All I wanted was a pancake.
Ever since we started the Autoimmune protocol I have dreamt of pancakes: fluffy stacks of pancakes, specifically. Pancakes filled with all the no-nos that our diet requires: flour, sugar, baking powder, and lots of yum. Why oh why did I ever take pancakes for granted? Think of all those hundreds, nay, thousands of mornings I have woken up and could have mixed up a stack of pancakes, glistening in the morning light. I could have eaten pile after pile of pancakes bedazzled with rich syrup and melting butter, and accompanied by a large cup of milk. Not coconut milk, but real cow’s milk.
Alas. In our current elimination diet, traditional pancakes are out of reach. For a few months anyway.
They were, that is, until I turned to the marvelous world of Pinterest.
I blame Pinterest for the disappointment that followed. After all, Pinterest promised me pancakes. I searched for paleo pancakes, and recipe after recipe popped up: every picture more beautiful than the past. I began salivating and dreaming of the pancakes that would soon be mine. There was no AIP recipe for pancakes (except for one dismal banana pancake which my sister had warned me to stay way from) so I decided that I would take the paleo recipe, and make it AIP! It wouldn’t be that hard, right? I could easily swap out non-AIP ingredients. I could not only satisfy my craving, but also I would create the world’s first AIP approved pancake! Yay for Pinterest! Yay for me! Yay for pancakes!
I knew that if this worked, I would rock the internet with he very first AIP-friendly pancake recipe. I would post it on my blog, and millions of AIPers, hungry for pancakes, would rejoice.
With all these delightful ideas bouncing around in my head I grabbed the coconut flour.
The recipe called for: eggs (not AIP), milk (not AIP), coconut oil, coconut flour, sugar (not AIP), baking powder (not AIP) and salt.
Did it bother me that I would have to swap out over half the ingredients? Nah. It would all work out.
The first item was an easy substitution: eggs. I knew that eggs could be replaced with gelatin. I happily substituted four eggs for four tsp of gelatin plus a cup of water. Done! This was going to be easier than I thought. I switched out the milk for coconut milk, added the oil, coconut flour, and then I pondered the sugar. I did not have any coconut sugar in my pantry, so I squeezed a bit of honey into the liquid ingredients. Then I puzzled over baking powder: baking powder is definitely not AIP. I did a quick search and found out that you could mix together some baking soda and cream of tartar and substitute that for baking powder. Perfect! I mixed it up, and finished my dough.
I stared at the pancake dough dubiously. It was a mealy texture, and did not resemble any pancake I had ever seen. It did smell faintly of coconut, and coconut pancakes still sounded pretty darn good to me, so I pressed on. I warmed up a skillet with a bit of coconut oil to grease the pan, and tasted the dough as I waited.
The taste…wasn’t great.
The gelatin added a bit of a beef flavor to the dough. So my fluffy pancakes that were supposed to taste of coconut, were now tasting slightly of a hamburger with coconut overtones. I vigorously shook in some cinnamon, and that improved the flavor slightly. I figured it wasn’t so different than eating bacon with the pancakes, and so I pressed on.
The skillet was hot. The dough was made. All that separated me from my craving was to drop a spoonful of dough onto the pan. I eagerly scooped up a big spoonful. It sizzled as the mixture hit the hot surface.
Then, as I watched, something very peculiar began to happen: the once thick dough began liquefying on the skillet. I watched as the dense dough began dissolving before my very own eyes. It spread from a nice pancake size into a liquid that sloshed about the skillet with great alacrity. I stared, horrified, as my pancake dreams evaporated before my own eyes.
I have never, in all my baking years, seen a dough react that way. It turned from a solid to liquid in a blink of an eye. It did not cook at all. It turned from a mealy baseball to a liquid sludge. I tried, halfheartedly, to mess around with it for a few minutes. I added more coconut flour, I re-greased the pan, and I even tried a larger portion on the skillet. But without fail this strange alien dough would sizzle down into a liquid slosh: a coconut and beef smoothie on a skillet. Yum.
I dumped the depressing dough into the trash can, mourning the expensive gelatin I had used up in the process, and dejectedly pulled some steaks from the freezer.
I ate my breakfast steak, and tried to forget about my pancake craving. Pancakes would return to our diet soon enough, I guess.
For now, I have some perfectly good steaks that need eating.
Pass the maple syrup…ahem…I mean salt.