Editor’s Note: I’ve recently altered this recipe slightly, by reducing the honey and adding in buttermilk.)
My recent post on facebook sparked some fun yesterday. It’s a true conversation I had with Retro Rose (my mom).
Another Retro Rose Moment:
Retro Rose: I’m eating gluten free now.
Me: Great, but didn’t you just eat toast.
Retro Rose: Yes, but I’m having gluten free crackers for lunch. Look see the box.
Me: Okay, but the toast had gluten.
Retro Rose: Just a little bit.
Me: No wonder the chiropractor asked me if I was dropped on my head.
My chiropractor saw this post and laughed out loud. It’s true that she did ask me if I was dropped on my head or in a car accident, which is a whole different topic. But, I can see how the gluten-free craze could make a person bang their head into the closest wall. There is confusion about who truly needs to eat 100% gluten free, (over two million Americans) what contains gluten, and what food products are to be avoided because they are made in a factory that also makes gluten products, (like oatmeal), etc. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate wheat, barley or rye. These same people tend to educate themselves thoroughly on what they can and can’t eat, because a product as simple as ketchup can contain gluten. Author and food blogger, Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl and the Chef paved the way for educating and teaching the gluten free way of life with glorious gluten free recipe. However…
However, many people today put themselves on gluten free diets when gluten is not their enemy. This is where spelt flour comes in. It has fragile gluten and often times folks who cannot tolerate wheat can tolerate spelt. This is individual and it’s important to note that folks with celiac disease still cannot eat spelt, but many folks with an intolerance to wheat can. Are you ready to bang your head? It is confusing, frustrating, complicated because we live in a wheat dominant food culture, where the wheat has been engineered to be softer, contain more gluten, and often pesticides, and not all that conducive to the human digestive system. Much of it is not nutritionally sound.
This brings me back to spelt. Spelt is an ancient grain, with a hard husk that protects it from bugs and the need for pesticides. Even if a person isn’t wheat sensitive, spelt is a healthy choice to consider, as it is higher in protein, easier to digest, higher in fiber and has many other benefits that make it a better choice than wheat.
Unlike wheat, in which the gluten gets stronger as you mix it, the gluten in spelt gets weaker. It takes a little practice to cook and bake with, because typically our frame of reference comes from working with wheat. It’s naturally darker (unlike bleached white wheat) and naturally nuttier.
These were made on a whim. These were actually the inspiration for my recent strawberry pancakes, but these have a completely different texture pulled together by the banana and honey. They are the perfect foundation for an addition of walnuts or pecans if you want to play around.
- 1½ cup spelt flour
- 2¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- dash cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 1 cup 2% milk or low fat buttermilk (see note)
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 banana, mashed
- 1 tablespoon honey (you can use 2 tablespoons if you desire more sweetness)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Note: I make buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the milk)
- Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. Set aside.
- Mix together mashed banana, apple sauce, honey, vanilla in another bowl.
- Add in milk or butter milk and mix with flour mixture.
- Heat a cast iron griddle to medium low. You might be tempted to turn the griddle higher, but the pancakes will burn. Using a paper towel rub oil on griddle. Using too much oil will cause uneven cooking. When pancakes begin to bubble, turn over, using your thinnest spatula. I use my cookie spatula.
- Apply oil with paper towel between each batch.