September 21, 2011
I’m kind of obsessed of quinoa flakes and flour. Not because they are gluten-free (though I love that, too), but because they add a protein boost that’s proving especially important now that the Hungry Boy’s back to school. And quinoa paired with hazelnuts, all wrapped up in a pretty pancake package—BOOM! This is the stuff of superhero breakfasts.
Well, at least that’s what the Hungry Boys said.
Maybe you’re all quinoa’ed out. I understand—was there myself at the end of the school year. But that’s why I’m digging quinoa flakes and flour. They’ve given me a whole new way to experiment with the highly nutritious grain.
Allow me to help if you need a little motivation to hit your local natural or health food store in search of quinoa flakes:
Though quinoa is commonly called a grain, it’s actually a seed related to leafy green vegetables like spinach. It’s naturally gluten-free free, high in fiber and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s also a great source of lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus. We may not know exactly what all this is, but I assure you it’s the stuff of super food.
Because it’s less processed, whole “grain” quinoa is better for you than quinoa flakes or flour. That said, for recipes like pancakes where the alternative is flour, quinoa—in any form—is a healthy bonus. Plus, quinoa flour and flakes don’t have nearly as strong a smoky flavor as the whole seed. In fact, these pancakes take exactly as though they were made 100% with flour. I’m sure you’ll find the same if you have a great gluten-free flour mix, which turns this into a delicious gluten-free breakfast.
Quinoa aside, roasted hazelnuts and orange give these pancakes a luxurious flavor perfect for a brunch with friends or to slow down the weekday morning rush… even if just for a few moments. These pancakes are as good sprinkled with a little powdered sugar as they are drizzled with warm maple syrup.
Make them, luxuriate, feel strong, then go save the world.
Orange Scented Hazelnut Quinoa Pancakes
makes about 12 pancakes
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)*
1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts
1 cup quinoa flour or 1 heaping cup quinoa flakes
1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend, plus more if necessary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons cooled melted butter, plus more solid butter for cooking
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1. Add hazelnuts and, if using, quinoa flakes to a food processor and zip until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand. (If using quinoa flour, grind hazelnuts on their own.)
2. Combine ground hazelnuts, quinoa flour (if using; otherwise your quinoa should already be mixed in with the nuts), all-purpose flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Whisk to work out all of the clumps.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, syrup, orange juice, butter, zest and eggs until well combined.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking all the while until well combined. The batter should have the consistency of a conventional pancake batter; if using quinoa flakes, you may need to add extra flour, a small sprinkle at a time, to achieve the right consistency. Also, your batter will have texture because of the hazelnuts, but it should not have lumps.
4. Heat a well buttered pan or griddle over medium heat. Add batter 1/4 cup scoop at a time and cook until bubbles form around the edges. Flip and cook for another two minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or drizzle of maple syrup.
*Note: These make a great early finger food for any child already eating nuts. If your child is not yet managing soft finger foods by 8-months-old, hold off. Otherwise, cut into age appropriate bites and serve. Consider skipping the powdered sugar and even the syrup for children under 12-months-old. These have a sweetness on their own that should be enough for early eaters.
Guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics say there is no benefit on holding off on high-allergen foods beyond 6-months-old. Read more if you have concerns about feeding your little one nuts.