Grain Free Lemony Almond Pancakes

March 8, 2009

[Diet, Dessert and Dogs has moved!  If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”]  


These days, I try to be a little nutty every day. 

Of course I don’t mean “nutty” as in “I missed my plane so I’m going to become a minor celebrity on YouTube” nutty.  Or  “I think I’ll switch careers at the pinnacle of my success and adopt the mien of a skid row bum from another planet” type of nutty.  And certainly not  “just drop me in the middle of the Sahara without any food, water or shelter, and see how I hold up for a week” sort of nutty. While it may be true I do, on occasion, exhibit behavior one might characterize as “nutty” (at least that’s what the HH keeps telling me), I was referring to the toothsome, bite-sized, healthy-fat-and-protein-rich kind of nutty. An “Uncle S.” kind of nutty.  

You see, I’ve had a fairly rocky history with nuts–and I blame it all on my Uncle S.  

One of my favorite relatives, Uncle S (along with Aunty M) lived upstairs in our family’s duplex during my childhood.  We kids would scoot out the door, up the stairs and into their home without a thought or an invitation, assuming it was simply the top floor of our own place.  Aunty M would greet us, hand over some homemade cookies, and then we’d go seek out our uncle.

I have to admit, I didn’t fully appreciate Uncle S’s unique charms until I was an adult.  An unrivalled prankster, Uncle S was a puckish,  Punk’d prototype whose myriad tricks were relentless.  Case in point: every Sunday, our family would pile into Uncle S’s taxi (this was before my dad acquired a car) for an outing in the countryside.  We’d drive for a while, after which, like clockwork, Uncle S would begin to hem and haw:  “Gee, I don’t remember passing that tree over there.  Maybe I took a wrong turn. You know, I’m not exactly sure where we are–maybe we’re lost.  Ricki, which way should I go?”  Given that I was only four or five at the time, I had no idea; but, also like clockwork, Uncle S’s musings sent me into paroxysms of anxiety, certain I’d be wandering forever in the woods, never to see my own home, bed or Barbie dolls again.

Once I grew older, I could appreciate Uncle S’s humor, his always jovial and somewhat michievious expression, reminiscent of the Pillsbury Dough Boy (although not in any way chubby). In fact, I’d say Uncle S resembled a cartoon character more than anything else: having lost his hair as a young man, his shiny dome was encircled with a fluffy white fringe that snaked round the back of his neck and behind his ears.  His nose, slightly bulbous at the tip, was, like his cheeks, often flushed pink,  and he wore a perpetual half-smile on his face. 

Uncle S had a favorite expression, “No Fun!”  which he used the way one would utter, “No Way!” or “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me!”.  The CFO and I found this endlessly amusing. To wit:

Ricki: Uncle S, my goldfish had babies and now we have four fishies.

Uncle S:  No Fun!

[Ricki and The CFO erupt in peals of uncontrollable giggles, hands clamped over their mouths].

The summer my mother died, it seemed only Uncle S could lighten the moribund shroud of silence in the hospital waiting room where our family sat in stunned silence.  Uncle S would ramble on, his words always infused with optimism and hope.  One evening, as we all sat lost in resigned torpor, Uncle S was positioned across from me and the CFO, an absent, bemused expression on his face.  The CFO leaned over to me and whispered, “Hey, doesn’t Uncle S sort of look like Bozo the Clown?”  That smile! That fringe! That nose!  Why yes, yes he did–and with that, Uncle S unwittingly bestowed on us a truly priceless gift: the only moment of unrestrained hilarity in an otherwise unbearable summer. 

Ah, yes, you’re wondering about the nuts.

Uncle S loved to eat nuts. In particular, he was never without his glass jar of Planter’s Dry Roasted peanuts, which he carried with him wherever he went.  Another open jar was stationed on a TV tray beside his armchair so he could munch as he enjoyed the Ed Sullivan Show.  He’d pour a small mound into his open palm, then tip it into his mouth with a quick flick of the wrist as if tossing a ball for a prize at the midway. Then he’d plow ahead with whatever it was he’d been saying,  mouth open and chewing, oblivious as the ground up bits of nut began to escape his mouth in little bursts of beige spray as he spoke.  (In fact, those Planter’s nuts and an opened can of peas and carrots–spooned straight from the can, cold–are pretty much all I ever remember him eating). 

For some inexplicable reason, I decided nuts were not my thing back then.   

I’m happy to report that my nut aversion was finally overcome when I came across Elaine Gottschall’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (geared toward people with Crohn’s, Colitis, or other bowel diseases) while studying nutrition. Her recipes employ nut flours (basically just ground nuts), and I began to experiment with them back then.  Almonds tend to be the most versatile (and mildest in flavor), but almost any nut will do–pop it in a food processor and blend to a mealy consistency.

To some extent, I’m following the ACD  for the next month or so to heal my gut and encourage a little digestive rejuvenation. This means eating less gluten, fewer grains, and more fruits, vegetables, and legumes.  These pancakes were an auspicious first attempt. 

Made mostly with almond meal and a smidge of chickpea (besan) flour, they nevertheless retain a light, airy texture and a refreshing lemon tang.  Neither the almond nor the chickpea asserts itself too prominently, so the flavor remains mild.  I served these last week (before eschewing all sweeteners) with a splash of organic maple syrup from Coombs Family Farms that I received as sample (more on that in an upcoming post) and they were, quite simply, delicious. 

I may not be nutty enough to consume a jar of Planter’s peanuts just yet.  Still, these little treats are a healthy step in the right direction.

Grain-Free Lemony Almond Pancakes (and ACD variation)





Last Year at this Time: Week at Warp Speed and Easy Dinner

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


62 Responses to “Grain Free Lemony Almond Pancakes”

  1. BitterSweet Says:

    These are by far some of the best gluten-free pancakes I’ve ever seen! Oh, I am so craving a tall stack of these babies now…

  2. VeggieGirl Says:


  3. Oh Ricki, they look divine. Please come be my personal breakfast chef!

    Your Nutty Friend (who lives in a warm state, if that’s any incentive)

  4. Jes Says:

    Gluten-free tasty looking pancakes? I can’t believe it’s possible!

  5. Heather (be well & take care) Says:

    whoa, I am looking forward to trying these! nicely done.

  6. Heather Says:

    wow – those look just delicious! i love the lemon/almond flavor – genius!!

  7. jessy Says:

    sweet jeebus, Ricki – i’ve gotta try these pancakes! mmmmmmmmmm! they look soooooo wonderful – i wish i read this earlier today, i could have made them for brunch! (maybe next weekend! yay!)

    your uncle and those Planter’s nuts is just too funny!

  8. Andrea Says:

    These look so perfect — just what I’ve been craving. I’ve made tortes from almond meal so why not pancakes? I want some! (the photo is terrific, too)

  9. holler Says:

    I loved your uncle story Ricki, it did make me smile 🙂

  10. Vegetation Says:

    Ricki, these look fabulous! And as someone who has stomach problems, I am totally looking forward to your new creations! YUM!

  11. Your photo looks so cheerful! Love the brightness and colors.

  12. Hayley Says:

    Uncle S sounds like quite the character! And these pancakes sound delicious. I love nuts of all shapes and sizes, so these are right up my alley. Thanks for the recipe, and the story! And I’d love to be put on the blogroll. Thanks for the invite!

  13. Shelby Says:

    I really like this idea! It looks and sounds so scrumptious =P

  14. Wow, these pancakes look so good! I really like almonds and all nuts! I use them a lot in my cooking! For the past week I haven been eating Peanuts too! This is an awesome recipe!

  15. Yep.. adding these to the list. Also- I have the best candida friendly grain free / yeast free bread recipe that I will get up next week in your honour.

  16. Gina Says:

    You are amazing, they look fantastic!

    Feel free to add me to the blogroll!

  17. ttfn300 Says:

    ha, i don’t think i would’ve liked nuts, either!! Actually all i liked were peanuts until i grew up and learned better 🙂 FABULOUS pancakes!

  18. Kiersten Says:

    I’m nutty every day too! Probably in both ways you mentioned though, heh.

    Your pancakes sound fabulous! I love anything made with almonds.

    (Add me to the blogroll too if you’d like)

  19. I loved this post so much, Ricki! Your description of Uncle S painted quite a picture. I can really imagine what he looked like and he made me laugh with that perpetual half-smile of his. This is one of my favorite posts ever!

    Yummy pancakes! You had me at lemony. They are grain-free? No fun! 😛

  20. Jeannie Says:

    Mmm. Do you think the almond meal left over from making homemade almond milk could be used instead of the from-scratch almond meal that you call for?

    I’m always trying to find out what to do with leftover almond meal and okara!

    Thanks for a great blog!

  21. Diann Says:

    I loved reading about your Uncle S. What great memories he has given you. I remember one time when I was in third grade I had a dance class right after school. For some reason my mom couldn’t take me and she sent a taxi for me. I thought I would absolutely die of embarrassment! You made your rides sound kinda cool though.

    Now about those pancakes – incredible! They look like a fabulous dessert too.

  22. Amy Says:

    Wow. These sound soooo good. I must try them out.

  23. Lisa Says:

    Fabulous pancakes! I am endlessly surprised by the variations that are possible on the pancake theme. Yours sound extra healthy and look delightful.

  24. My Mom would always do the exact same thing, except she did it to force us into the habit of staying alert. (And still does on occasion!) This is a touching anecdote with some yummy-looking pancakes to boot. I’ve really wanted to experiment more with nut “flours,” so maybe I’ll give these a try when I go home!

    Also, I want to say thanks for adding me to your blogroll. I truly enjoy reading your posts and the inspiration you supply to us readers when it comes to dieting and healthful eating 🙂 Keep up the great posts, Ricki!

  25. vegyogini Says:

    Thanks for the Gottschall info; I’m going to look into it to see if it’ll be of any help to my mom. 🙂

  26. DJ Karma Says:

    They look so fluffy and delicious for not having any grain flour! …and would love to be on your new blogroll, thanks!!

  27. laura Says:

    those pancakes sound great, I’ve yet to successfully make pancakes or crepes! Maybe these are the ones for me! I think I have all the ingredients in the house too 😀

    I would love to be included in your blog list too if you like my blog, I think you’ve visited it after the fat free vegan valentie comp

  28. Nicole Says:

    Thank you for the recipe! I have been wanting to make pancakes lately. I’ve been craving them so badly!

  29. Katy Says:

    Mmmm, these look so good! And starting today I’m going off gluten and sugar (just for a month), so these would be perfect!

  30. Courtney Says:

    OMG–Your Uncle S is my (great) Uncle Bill! He too went bald and has a fluffy white fringe around his head, and *always* eats dry roasted peanuts! He and my great aunt have a crystal (probably fake…it has been a while since I have actually been to their house) jar on the kitchen counter that is always filled with roasted peanuts, and Bill will pop a handful throughout the day, and puts them on everything…from popcorn to ice cream! He is quite the jokester, and I have fond memories of laughing with him while growing up :o)

    Anyhoo–those pancakes sound great! I love finding new ways to use chickpea flour. I find that it can sometimes be a little overpowering on its own in baked goods, so I am glad to hear that it works well with the almond meal. I will be trying these out for sure! I too am laying off the grains for a while–even whole grains–as they seem to upset my digestion and stomach. Thank you!


  31. shellyfish Says:

    Your Uncle S sounds like such a gem. Makes me miss my Great-Uncle Paul. He was a dandy, too.

    I cannot wait to try these, Ricki! I might try them with walnuts rather than almonds, because I have around 2K of unshelled walnuts to go through (and for which I am eternally thankful – a gift from a friend who grows them). Maybe for breakfast next weekend?

  32. Sue Says:

    Mmmm Ricki these look fantastic! I am staying off wheat and (mostly) gluten at the moment too so I am definitely going to print off this recipe RIGHT NOW. Made some horrid little pancakes with teff at the weekend which fell apart so need to convince myself I can make nice food for myself again 🙂

  33. Kelly Says:

    Those look fantastic. I have all the ingredients on hand so I may have to give them a whirl. Does the chickpea flour noticably affect the flavor or does it fade into the background? I have a bag on hand and have always been curious to use it in more recipes.

    I too would be flatted to be included in your blog roll. I can’t wait to see the upcoming changes.

  34. melody Says:

    Wow! those look amazing. I think I have all of the ingredients to make them..

  35. How’s the candida diet treating you? The pancakes look goood–eat ’em plain?

  36. krunsdogs Says:

    You should enter TheVeggieQueen’s contest, it ends the 10th. The contest is called “Flax Your Muscles Baking Contest”. To qualify you must use 3 Tbsp of flax seed ground or whole in your recipe. I think this would be a hit! First prize is a years supply of flax seed ground or whole. Just a thought.

  37. georgia Says:

    Hi ricki,

    Those pancakes look awesome. I am trying to cut down on wheat in my diet and I love nuts!!! Can’t wait to try them when I find myself with a morning that I have more time to rustle something up other than muesli or fruit salad.

    Feel free to add me to your blog roll.

  38. Liz Says:

    You, dear Ricki are a Godsend.

    This is exactly what I needed! I’m trying to lay off the carbs a bit (wedding three months away), but I still want my pancakes of course and voila! Ricki to the rescue.

    I can’t wait to make them… in fact, they may be dinner tonight 😉

    Thank you! Thank you! From the bottom of my gluten-free heart.

  39. the CFO Says:

    What a great lsugh, and even a nice, memory-filled cry. (Not the best considering my blocked sinuses since I have the FLU!!! Call your sister–where have you been today???) How nice to bring back such wonderful memories of Uncle S. I miss them all so much– Uncle S, Aunty M, and especially Mummy.
    I remember those dry-roasted peanuts so well—you’re right–he was never without his jar. But I DO remember him eating more than peas and carrots from the can!! In any case, I really don’t know what any of the stories have to do with your pancakes, but it made for very good memories!!! The pancakes sound good too!!!

  40. JennShaggy Says:

    Mmm. I love lemons, I love almonds, and I most certainly love pancakes. These look amazing.

    You should seriously check out the expo some time. I ate so much “cutting edge” vegan food that I thought my stomach would explode. It was the best feeling ever 🙂

  41. Wonderful stories about your uncle. I’ve been looking for a pancake recipe with nut flour to use up all my nut milk pulp. I’ll give these a try and see if they pass the little monster test, my son is a pancake connoisseur.

  42. Wow, lemon in pancakes. That’s wonderful! I love almond flour and use it in everything I can. Yummy!

    I would love to be on you blog roll too!

  43. GIVE ME PANCAKES OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!! cant wait for the new blog 🙂

    (always love being on a blog roll!)

  44. I love it! These look great.

  45. Celine Says:

    nothing beats being nutty.

  46. Rosemary Says:

    These look wonderful, going to try them on my family very soon – won’t tell them they are healthy though, that will spoil my secret.

  47. steph Says:

    oh, blogroll me!

  48. Susan G Says:

    Can’t wait to try these – I love lemon and almonds! And I would love to be on your blogroll!

  49. Lisa Says:

    I must try these. Great combination of flavours. This might just be my next weekend breakfast!

  50. Jodye Says:

    What an original idea! The almond-lemon combination sounds amazing!

  51. Astra Libris Says:

    Ohhhhh, I love pancakes, and I too have been on a quest for a healthy pancake that one actually could and should have for breakfast every day – and you’ve solved the search!! Your pancakes are absolutely gorgeous!!! Thank you for the brilliant recipe!

  52. Lucy Says:

    Um, excuse me but are these new camera shots? Whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it, my friend.

    A re-vamp? Now I’m intrigued.

    ‘Unrestrained hilarity’ – marvellous stuff, love. I do hope that you are well.

  53. Tram Le Says:

    Beautiful pancakes – I think I want to make some for breakfast now!

  54. Maninas Says:

    I do like the lemon-almond flavour combo!

  55. mihl Says:

    Wow, that is such an interesting recipe! Thanks for sharing. And good luck with the revamp 🙂

  56. Alchemille Says:

    These look pretty tempting, I will definetly give these a try ;).
    If I were to use almond meal instead of crushing the almonds, what quantity should I use? 1/4 cup?

    Thanks ;).

  57. Lauren B Says:

    Ricki, the grain-free pancakes look outstanding! I am so excited to see you posted a lowish carb recipe. Going to give it a shot once I can hunt down that bean flour at Whole Foods. Thanks!

  58. Lauren B Says:

    Hi Ricki, I forgot to ask you if I can replace the soy milk with something? I can’t have soy. Going to make these for breakfast! Thank you for any suggestions.

  59. Misty Says:

    What a lovely stories about your uncle. I know you’ll always treasure them. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Anna Says:

    These look amazing! I have to try them.
    This is my first time on your blog and I love it! I am a fellow Ontario-ian and just started my own food blog, so I am starting to explore this fun on-line world. I’m very interested in many of the recipes on this site so will have to try them out!
    Your dogs are also adorable!

  61. Heather Says:

    I made these & they were awesome! I halved the recipe & got 2 decent sized pancakes.. I don’t know how you would get 8-10! Still… delicious topped with maple syrup or warm blueberry jam!

  62. veganhomemade Says:

    Although I’m not sure if I’ll ever stray from my good old-fashioned wheat pancakes, I think this is a fantastic idea and accomplishment! They look and sound super delicious and filling.

    Oh, and add me to your blogroll please!

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