Fluffy Plantain Paleo Pancakes with Tropical Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Pancakes and breakfast go together like popcorn and movies, or peanuts and airplanes. It’s difficult to imagine breakfast without them—at least on occasion.
However, with a paleo or gluten-free lifestyle, eating pancakes for breakfast is not always the first meal idea that comes to mind…
Until you discover the world of “paleo-approved” and “gluten-free” pancakes—(especially these fluffy, plantain paleo pancakes—with Tropical Sauce).
In fact, these are so good that you may think you’re eating dessert!
Paleo Pancakes: Insider Tip
Warning: Not all “gluten-free” pancakes or paleo-friendly food options are created equal.
While these plantain pancakes use 100-percent real-food ingredients, there are hundreds of mixes, cookies, pizza crusts, breads, pastas, crackers and more that contain ingredients similar to gluten!
Just like there is a difference in the quality of a McDonald’s hamburger, compared to a grass-fed bison burger on your grill at home, there is a difference in one gluten-free product or paleo recipe from another.
So how to know which gluten-free foods or recipes to choose from?!
Before we get to the party-in-your-mouth Plantain Pancake fun, here are 3 Secrets the Gluten-Free Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, plus the 7 BEST gluten-free flours and base-recipe options to choose from when making a gluten-free recipe.
3 Secrets the Gluten-Free Food Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know
SECRET 1: YOU STILL WON’T FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU EAT THEM
A lot of people that are diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance turn to eating gluten-free alternatives (like gluten-free breads or pastas) and all kinds of other processed (or somewhat processed) foods made with rice, corn, tapioca, quinoa, teff, etc.
The problem is: if these people are also producing antibodies (i.e. food intolerances) to these gluten-cross-contaminating foods (that are similar gluten), their symptoms may improve somewhat, but they will NOT get to completely get better.
Gluten-free alternatives can also trigger similar symptoms as eating gluten (including IBS, bloating, gas, constipation, seasonal allergies, skin breakouts, fatigue, indigestion and nutrient deficiencies).
In fact, several studies show that nearly 1 in 3 people with celiac disease continue to have symptoms even after implementing a gluten-free diet.
Gluten Cross Contaminating Foods
Here are the gluten cross-contaminating culprits to watch out for:
- Casein and casomorphin
How to know if you are reacting to these foods?!
Cyrex Array 4 is a food sensitivity panel that tests specifically for the tolerance to gluten-cross contaminating foods, and you can run it through a functional medicine practitioner or nutritionist specializing in this food sensitivity test.
In addition, simply experimenting with eliminating or replacing these gluten-free cross-contaminating ingredients and products with other real-food (ie. “Paleo”) alternatives is another option—noting your personal reactions and sensitivities to these foods.
SECRET 2: THEY HAVE THE SAME INGREDIENTS AS GLUTEN
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Not all gluten-free flours and products are created equal.
Hate to break it to you, but that gluten-free mac and cheese from Whole Foods, gluten-free Domino’s pizza, and gluten-free Honey Nut Cheerios are NOT a “free for all” dining option—(at least if health and food quality is of concern).
On top of many gluten-free products containing gluten cross-contaminating ingredients, many gluten-free labeled products on shelves ALSO contain tons of additives, fillers and chemicals!
Read: NOT nutrient dense.
In other words, these products are ONLY missing one ingredient: gluten.
The rest of the ingredients in the product are the same thing as the processed food versions, containing names like high-fructose corn syrup, silicon dioxide, cane sugar, and cornstarch and xanthan gum—just to name a few.
Check your label closely and if it has more than 5 or 6 ingredients, chances are, it’s far from the “real thing.” You are still eating processed food.
SECRET 3: GLUTEN FREE FOOD COMPANIES KNOW THEY CAN OVERCHARGE YOU
“Gluten-free” options are now practically everywhere.
Ten years ago, if you ordered a hamburger without a bun, the waiter looked at you like you had a third eye. And there was only a handful of options—at most—of different gluten-free flours or food alternatives to favored foods, like frozen pizza, breads, cereals and crackers (most of which tasted like cardboard).
Fast forward to today: practically every product and food on shelves offers a gluten-free alternative (from gluten-free tortillas, to gluten-free English muffins, homemade pizza crust mixes and frozen ones, oatmeal, pastas, cereals and beyond).
In fact, there is even an entirely dedicated aisle to “gluten-free” shopping in many grocery stores, and separate gluten-free menus in many local and chain restaurants.
That said, the food processing industry knows something you don’t know: people like the feeling of being healthy and making good choices.
Hence, when they buy a product labeled “gluten-free” (even though it may be just as processed), the food company knows they feel healthier and better about their decision, and likewise, are more likely to spend a few more grocery dollars on the label—even if it is still Honey Nut Cheerios.
What Gluten-Free Paleo Pancake Flours & Foods Should I Buy?!
So what ingredients and flours should you eat and use in recipes—especially since not all gluten-free options are created equal?!
When it comes to gluten-free options—like paleo pancake mixes—there are countless varieties to choose from, such as:Coconut flour, tapioca starch, rice flour, almond meal, arrowroot starch, cassava flour, buckwheat, chickpea flour, cornmeal and corn flour, amaranth flour, plantain starch, sweet potato flour, potato starch, millet, bean flour, peanut flour, quinoa, sorghum, soy, teff and a variety of fruits and veggies.
Aye aye aye!
Use Real Food Ingredients
The “best” varieties are always the foods that contain real food ingredients—as close to the natural state as possible (with little additives, fillers or cross-contaminating gluten-like substances).
Some of the most real “gluten-free” options are also some of the cheapest!
Real gluten-free recipe bases include foods like: bananas, apples and applesauce, butternut squash, grated zucchini and carrots, sweet potatoes and plantains, like in our signature paleo pancakes.
Even coconut flour (from the bulk bins at the grocery store) can be a fairly cheap option if you’re open to home-cooked muffins, pizza crusts and pancakes (as opposed to product-buying).
7 Best Gluten-Free Flours & Ingredients
Our top “real food” gluten-free flour and base picks for recipes and baked goods—in no preferential order include:
- Fruits: Plantains (Puree), Bananas (Puree or Mashed), Dates & Raisins (moderation), Applesauce
- Veggies: Shredded Zucchini, Shredded Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Puree, Butternut Squash
- Coconut Flour
- Arrowroot Starch/Flour
- Tuber Powders: Sweet Potato Flour, Plantain Flour
- Cassava Flour or Tapioca Starch
- Almond Flour/Meal*
*Note on Almond Flour/Meal: Many people adopting a paleo or gluten free lifestyle turn first to nuts and nut flours to replace old staples—like pancakes.
While almond flour and almond meal is a quality option, keep in mind that moderation is essential. Nut flours are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and a little bit goes a long way. Too many nuts in one setting or day in and day out can lead to increased inflammation—namely in the gut (ie. “nut gut”). Consume in moderation.
Fluffy Plantain Paleo Pancakes with Tropical Sauce
Now for the main event…Fluffly Plantain Paleo Pancakes with Tropical Sauce. Get your (real food) gluten-free paleo pancakes grub on!
- 1 cup plantain puree
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cups prepared tropical fruit (banana, mango, kiwi, pineapple)
- Peel 1-2 greenish yellow plantain, cut into chunks and puree in the food processor.
- Measure 1 cup of puree, and save remaining for another use (or adapt the recipe if you’re smart like that).
- Add wet ingredients to food processor with the 1 cup puree.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mix in with wet, pulsing until just combined.
5. Heat a large griddle or skillet on medium heat and brush with coconut oil.
6. Scoop 1/4 cup pancakes onto hot griddle and cook until a deep golden brown (These can be a little tricky if the heat isn’t right. It needs to be low enough that it will cook mostly through before you flip it without burning it, but preheated enough that it doesn’t stick. The smaller the pancake, the easier to flip, so definitely don’t make too much bigger than 1/4 cup).
7. Flip and cook on other side for just 1-2 minutes.
8. To make sauce, whisk coconut milk, honey, and lemon.
9. Serve pancakes with fruit and sauce. Yum!!