Pancakes may be an American fare, but this does not mean we cannot cultivate the Ayurvedic dietary principles to make a healthy Ayurveda-friendly variation. This recipe does exactly that by utilizing whole food ingredients such as rolled oats, eggs, whole milk (or milk alternative), dates, ghee, and warming, digestive spices – creating an amazingly decadent, moist, and delicious pancake that is wholegrain, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, energizing, and yes, kid-friendly!
I often say healthy food does not have to be bland or boring, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming either. These pancakes are made in a blender, making it quick, easy, and less mess! By making home-cooked, healthy recipes tasty and accessible, we can begin to adjust our typical eating patterns and create a meal plan that you (and your family) will truly enjoy eating.
Although the pancakes are the highlight of this recipe, I cannot share them without adding in my ultimate, super special, secret syrup recipe. This recipe was originally inspired by my Pop and was a must for our Saturday morning pancake or waffle breakfasts. Since the main ingredients of his special syrup were butter and brown sugar, I have since modified his recipe (using the help of Ayurveda), to create a healthier variation that is rich, flavorful, creamy, rejuvenating, energizing, Ojas-increasing, and an essential for your Ayurvedic pancake pleasure!
These pancakes are nourishing for Vata and Pitta types, but can increase Kapha due to their heavier, building nature. With their warming spices and grounding ingredients, they are perfect for the fall season, and can be enjoyed in the winter as well (if your Kapha is not too high). They can be a healthier alternative for your typical pancake breakfast, and any extra can be saved for a tasty, energizing snack to munch on for your kids, your baby (perfect finger food!), or yourself (in moderation of course).
Quick and Easy Ayurvedic Pancake Recipe (with secret syrup!)
- Doshic effect: Vata ↓,Pitta ↓, Kapha ↑
- Makes: 7 to 9 pancakes
- Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
- Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
- Cast iron griddle (best!), skillet, or large frying pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Small mixing bowl and mixing spoon (for the secret syrup)
For the pancakes:
- 1 1/2 cups organic whole milk, homemade almond milk, or milk alternative of choice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 medjool dates, pitted (substitute with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or 1 teaspoon of molasses)
- 1 tablespoon ghee (substitute with coconut oil if needed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder*
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger powder*
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder*
- 5 saffron stigmas (if available)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups rolled oats
*These spices can be replaced by 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 teaspoon of Ayurvedic Breakfast Spices.
For the secret syrup:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ghee (substitute with coconut oil if needed)
- 2/3 cup walnuts (substitute with almonds or any nut of choice; omit if nuts are not preferred)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparing the pancakes:
1. Begin to heat the griddle or pan over medium heat on a large burner (small burners will create uneven cooking). Add a small spoonful of ghee or coconut oil to avoid sticking if needed.
2. While the griddle is heating, add the milk and eggs to the blender.
3. Pit and chop the dates. Add them to the blender.
4. Add the ghee, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, saffron (if using), and salt to the blender. Then add the oats in last.
5. Blend on high until the ingredients are evenly blended and a moderately thick, smooth paste remains – about 1 to 3 minutes. If the batter seams too thick, carefully blend in more milk by the tablespoon. If the batter seems too thin, carefully blend in more rolled oats by the tablespoon.
6. Pour the batter directly onto the heated griddle or pan. Alternatively you can pour the batter into a 1/4 or 1/3 measuring cup for evenly sized pancakes. NOTE: You will yield about seven, 1/3 cup pancakes and about nine 1/4 cups pancakes.
7. Cook the first side over medium heat for 45 to 60 seconds, or until the bottom is cooked enough to easily flip, but not too dark or burnt. Due to the thickness of the wholegrain oats, you will not be able to judge the readiness by bubbles forming on the top.
8. Flip the pancake and cook the second side for an additional 30 to 45 seconds, or until the pancake is cooked all the way through (but not overcooked or burnt). The end result should be a moist, fluffy, and fairly light pancake texture.
9. Place the cooked pancake onto a plate and repeat steps 6 to 8 until all of the batter is used up. If desired, the cooked pancakes can be placed in an oven or toaster oven on the warm setting to keep them warm until you are ready to eat.
10. Top your pancakes with the secret syrup listed below (highly recommended!), maple syrup, honey, coconut, nuts, or any desired (healthy) topping. NOTE: Please do not top with fruit, jelly, jam, or a fruit syrup. This is considered an improper food combination (read more here). Dates are listed in the recipe because they are one of the only exceptions to this vital food rule.
Storage tip: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 to 3 days. To avoid sogginess, lay them separately and do not stack them.
Reheating tip: To reheat, preheat an oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Lay out the pancakes separately onto a small baking sheet (do not stack the pancakes). Place them in the toaster oven or oven and cook for for 4 to 6 minutes. Flip them over between 2 and 3 minutes.
Preparing the secret syrup:
1. Add the honey to a small mixing bowl.
2. Melt the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Do not get the oil hot, rather just warm enough to become liquid.
3. Add the warm, liquid ghee or oil to the mixing bowl. If the oil became too hot, let it cool a bit before blending it with the honey*. Once added, stir the ghee and honey together until they are completely blended.
*Honey should never never be heated over 110 degrees (read more here).
4. Add the walnuts to a clean spice grinder or blender. Pulse until you have coarse, chunky, chopped walnuts (some powder is alright). If any really big chunks remain, you can use your hands to chop them up a bit smaller.
5. Add the chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and vanilla to the honey and ghee blend. Stir in these remaining ingredients until they are all evenly blended.
6. Place a large dollop of the syrup onto your pancakes. If the pancakes are warm this syrup should spread over them naturally. If needed however, you can use a butter knife to spread the syrup evenly.
7. The blend of ghee and honey is a natural Ayurvedic remedy for promoting rejuvenation and vitality. So eat (in moderation), enjoy, and energize!
Storage tip: Keep any leftover syrup in an airtight jar and store it in the cabinet for up to 3 months. Please use a clean and dry spoon for scooping out, as any water or food debris could lead to contamination.