Buckwheat header
One of my favorite parts of the week is Saturday brunch! Steph and I are both serious creatures of habit, and we both take meal time very seriously, so Saturday brunch is a ritual in our apartment. Last weekend, I made buckwheat pancakes!

Buckwheat is a grain I’m just now really getting into, mostly because it’s a complex carb I apparently can eat with wild abandon since it’s both incredibly good for you and is gluten and yeast free. And while I don’t actually miss cakes, cookies, and baked goods unless they’re placed directly in front of me,  I’m on a mission to figure out how to make all of these things with buckwheat so that when I do have a craving to sink my teeth into a blueberry muffin at home, it’s one that’s super healthy for me.

Most of the recipes I’ve found for buckwheat pancakes call for equal parts white flour, which is just out of the picture. I don’t miss white flour since I kicked it out of my life, and I have no intentions of asking it back in. So, as a newbie at this whole thing, I’ve been experimenting to find out which healthy flours I can substitute for white flour and get a delicious pancake. This recipe I made on Saturday is my fave so far.

I started using this Best Buckwheat Pancakes recipe I found on AllRecipes.com and made a couple small changes. I replaced the buttermilk with almond milk, the sugar with agave nectar, the white flour with brown rice flour, and the butter with canola oil.

The recipe I used:

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 6 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Whisk the almond milk, egg, agave nectar, and oil together in a medium bowl. Mix the flours, salt, and baking soda together in another bowl. Then pour the dry mix into the wet mix, stirring as you go. Heat a skillet with PAM no stick olive oil spray and pour a dollop of batter on. Wait until it bubbles, flip, and then do all over again.
Makes: 8 generously sized pancakes

Typically when you use agave nectar in place of sugar, you’re supposed to use ¾ of the original measurement and then reduce all other liquids in the recipe by 1/3rd. Buckwheat is a dark and nutty flour though, so I decided to keep all of the liquid measurements the same to lighten things up. I’d made this before using less liquid and it was just a little too heavy for me.

I served mine with raspberries, kiwi, and a drizzle of agave nectar in place of syrup. Viola:

Aug 22 - buckwheat
And on the side were 4 (crumbled) pieces of Applegate Farms turkey bacon and scrambled eggs made from Alderfer Eggs organic medium white eggs (antibiotic free, free roaming, vegan) and Almond Breeze almond milk. Steph actually took over the eggs and added fresh thyme from our landlords garden (she picked these for us a couple weeks ago), which ended up making the dish. The herbs were delicious in it! And of course a glass of grapefruit juice to drink (my fruit juice of choice – low in sugar, high in yum). Surprisingly, this does not make me feel STUFFED the way I used to feel after eating pancakes and eggs for breakfast – my guess is because I cut out the white flour, butter, and maple syrup.

I’m still playing with the pancake recipe to create different variations on it. I made it a couple weeks ago with blueberries in the batter, which was an awesome contrast to the nuttiness of the buckwheat. I think it’d be even better with blueberries AND strawberries in the batter. And I also want to give it a whirl with carob chips and see how that turns out. I wonder if using chocolate almond milk would be any good too… so many choices!

I’m also looking forward to making the perfect buckwheat muffins and carob-chip cookies, which I hope to attempt very, very soon. Buckwheat is clearly a baking staple in my life now.

The Breakdown

Where I Got It: Flatbush Food Coop

What it Cost:

  • Almond Breeze almond milk $1.99
  • Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda (aluminum free) $2.69
  • Alderfer Eggs organic medium white eggs (antibiotic free, free roaming, vegan) $2.59 a dozen
  • Applegate Farms turkey bacon $6.59 (a definite splurge)
  • Madhava Agave Nectar Light $3.69
  • Cere’s 100% Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 33.8 oz $3.69
  • Kiwi $.79
  • Raspberries $3.99

The grand total: $26.02

What I Already Had:

  • Arrowhead Mills organic brown rice flour (gluten/wheat free) 32 oz $4.99
  • Bob’s Red Mill organic buckwheat flour 22 oz $4.59
  • Hain canola oil
  • Salt
  • Pam organic olive oil no stick spray

How Many it Served: Eight generously sized pancakes, two servings of scrambled eggs, a side of 4 slices of bacon (mine… Steph had soy). Steph and I each ate 2 pancakes at brunch, leaving 4 leftover for the week. I re-made this brunch for lunch on Tuesday and ate 2 more of the pancakes, the rest of the turkey bacon (there were only 8 slices total), and 2 more eggs scrambled.

It’s hard to figure out how much a brunch like this costs since all of the ingredients stretch so far. I don’t know that I want to calculate how much a teaspoon of agave nectar from a $3.69 bottle cost. So I’ll just say it’s pennies to the dollar of what I’d spend at even an affordable $12.00 brunch in NYC.

What’s Left Over: Most of these ingredients will last me a while and can be “long term investments” as pantry staples. Both of the flours can be stretched super far in baking. I’ve made 3 rounds of pancakes using these measurements, and still have over half a bag of each left. The baking soda will also last a long time, as will the agave nectar. I’m going to try it on overnight oats (I can’t wait to try them!) and in the muffin recipe I want to track down. The almond milk made another serving of scrambled eggs for my lunch yesterday and will last the rest of the week for overnight oats and cereal for both me and Steph.

Aug 22 -  brunch supplies

I used 7 eggs so far between the pancake batter and scrambled eggs on both Saturday and Tuesday, which leaves me with 5 left. Typically I’d save those for next Saturday’s brunch, but this week I’m boiling the rest for giant Nicoise Salads that I plan on making with leftovers from a tuna steak I made for dinner last night (pics coming soon!).

The most expensive part of this brunch is the turkey bacon and fruit, which I plan on getting at Trader Joe’s next time to make it even more cost effective.

Why it’s Healthy: Buckwheat is yeast free, gluten free, great for your heart, high in fiber, and helps regulate blood sugar. [World’s Healthiest Foods]


Grateful for: Feeling just well enough to make it to the office today. BEAUTIFUL weather in NYC this week!