Little white balls of fluff... who knew they could worm their way into your heart so easily?? Just four years ago we brought these Maltese litter mates home at 10 weeks of age and weighing just over a few pounds each. They tested every bit of patience I had as they chewed, bit and peed their way through my house, and on more than one occasion I was sorely tempted to send them back.
But then something happened. They settled into a routine, they did their business outside and they looked to me with undying love nearly every moment of the day. I'm not sure exactly when, but I began loving these guys with all my heart.
They follow me throughout the day and one or both of them usually hops onto my lap whenever the opportunity is given. Their big brown eyes exude happiness and pure love to our whole family and my heart simply breaks when they are sick.
Unfortunately, these last few weeks we've seen our share of sick pups. One experienced a severe allergic reaction on Christmas Day and had me up worrying about him most of the night. The vet gave meds the next day, but his sad little eyes didn't understand that the meds would take a little bit of time to work. Needing medicine throughout the night to help him breathe, I slept little for days as I listened for any struggle during the night. Luckily, his attack has passed and now we wait for a blood test to see what might have caused the whole experience.
Then a few days ago I treated the two to an after dinner treat of grilled mahi mahi, an old favorite that we haven't had in quite some time. Apparently... too long of a time, and the change in diet caused the next pup to become sick. Lethargic, weak and with the saddest brown eyes you've ever seen, my husband and I took turns holding the boy for two days until his digestive system bounced back on track.
With both boys finally feeling better, my heart is bursting with love and I'm hoping to keep it that way. Hence... we've been eating these better than I ever thought they could be heart-healthy pancakes for the last few days for breakfast.
Not really looking for a vegan pancake, I stumbled across a similar recipe while searching for heart-healthy versions. With no added oil or eggs, these pancakes feature whole grains, hints of vanilla, and refreshing chunks fruit in the form of blueberries or banana (or any other fruit your heart desires!).
I'm happy to say yes to all of the above, and the reception to these flapjacks was quite the opposite of my doubts, even garnering a, "Mom... these are the best pancakes you've ever made! Can we have them again tomorrow?".
Tweaking the ingredients to suit my taste, I had these pancakes cooking up as some of the lightest and fluffiest pancakes ever, and this vegan version earned its place as a keeper.
I didn't tell anyone about the "things" I left out, but I feel good enough about this breakfast to serve it to family members struggling with heart issues, and with my two Maltese pups lounging on my lap as I type, my heart is full as can be.
Heart-Healthy Super Fluffy Whole Grain Vegan Pancakes
Light and fluffy yet eggless and oil-less, these hearty pancakes are special enough for weekend brunch.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups spelt or oat flour (or may use all-purpose if desired)
1/4 cup ground flax meal
2 Tbs granulated sugar or honey (we particularly enjoyed the addition of Vanilla Sugar)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
generous 1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 - 2 cups non-dairy milk (We use rice or almond, but use real milk if you like)
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 Tbs lemon juice
fruit such as diced banana or fresh or frozen blueberries
In a large bowl mix together the flours, flax meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla and lemon juice.
Place griddle over medium/medium high heat to preheat.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the fruit and stir gently until everything is combined. After about 10 stirs, if the batter feels too heavy add additional milk or water to desired consistency. Be careful not to over mix.
Spread a small amount of oil or butter (we use Earth Balance) onto the griddle and then spoon batter onto the griddle for pancakes. Use 1/4 cup for small pancakes, or as Liv likes them, pour a larger amount for super big pancakes.
Cook pancakes on first side until the edges begin to look dry, then flip. Cook for another minute or two or until cooked through, then remove to a plate.
Serve with pure maple syrup and additional chopped fruit and nuts. Enjoy
Liv Life Note: Note that the batter may get fairly thick as it sit, I usually don't add more liquid at this point, but you may need to spread the batter on the griddle with a spoon...