When I first eliminated gluten and grains from my diet (almost 20 years ago!), there was a complete lack of creative recipes out there that excluded these types of ingredients. People were still giving me quizzical looks when I busted out something that looked exactly like lunch or dinner for breakfast. It wasn’t unusual for my college roommates to find me enjoying a nice breakfast of green beans, ground beef and pasta sauce. Okay, yes, the green beans sound like a super weird addition but they were the closest thing to pasta noodles that I could come up with back then (where were you when I needed you Spiralizer?). So yes, all the side eyes from my friends over some of my meal choices.
Mind you, this was back in 2000. No one was blogging amazing recipes, there was no Pinterest and the internet was still slow as molasses. We were all busy worrying that the entire world would shut down at the New Year when our clocks reverted to ’00. So, finding inspiration online for non-cardboard tasting gluten-free recipes was next to impossible. We had to get creative. Now we have the luxury of beautiful food pictures on Instagram, real food bloggers galore and loads of companies providing yummy gluten free options if you don’t want to diy it. And the biggest bonus of all, I can make breakfast that looks a bit more like a traditional breakfast if I want. Although I can still be found eating meals more reminiscent of my dinner the night before.
One of my favorite new discoveries (and thanks to uncovering an unknown egg allergy last year, dang you leaky gut!) are these vegan, paleo, AIP, gluten-free pancakes. They do require some ingredients that you might not keep on hand but are easy to find at most local grocery stores (especially if you have a Central Market, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers type store nearby) and on Amazon. The best part about these pancakes are that they include the skin & bone powerhouse, collagen protein along with healthy fat in the form of coconut butter. They are also a big hit with my kids. One of them literally grabbed this one off the plate as I was trying to take a picture. Fortunately it ended up being my favorite pic anyway. I mean, seriously, look at those pudgy little sneaky fingers.
The collagen that I use in this recipe, and my favorite of the four brands I’ve tried so far, is the Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate in the green container. Their collagen is made from grass-fed cattle located near the Andes Mountains (fancy cattle) and is an excellent and safe protein source unlike other proteins like soy and whey that can be inflammatory. Other great, grass-fed collage brands include Vital Proteins, Sports Research Collagen and Zint Collagen. You can also pick up my favorite coconut butter and coconut oil on Amazon as well, they typically have the best prices & these products all go pretty far.
Collagen is also the most abundant protein in our body and supplementation has been shown to improve skin elasticity, improve joint pain and mobility, help heal leaky gut and other gastrointestinal related autoimmune conditions and improves liver health and detoxification abilities. Now you can eat all of the pancakes by yourself and not feel bad. Ask me how I know.
Creating this pancake batter is super easy and seriously takes less than five minutes. Unless you bought an unripe plantain and then it will take you about 3 extra minutes to peel that sucker. All you do is peel your plantain, add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender and blend for about 15-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. You may need to manually stir any ingredients stuck to the edges of the blender and blend for another 15 seconds depending on the shape of your blender container.
This recipe makes about 15 silver dollar sized pancakes if you pour them into a shape about 3-4″ in diameter. These take about 2 minutes to cook on each side although you may have to go to 3 minutes on the first side if you have challenges flipping them. I highly recommend using a super thin profile silicone pancake flipper or spatula. The thinner your edge the better. They are best when served and eaten immediately. If you do need to store some, allow them to cool completely before putting in the fridge. Then just heat them up again in a cast-iron skillet later.
My favorite way to eat these is with a tiny drizzle of honey (which becomes a huge drizzle of honey if your four year old is “helping”). Maple syrup is also a great option, especially if you are vegan.
The final step is to take your plate and go hide in your closet so that you get a chance to eat your own dang pancakes. Pancake Stealer.
Autoimmune Friendly Collagen Plantain Pancakes
These pancakes are not only autoimmune paleo friendly, they are also a big hit with my kids and include the power house ingredient collagen. Serve plain or add a bit of your favorite honey or maple syrup (a good vegan option).
- 3 large ripe plantains
- 2 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup grass fed collagen protein powder
- 1 tsp vanilla (preferably alcohol free)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 dash cinnamon to taste
Preheat your griddle or skillet to a medium-high heat. On my electronic ceramic griddle I set the temperature to 300 degrees.
Peel the plantains. You may have to use a knife to remove all of the peel.
Combine all ingredients into a high powered blender in the order they are listed. If your blender container isn't completely circular (ex: Blendtec's Wildside jar) you will need to stop after 15 seconds and stir the collagen powder back out of the edges and into the middle. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Your batter consistency should be thick but will pour easily yet slowly out of the blender. If it is too runny and doesn't form a round shape on your griddle or pan when poured then you will want to add a bit more collage protein.
(Note: If you don't have access to a high powered blender, you can use a regular blender but you may need to pre-mash the plantains by hand and then manually stir the ingredients around in the blender every 15 seconds. A food processor is also an option. Then go ahead ask for a fancy pants blender for your birthday.)
If you aren't using a ceramic/enameled griddle or a non-stick surface (find a safe non-stick option please!) you will want to coat the griddle in coconut oil.
Pour the batter onto your griddle into "silver dollar" size pancakes (about 3-4" in diameter). These are best prepared in a smaller size pancake to make flipping them easier. Cook on each side for approximately 2-3 minutes. You will want to peel up the edge of the pancake slightly after 2 minutes to see if it is ready to flip.
Serve immediately or place on a cooling rack to cool. If you used ripe plantains, these may be sweet enough on their own. Otherwise, feel free to add a bit of honey or your favorite maple syrup!