I'm well known for having ingredient obsessions (my recent crush on harissa for example), and chickpea flour- also known as gram flour- happens to be my latest. What generally happens is I discover a new (to me) thing, be it a vegetable, spice or cupboard staple, and then I obsess over it, research it, and cook with it in all the ways that I can until another novel ingredient comes along, whereby it subsides into the rota of ingredients I use on a regular basis. So, be prepared for this protein packed flour substitute to pop up everywhere on here for a while whilst I get this one out of my system.
Chickpeas are fabulous in oh- so- many- ways. They're gluten free, full of protein, as well as being a decent source of iron and dietary fibre, and being pretty damn tasty, so I can't quite believe it's taken me THIS LONG to figure out how great chickpea flour is. I mean, where I have I been?
These pancakes are super easy to make. I've used another 'new to me' ingredient to bind them. Flax seed flour (also known as linseed flour). Again, flax seeds are a powerhouse of vitamins, including being a really excellent source of Omega 3 and if ground and mixed with water, become an excellent binding agent- just like eggs, and in these pancakes I really like that they impart an extra subtle nuttiness to the flavour.
The veggie filling I've created with these is more of an idea. Mix it up- add avocado, cheese, tomatoes, or make them more substantial and fill with tofu scramble or scrambled eggs... or veggie chilli... or- the possibilities are endless, which is the beauty of pancakes really.
The micro greens again, are more of an idea. We're currently growing trays at a time to sprinkle on everything. This time of year is a bit grim on the vegetable front and having some fresh greens around is really cheering. Not to mention that microgreens are not only tasty, they are packed with vitamin benefits. New research is showing that micro greens contain more concentrated per gram nutrients than their adult counterparts. Which makes sense really- the little seeds they sprout from contain a package of nutrients to set the baby plant on it's way. Good for you, cute- and tasty! Brilliant.
- 1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
- 1 Tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 1 Tbs water
- pinch salt
- Extra water as needed to create a batter.
- 2 Peppers
- ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 1 bunch spinach leaves , chopped.
- 10 chestnut mushrooms sliced.
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp marigold stock
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs white wine
- Micro Greens to sprinkle
Start by roasting the peppers under the grill until the skin is blistered and blackend. Once done, pop them in a bowl covered by a teatowel to steam. Then, deseed, remove the blackened skin and chop into ribbons. Add the balsamic and olive oil and mix.
Whilst the peppers are grilling, sweat the mushrooms with the garlic in a pan with the olive oil.
Add the spinach, marigold stock and wine, clamp on the lid and let the spinach wilt.
Take off the heat whilst you make the pancakes.
Mix the chickpea flour with the flax seed mixture and a pinch of salt
Add water and stir until you have a smooth pancake batter. I found that I needed a bit more water than I first anticipated in order for the batter to become smooth and pourable.
Cook the pancakes in the usual way- you might need to use a spatula to encourage the batter to spread thinly.
Keep warm until you've made a batch then top with the fillings, sprinkle with the micro greens and apply to face.