When our family first started experimenting with going grain-free, it was important to me to find simple recipes that didn’t call for unique ingredients. I didn’t want to make any big investments in case it wasn’t something we kept up.
After a week or two of breakfasts consisting of eggs or yogurt, I was desperate to find some more options! I tried two different grain free pancake recipes using almonds ground into meal (these almond meal pancakes and these grain free apple cinnamon pancakes from a Paleo site), but one was too dry and one needed more flavor.
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I selected the best of each recipe and created my own, and meshing them together made it just perfect. If you like cinnamon, you’ll love these grain free pancakes, and they’re no more work than a conventional wheat-based pancake recipe.
- In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine meal, stopping before almond butter.
- Add the apple, cored, if using a whole apple and food process until finely chopped.
- Continue with all the other ingredients in any order, either in your food processor or in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add milk if needed for thinner batter.
- Cook over medium to medium-high heat in butter or coconut oil until bubbly and slightly dry on the edges, and flip once.
- Serve with butter and maple syrup. Leftovers will refrigerate or freeze just fine and reheat in the toaster oven, as they are very sturdy pancakes.
* Time-saver: Grind almonds in a batch and keep in the freezer to make breakfast prep quicker. Just be sure to stop before you reach almond butter – a fine meal is the goal, and once the nuts start swishing around and starting to stick together just slightly instead of food processing evenly, it’s time to stop.
* When you have already ground almonds, you can either chop the apples or just use applesauce, and then you don't need to get the food processor out in the morning.
* UPDATE: a reader tried the recipe with almond meal/flour and it works great! She did not need the coconut milk or any liquid for moisture, possibly because she used applesauce instead of an apple. That makes it an even easier, quicker breakfast!
* UPDATE: another reader made a CAKE out of the same recipe! Double these amounts and pour into a glass 9"x9" pan. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until it's done. Tastes like coffee cake!!
* We tried it without eggs for our newly egg-allergic child (2016). I used the flax-egg substitute of 2 Tbs. flax in 6 Tbs. water, but it wasn't really successful. The baby loved them, but they were super hard to flip and very crumbly. I might try psyllium husk next though!
Finding the Right Almonds
While these pancakes can be made with any almonds, blanched, whole, pieces, and even purchased almond meal, there’s something about almonds you may not realize.
Have you ever purchased “raw” almonds in a store to make crispy nuts, taking the time to soak, then carefully dehydrate at a low temperature to preserve the enzymes?
If so, you may feel hoodwinked.
All almonds sold in stores are pasteurized.
Even if the label says “raw.”
All of them.
If the almonds are organic, they’re pasteurized using a burst of steam. Otherwise, most likely chemicals are used in a process called PPO, or Propylene Oxide. It’s FDA and EPA approved. Of course.
The idea behind them still being labeled “raw” is that the treatment is only on the outside and doesn’t really “cook” or (apparently, according to the government) alter or effect the inside or nutritional value.
If you don’t like the idea of chemicals being puffed at your food, whether EPA says it all goes away in a few minutes or not, or you want truly raw almonds, you have to buy directly from the grower.
You can find farms like this one selling online, but the almonds aren’t cheap.
I recently tested out some almonds (delicious!) from Just Almonds, a great middle-of-the-road option where they steam pasteurize the almonds and sell at a great price. If you buy 25 pounds of nonpareil almonds, which you’ll want to do when you fall in love with these grain-free pancakes, they’re only $4.12/pound.
You can even buy the broken (aka “ugly”) almonds, which are perfect for grinding recipes like this one and the power bars in Healthy Snacks to Go, starting at $3.55/pound for just 5 pounds, and only $2.98 once you order 25 pounds. As long as you’re not serving fancy guests, why not eat broken ones, too?
Just Almonds shared a coupon code for KS readers to make things an even better deal: use the code “KS” to get 10% off any order!
I hope to work more with Just Almonds, so if you’re interested in their products, definitely give them a visit so they see that the KS audience is the right one for them! 😉
If you don’t have a dehydrator and use an oven to make crispy nuts (or just don’t at all), I feel like Just Almonds is a great place to stock up. We go through so many nuts around here, it’s a little insane.
(By the way, in a little sprouting experiment, the Just Almonds did just as well making little sprouts as the truly raw almonds I bought from the farm…)
UPDATE 3/16/16: A reader told me recently that the almonds sold at Trader Joe’s are steam pasteurized, so if you’re lucky enough to have a store near you, stock up!
Other Grain Free Pancakes
- Even easier, you’ll love the simplicity and sweetness of these banana paleo pancakes, which we eat without even adding syrup.
- The best part about these pumpkin paleo pancakes, other than the great taste, is that there’s a whole cup of veggies in every dozen or so pancakes. Veggies for breakfast? Possible!
Disclosure: Just Almonds sent a free sample for my review but no money changed hands. I’d love to have them advertise and run a giveaway here, so give them a visit so they know the KS audience is right for them! I’m an affiliate of Heart of Cooking and will earn commission. See my full disclosure statement here.