Did your mother make you buckwheat pancakes when you were a kid? Mine did. My mom has always been into whole grains; even before diet books and experts had caught onto the trend. We weren’t allowed to eat sliced white bread. All I wanted was the Wonderbread like the other kids. No way José, my mom would say. Our flapjacks had buckwheat flour in them. She even once made these twice-baked potatoes that turned green from all the spinach she put in them. I ate them and loved them.
Not everything was nutritional and healthy. Don’t get me wrong, we ate lots of homemade cookies. There was processed cheese. Many things made with lots of butter. But I think we were surprisingly healthy for a family of our time. Buckwheat pancakes, who does that?
I got sick during my trip to the Philadelphia suburbs this past weekend, where my husband moved this past summer and where I’ll be joining him at the end of the year. During a trip to a Wegman’s to buy sore throat elixirs like tea, lemon and honey I found something I haven’t seen in years: Buckwheat Honey. This monofloral honey is produced in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Virginia as well as Wisconsin and Minnesota. This is a dark, viscous honey reminds me of molasses and offers a higher mineral content than standard honey.
Studies have shown that it is contains up to 30 times more antioxidants than other honey. Another study compared the effectiveness of Buckwheat honey to over the counter cough suppressants and found that it was better at relieving sore throat and cough symptoms. Not surprisingly, this study was carried out in my hometown, at Pennsylvania State University. Buying Buckwheat honey raw is the best way to make sure its nutritional qualities have not been compromised. However, the pasteurized liquid goes down smoother and it was the only jar they had, so I bought it anyway.
I brought my jar back to North Carolina with me and decided that I would make my mother’s healthy pancake recipe with a double dose of buckwheat: both the flour and the honey, swapping it in for the sugar called for in the recipe. And since it’s autumn and everything (at least in this hemisphere) I decided that they would be spiced.
Buckwheat flour is gluten-free and a heartier whole grain alternative. If you’re gluten sensitive, make sure you purchase a flour that has not been contaminated in the production process.
Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes with Buckwheat Honey
(Adapted from Hodgson Mill)
- 1 cup stone-ground buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (recommended), melted butter or vegetable oil
- vegetable oil to grease the griddle or skillet
To make the pancakes:
- Preheat skillet on medium low to low heat or griddle to 375 degrees F. Grease with small amount of oil, or spray oil if possible.
- Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices.
- In another bowl, stir together wet ingredients: egg, buttermilk and oil, until just combined.
- Slowly add wet ingredients to dry, stirring in between until combined and batter is smooth but not overworked.
- Check to see if skillet is hot enough by adding a few drops of water to the skillet. When they sizzle and evaporate, the skillet is ready.
- Pour 1/4 cup batter onto skillet. Once edges are set and bubbles begin to appear in the center of the pankcake, it is ready to flip.
- Continue to cook until golden brown. If skillet gets too hot, slightly lower heat.
- Top with maple syrup and butter, if desired and serve immediately.
Makes 12 small pancakes.