There is one meal everyone in my family loves! Pancakes! Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes to be exact! This is usually a Sunday morning treat brought to us by “The Pancake Man,” a.k.a. my husband. The day my husband started making Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes we all fell in love with breakfast. This was a happy meal! On pancake mornings nobody would fight. Children regardless of age and gender would come together to break the fast. It was a day of celebration. It could be Christmas morning, Easter Morning, Mother’s Day, a special birthday or a family member in town. It also might just be any ole day. For me, it’s also particularly special because it’s the only meal in recent years that my husband actually prepares. That alone makes it even more appealing. We all agreed that these were the best pancakes we’d ever eaten. When I say best, I really mean it! Once my husband started making breakfast, I never ordered pancakes at a restaurant again.
Unfortunately, there was a threat to our breakfast oasis where children and adults came together to eat breakfast in peace. After we became vegan, what were we going to do about the pancakes? They contained milk, sour cream, butter, and eggs! That’s a lot of animal products to replace while still preserving the yummy taste of the pancakes my children and adults adored. We certainly didn’t want to ruin this meal. It made the kids SO happy! I try to be very conscious of finding the balance of feeding the kids meals that meet my approval and at the same time feeding them food they love and that bring us together as a family.
We started slowly trying to veganize it. My husband began to replace each ingredient with its vegan equivalent. The butter was easy to replace. Earth Balance is absolutely amazing and tastes just as delicious as butter made from cow’s milk. We had been using almond milk all along and there was no problem with the taste. The next substitution was the sour cream. When he replaced the dairy sour cream with a vegan sour cream (we’ve tried various brands and all were good), there was no taste difference. If anything we loved the pancakes more than ever.
The final substitution we were waiting to make was the eggs. The recipe contained just two eggs. Would it really be bad to use just two eggs on “pancake day” since we weren’t otherwise eating eggs? The recipe called for separating the eggs and then whipping the egg whites before adding. This must be very important to the recipe we thought. My daughter who had previously declared she didn’t want to eat eggs was still worried about ruining this recipe. She loved daddy’s pancakes. However, we finally decided to experiment. I suggested my husband try to first replace only one of the eggs and see what happened. One Sunday morning, he made the recipe using one egg and replacing the other egg with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoon of water. We waited for a response from the children. Again, nobody noticed anything and we didn’t even mention it to the kids. The next week it was our mission to finalize the veganization of the famous blueberry sour cream pancakes. The day came when he made the pancakes with absolutely no animal products. He just doubled the flax seed mixture so that it would replace two eggs. Again, nobody noticed anything! The veganization of the Blueberry Sour cream pancakes was a success! If you start out slowly, you’ll realize you can make many yummy treats that lose nothing in taste when you ditch the animal products.
I think baking is a great place to start minimizing the use of animal products. Even if you do normally eat animal products on their own, you’ll find you won’t miss them in baked goods. If you discover that you’re only willing to eliminate some of the animal products in a recipe, you’re still making a difference in helping to improve the environment, your health and the lives of animals.
If you want to try these at home, here is the recipe!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons water (refrigerate for a bit to make firm)
1 cup non-dairy sour cream
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (we use almond, but you could try soy, hemp or rice)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery stick, melted and cooled
8oz. blueberries, fresh or frozen (we use frozen but he always gets them out ahead of time so they defrost a bit)
The first thing to do is put 4 tablespoons of the Earth Balance in a bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds, or until melted. Once melted, put it in the fridge to cool.
Pour the pre-sifted flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl.
Put the flax seed mixture, non-dairy sour cream, your choice of milk and cooled butter into another bowl and beat well with a whisk. Gradually add in the flour mixture.
Gently mix in the blueberries. Don’t overmix.
Grease up a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. He uses canola oil, wiping the excess off with a paper towel and then using that towel to regrease after each batch of pancakes.
Reduce the heat to low and then cook 4 pancakes at a time by using about 3 tablespoons of batter. He uses a quarter-cup measuring cup for each pancake. Cook on one side until small bubbles appear and then flip. He cooks them about 2 minutes on the first side, and then one more minute after the flip.
Enjoy with pure maple syrup! Delicious!
Also by Tracy: Vegan Mommy – Talking to Children About Veganism
Breakfast recipes: Best Vegan Pumpkin Granola
Photo: Tracy Hersh