chef’s tip/paper towels to keep warm….NEVER knew that but will be using that one, thanks, Gena!

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bitt December 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

have you tried bob’s red mill GF flour? good stuff.

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Gena December 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I actually have a lot of gluten-sensitive clients now, so the GF flour tip is good. I’ll have to explore the world of vegan baking a bit more, to help my peeps!

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Reactoss December 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I’ve used a mix of spelt and chickpea flour for pancakes with good results using chia seeds as an egg replacement (1 tsp of ground seed to 1.5Tbsp of water for 1 egg and let set).

A friend was on the candida diet and I made those with stevia and a syrup of unsweetened rice milk, carob and stevia and they were awesome. Carob completely rocks my socks :D

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Reactoss December 9, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Ah! Sorry, those are Wheat-free NOT Gluten-free! Hmm, I’ve done them with homemade oat flour and chickpea flour mixed but I’ve heard a lot of controversy about whether oat is gluten free or not depending on where it’s grown. I’ve made big fluffy savoury fritters using fine polenta/cornmeal (holds things together nicely), chickpea flour and chia-seed egg so that might be an adaptable option for sweet pancakes as well (I might need to give that a shot next!).

Good luck with the gluten free mixes, I tried one once to make a shortcrust pastry and it was a disaster, rice flour in the mixes seems to make things so *crunchy* :(

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Lauren December 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Send a stack of these my way!! :)

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Heather December 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

As someone with a corn intolerance, I’m slightly confused by carob. I know there are actual carob trees and pods, but I always see corn in the ingredient list for carob products and can’t find much info as to why this is the case.

Do you know if ALL carob is made with corn? I guess I’m wondering whether carob powder is pure and safe for me to eat… It’s so frustrating because I used to ADORE carob (prior to learning of my corn intolerance) and miss it hardcore.

And now I’m craving it desperately. :P

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bitt December 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I’ve had great success using GF all purpose flour as a replacement in a few vegan pancake recipes. Chris has the same delight with pancakes. I personally am not a big carob fan and it doesn’t help that there’s almost always barley paired with it (gluten). But if anyone is curious, Enjoy Life makes a great allergen-free (no gluten, dairy, soy) chocolate chip that is nice and tiny and perfect for pancakes.

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Gena December 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Great tip, B! Any ideas about the corn query above?

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bitt December 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Dont know but I’ll put it to my corn-allergic friend to sleuth out.

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bitt December 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm

this is what she said:
You know, i have always been wary of carob, but that was because it is a legume and some people allergic to soy react poorly to carob. i would recommend they purchase thru raw vegan source or other source that does not have additives. corn is added to many things to enhance texture or sweetness. Baking powder, powdered sugar, etc add corn for texture. purchasing the nibs and putting them thru a food processor may be safest.

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bitt December 10, 2010 at 9:11 pm
Kate@andwhenshesays December 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Yum! Cannot WAIT to try these on a cozy weekend morning…

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I agree– I love carob!! The veg restaurant I used to work for had GREAT carob chip cookies, and I’ve loved it ever since!

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Namaste Gurl December 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

These look amazing, Gena! I’m a single- lady kind of a cooker, so I may just reduce recipe and whip up a batch for myself……

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Christine (The Raw Project) December 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Wow, this looks fantastic! I will probably need to try them Christmas morning as hubby always wants pancakes then. Thanks!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) December 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Love me some pancakes!! Big thick fluffy ones. The problem I’ve found with many vegan recipes is that they’ve been thin and distinctly un-diner-like. I guess I’ll have to keep trying–thanks for giving me an excuse! ;) Not to mention a good reason to stay out of diners…

xoxo

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Coco December 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I’ve never tried carob, but goodness, these pancakes look gooooooooood!

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Ela December 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Loved your ‘cruelty’ post, how intelligent and well-written. I’m reading ‘Eating Animals’ right now – will chime in at some point maybe, but still mulling.

I’m with you: carob loses so many potential lovers through bad PR presenting it as ‘like chocolate,’ which it isn’t, but I _love_ carob! And it’s a Mediterranean heartland goodie. I’m always sad that the chips have barley in them, because it means I can’t have them – shall have to make my own.

If you made the pancakes with gf flour, btw, I’d recommend using Ener-g egg replacer rather than ‘flax eggs:’ the latter just doesn’t work so well with gf flours, though I wish it did.
love
Ela

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kristinefitness December 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I will have to try carob, love trying new things!

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Kelly December 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I’m a true carob freak, too, and made a similar batch of carob chip pancakes last weekend – they weren’t my favorite and I’m thinking it may have been the carob that I used (bulk from Whole Foods). What is your favorite source of carob?

I wanna try it the Gena way.

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Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA December 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I love carob. The first time I ever tried it I was a carob cake at Karyn’s Cooked in Chicago and it was amazing.

Last Christmas we made french toast for brunch that was a nice loaf of bread soaked in soy milk, apple juice, and cinnamon. It was sooo good.

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Colleen December 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

GORGEOUS pancakes! Love your blog :)

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Dori December 9, 2010 at 8:37 pm

OMG HEAVENLY. I really need these! Pancakes are my favorite food of all time and your pictures and presentation are making my mouth water!

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BroccoliHut December 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

These look fantastic! I’ve been on a bit of a pancake kick lately, so I’ll have to add these to my list.

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Brittany December 10, 2010 at 12:21 am

These look amazing Gena! I tend to dislike brunch as well – probably because I’m ready to eat as soon as my feet hit the floor. But, if carob chip pancakes were on the menu I think I could wait. :)

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FoodFeud December 10, 2010 at 12:35 am

I love carob too. My boyfriend and I are planning a brunch for this Sunday, which usually includes the same stuff: Tofu scramble, sweet potato hash, and pancakes with a fruit compote. I would certainly recommend any of that! Avocado on toast is always nice too!
This recipe may be an excuse to go get carob chips though…

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elizabeth December 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

Pancakes are one of those things I’ve never made from scratch. I always use a mix, and my favorite is the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free pancake mix. I do substitute ground flax for the egg(s) and I usually make them with hemp milk, though I think any nut milk would work – I’ve even made them with water. I use coconut oil in the mix and in the pan, and I get light and fluffy pancakes every time.

I know you’re not a fan of prepared foods, and I’m generally not either, but I do like blueberry pancakes (really as a vehicle to consume Vermont maple syrup – I’ll only eat two pancakces, but I’ll drown them in syrup), and Bob’s is a great company, so I’m happy to spend the extra money on the mix. I’m just not up for the gluten-free, vegan, baking challenge. Or for keeping all the different flours in the house (not practical in my case, since I bake so infrequently).

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Lauren @ Coachlauren.net December 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hi Gena! These pancakes look SO delicious!!!

I just wanted to stop by and say hello, I’ve been reading your blog for about a week now, I just found out about this whole “raw vegan world” and am super interested in adding more raw foods into my diet and eliminating meat. You’ll be seeing plenty of me from now on :)

Lauren

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JC December 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

A Holiday Thought…

Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

_____________

Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: veganvideo.org & tryveg.com

“Any great change must expect opposition because it shakes the very foundation of privilege.”
Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793-1880, minister, women’s rights leader, abolitionist, peace activist, humanitarian

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melissa December 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

delicious! I want to see photos of your tree!

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christyn @ All Ways Nutritious December 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

great looking pancakes!! yum!

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Pure2raw twins December 10, 2010 at 8:48 pm

YUM! I love pancakes, I have never had them with carob before…not I cannot wait to try them!
~Michelle

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Jen O December 11, 2010 at 11:09 am

I made these this morning! So so good! I substituted vegan chocolate chips instead of carob chips, because that’s all I head. I’ve never had carob or carob chips actually, so I will definitely pick some up at the store next time I go.

My husband will be happy to wake up to this this morning! Thanks!

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Saba @ Less is More (Fun) December 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

I’m really excited about this recipe because I always have these ingredients on hand and I never have the non-vegan ingredients (like buttermilk) on hand!

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