Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Opposite of South Dakotan Food: Vegan Coconut Pancakes with Tropical Fruit Salsa

My sister, brave soul that she is, moved to South Dakota last summer and while I helped to drive her out there, I had to turn around and fly out the next day so never really got to experience her new home.  There was of course other road trip scenery to be experienced along the way, but I'm back for the long weekend to see everything Rapid City has to offer.  Bless her - I couldn't live somewhere that is an arctic tundra for 10 months out of the year.  Coming from upstate New York, she's rather used to it by now and luckily she has an amazing 3-bedroom house for which she pays far less than I do for my portion of a 3-bedroom New Jersey apartment with no laundry or parking.

2010 Sight-Seeing
We've certainly had our fair share of steak, potatoes, and cheese-covered things the past few days (indeed, more on that later), so this breakfast was both the opposite of everything else we've been eating in South Dakota as well as a nod to the 80 degree sunny weather we're missing on the east coast this weekend.  And it's also a special occasion for my sister to use up the fancy organic ingredients (coconut/coconut milk/coconut oil/agave) that she's been stock-piling from various trips to Las Vegas and Denver.  And I can't think of a better meal to have during a 50 degree thunderstorm.

These pancakes are much denser and less fluffy than your refined-flour IHOP variety to be sure, but have a fantastic spice and coconutty texture that you're not going to find in a Rooty Tooty Fresh N' Fruity (which is worth looking up on Urban Dictionary, but which I will not link to for my mother's sake).  You can swap up the fruit in the salsa for anything ripe and sweet, but do keep the banana since it adds a nice  creaminess that almost makes you forget that these are vegan.  As you can see, everyone was a fan.

Vegan Coconut Pancakes with Tropical Fruit Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Total time: 1 hour (All active time, but I'm sure it would be a lot less with a griddle instead of tiny pans)
Makes 20 pancakes (6-8 servings)

  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (25g) flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 oz can (400mL) light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup (350mL) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • vegetable (or coconut) oil
  • handful of chopped and toasted cashews (optional garnish)

  • 1 1/2 bananas
  • 3 kiwifruit
  • 1 mango
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or maple syrup)

For the fruit salsa:  Quarter bananas lengthwise, then chop into 1cm ish pieces.  Chop kiwi and mango into similarly sized chunks.  Add all fruit to a small bowl with agave and stir.  Can be made up to 2 hours ahead of time, refrigerated.

For the pancakes:  Preheat oven to 250F (120C).  Mix all dry ingredients (whole wheat flour through salt) in a large bowl.  Mix coconut milk, agave, vanilla, and warm water in a smaller bowl.  Add the liquid bowl to the dry bowl and mix until thick but pourable.  Add additional warm water if batter is too thick (we added another 1/4 cup or so).

Heat a griddle (or multiple frying pans) to medium heat and melt a small pat of coconut oil (or use a small amount of veg oil).  Add batter to the pan in 1/4 cup lumps and spread out with a spoon into a circle.  Cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottoms are golden-brown, reducing heat if browning too quickly.  Flip and cook until the opposite side is golden-brown (another 1-2 minutes).  Move pancakes to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Top pancakes with fruit salsa, chopped nuts, and additional agave/maple syrup to serve.

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