When I started this blog, I decided to steer clear of most food controversies. I try to eat whole foods that are sourced from responsible producers in the USA or other countries with high food standards. I choose organic, where possible. I also will look for pastured, grass fed or wild caught meats. I avoid GMO foods and don’t eat processed soy. Notice that I don’t say “never”. I can’t. If I eat out, I violate at least one of these tenets.
I can’t have a diet that is primarily carbohydrates, because I am prone to diabetes. Also, I will gain a ton of weight on such a diet, regardless of whether the carbs are “whole” or not. My diet is mostly protein, vegetables and fruits. I don’t cut carbs out altogether, just don’t make it the focus of any meals. Which brings me to Einkorn Flour. Apparently, over thousands of years, humans have been selectively breeding wheat to grow better with good disease resistance. Sounds great, right? Well, this selective breeding is now being examined in light of a sharp increase in people with gluten sensitivities. Some people are trying to bring back “ancient grains” like Einkorn, Spelt, and Kamut to find a flour product that will be less harmful and more healthful.
Einkorn contains gluten and is not recommended for people with Celiac Disease. Let me state that upfront. All wheat contains gluten, there’s no escaping it. What I can say is that using Einkorn did not lead to blood sugar surges that are as bad as using just plain ol’ flour. Also, it tasted better and, rather shockingly, I felt fuller faster. Normally, if I’m splurging on a wheat product, I want to eat a bunch of it. One cookie? Nope. One pancake? Nope. Can’t each just one. Here, I made pancakes and was quite happy to push away from the table. So were the kids. We actually ate less than our usual haul of weekend pancakes. It has a more hearty taste, but is actually has a taste and it’s good. Unlike the other flour that’s more of a building block instead of a taste determiner. Does this mean I’m eating a bunch more carbs? No. But a splurge once in a while with this isn’t terrible.
If you google “einkorn flour”, you’ll find claims that it’s more nutritious and better for you than regular flour. You’ll also see where people believe that all wheat is evil and should be avoided, ancient or not. I pass no judgment on these claims. I’m not a food scientist. But I can tell you that if you are interested in trying Einkorn, it behaves very much like regular flour. You may need a bit more liquid, but it was brilliant for our morning pancakes. So much so, that I bought more!
For this recipe, I used James Beard’s recipe for “Basic Griddle Cakes” as a base. I choose this recipe because Einkorn was rumored to lean towards a denser final product and Beard uses a whopping 4 teaspoons of baking powder in his 2 cups of flour recipe. These pancakes were very light and airy and could in no way be described as dense.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Serves: A crowd
2 cups sifted Einkorn Flour (or all purpose flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (I use bittersweet)
Combing the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together well. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently until most of the larger lumps are dissolved and the dry ingredients are completely wet. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. If the mixture is too “dry”, add a bit more milk to loosen it up.
Pour the batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or large pan. Turn the pancakes over when bubbles form and the edges appear dry. Turn and cook until the other side is lightly browned. Serve with your favorite accompaniment.