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Naturally Sweetened Whole Grain Date Pancakes with Date Pancake Syrup { GLUTEN-FREE ADAPTABLE }


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Weekends are a reason to celebrate! And esp since Ramadan is 6 days away! And nothing says weekend like a big stack of fluffy pancakes! Buttermilk pancakes are pretty much the go-to standard for me. When you want fluffly, pillowy and nostalgically delicious pancake, the classic buttermilk pancake is the way you want to go. 


Classic buttermilk pancakes, however, while delicious, could be revamped to include more nourishing and healthy ascept. Usually made from white flour, white sugar and loaded down with (most times imitation) pancake syrup doesn't really nourish the body or soul.

Celebrate the Weekend

But with a few changes this classic can be turned into stick to your ribs kind of hearty and nourishing breakfast. This version of pancakes is one of my family's favorites that's made from scratch using local, all natural whole grain flours and meals, not those store bought baking mixes that are loaded with all types of preservatives and ingredients you can’t even pronounce. It also swaps an (underrated) natural sweetener for white sugar.  But what makes these pancakes shine are DATES.

Dates have been called "the desert's candy" or even "Allah's manna"and it's for good reason. The date palm is possibly the oldest cultivated plant of all, dating back to 8,000 BCE. Archeological evidence shows that the trunks of date palms were used in the construction of the Moon Temple in Ur in the time of the Mesopotamians. The date palm was coveted for more than just being a practical building material or for its ability to stop desertifaction. Most importantly it was revered because of its fruit, one of the most prized and expensive of all delicacies in the Arab world

“A date palm must have it’s feet in the water and its head in the fire of the sun.”
(arab expression)

It's still a mystery how our ancestors were able to fully understand and cultivate this contradictory plant. The date palm tree is one tricky plant, a desert plant's trunk and roots actually requires hundreds of liters of water to survive. And in fact commerical growers often flood the tree in depth pools of waterBut contrary to this, rainfall is deadly to the tree's leaves above. 


Interestingly, no two date seeds or date palm trees are alike. Unedible seeds, called "drupes" that fall from the tree sprouts an entirely new kind of date palm is created. No date tree grown from a seed is alike. And male trees only produce male sprouts, while the females only produce females. And it is these prized females who are able to produce the dense sweet date fruit. It takes a female date palm over five years to begin bearing edible fruit, something it cannot do, of course without being pollinated. There is, however, no naturally adequate method of pollination for dates. Mankind has been hand-pollinating dates for over 4,500 years.

Dates are quite important of the Arab and Muslim diet. So much so they're present on the royal emblem of Saudia Arabia and the symbol of martyrdom in early Christianity (hence we have Palm Sunday). They're offered to guests a sign of hospitality in Arab and Muslim homes and consumed during Ramadan during fasting.The benefits of consuming the date fruit are numerous. And it is unsuprisingly mentioned in the Torah, Bible and Qur'an. It is particularly highlighted in the story of Maryam (Mary) mother of Jesus. 
The pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She [Maryam] said, "Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!" A voice called out to her from under her, "Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes…" 
(Qur'an, 19:23-26)


Our favorite way to eat dates is as they are fresh, ready on the table for snacking, or if we're lucky picked right off the date palm tree, but dates offer much more benefits then just eating them fresh. Date Palm Tree and dates can be used in a variety of ways -- Arabs in the Arabia have a long tradition of making use of this prized plant, from using the tree as a sturdy wood for building structures or canoes; the leaves as fans, brooms, screens, mats; the date palm woodchips to be used as slow-burning fuel; the sap made into all natural soap or drank fresh much like fresh sugar cane juice; pressed date cakes given as feed to livestock; well chewed date put in the mout of a newborn child as Sunnah (Prophetic Tradition) known as the Tahneek; as a mild pain reliever before heel pricking for a blood sample or before circumcision; the edible flowers can be used in various salads; the date fruit can be stuffed with nuts or almond paste; eaten with coffee to contrast the bitterness of the coffee; made into cakes, pies, smoothies, milkshakes, date milkand puddings, etc; the date seeds can be grind into date flour or roasted to make a caffeine free coffee. And I think by far the most important use being that dates have such high sugar content they are shippable fresh, dry or even vacuum sealed and rarely harbor bacteria -- ideal nourishment for hungry refugees and third world countries such as Somalia and Syria. I guess that's why the Saudi paper the al- Riyadh  reported, "a daily intake of 16 dates will provide the daily human requirement of magnesium, manganese, copper and sulfur; half the needs of iron, and a quarter of potassium and calcium." Because the date is so nourishing it has earned a popular Saudi name: "the cake of the poor."

 I'm using a nice mix of whole food/real food flours from whole wheat, oat, barley and flaxmeal. If you're on a Gluten-Free diet you can easily use oat, sorghum, spelt or buckwheat flour instead of the wheat. I've also used date flour in these pancakes, which is a byproduct of commerical ghars (packed date puré) and date molasses. Its made by grinding the dry seeds of the date fruit and if can be used as a fiber and antioxidant, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anti-hemorrhagic and protein enriched flour. Bread or pancakes made with date flour have a complex earthy and nutty taste to them.You can buy date flour here in Algeria in the souq where they sell dates, but outside of Algeria I'm really not sure where as I have'nt seen it sold online. Luckily, you can easily make date flour at home, by saving the date seeds until you have a fair collection of them (least 100g) then grind in a flour mill or heavy duty blender. Optionally, grind them at your shop where they grind fresh coffee. And great news for allergies, date flour is 100% gluten free and date fruit allergy is a rare occurrence.
For more benefits of date fruit click here.

These pancakes are fluffy, spongy with a soft crust and are lightly sweet pancake with a bit more heartiness to it than a traditional buttermilk pancake.  For me, it's the perfect and they definitely say "Happy Weekend!"

To go along with the pancakes I made a quick 100% All Natural Date Pancake Syrup. I start by placing 2 simple ingredients - dates and water in a small saucepot. It simmers pretty much unattended while I mix the pancake batter. Then it really comes together after pureéing the macerated dates and the water. In the meanwhile, allowing for the leaveners in the batter to activate. Then simply cook off the pancakes. You've got an natural, from scratch complete nourishing vitamin and fiber filled breakfast. I ❤ easy no fuss {HEALTHY} recipes like that! 

Don't have fresh dates? No worries! Use dried or even those baking dates you have hiding in your cabinet.



 My large family of 6 has a hearty appetite so this recipe makes 24 pancakes. You can easily half the recipe to make a more managable 12 pancakes. Or prepare the full recipe, cook as many as you need and keep the batter in the fridge covered for up to 3 days. Or alternatively, cook off the full batch  and freeze what you didn't consume for later. Freezing tips are below.
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One year ago: Spiced Date & Banana Smoothie  
Naturally Sweetened Whole Grain Date Pancakes with Date Pancake Syrup }

make breakfast a celebration with these naturally sweetened whole grain date pancakes!

yield: 24 pancakes
prep time: 10 mins
cook time: 10-12 mins


 mixing bowl, spoon, spatula, fryin pan 

۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS



FOR THE PANCAKES:
  • 125g - 1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour ۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS BELOW
  • 150g - 1 cup barley flour
  • 125g - 1 cup oatflour
  • 140g - 1 cup date flour ۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS BELOW
  • 60g - ½ cup flaxmeal
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 TBS date molasses (for sweetness, optional)
  • 2 tsp (1 packet) baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 600ml - 2 ½ buttermilk ۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS BELOW
  • butter or coconut oil or mild olive oil, for frying


FOR THE DATE PANCAKE SYRUP

  • 7-9 fresh dates, pitted (I use Deglet Nour)
  •  375ml - 1½ water 
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp vanilla 
  • 1TBS real butter (optional if you like a buttery taste)
METHOD

MAKE THE DATE PANCAKE SYRUP

PLACE the pitted dates in the water and allow to soak for 30 minutes. After this time, place the dates along with the water, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon in a blender. Blend until smooth.

POUR the mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the fire and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened. If you like a buttery pancake sryup add 1 TBS of butter at the end. (You can prepare the pancake batter as the date pancake syrup simmers)

FOR THE PANCAKES

IN a large bowl, mix together the flours, and leaveners together. Add the eggs and date molasses and gently stir together. Don't overmix. The batter should be thick and mostly smooth. It's fine if it has a few lumps. Over-mixing is yield is a tough pancake.

HEAT up a hevay botton frying pan or a cast iron skillet. Smear it lightly with butter. Ladle about ¼ cup of the batter onto the pan. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes until bubbles rise to the surface. Flip the pancakes over and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pancakes and place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with all the batter.

Serve these pancakes drizzled with the date pancakes syrup while still hot.

Make Ahead
You can prepare the batter the night before. Simply cover and place in the fridge. I actually find the pancakes taste better if they sit. To use take the batter out of the fridge, give it a stir (but not too much) and cook off as in the above recipe.

Subsitutions
۞ Can't find date flour? Have wheat allergy? No problem! You can easily sub out the barley flour for the sorghom flour, or more GF oatflour or your favourite gluten-free flour blend. Don't have oat flour at home? Find out how to make it at home.

۞ Don't have molasses? No problem! Use stevia, coconut sugar, agave nectar, blackstrap molasses or honey. Or optionally if you don't like a sweet pancake leave it out altogether.

۞ No fresh dates? No problem! Use dried, or baking dates (also called ghars, paté de 
dattes, baking dates or pureéd Dates)

۞ No buttermilk on hand? No problem! Make your own buttermilk or simply mix 3 cups - 600ml milk with 3 tsp lemon juice then allow to sit for 10 minutes before using. Or even easier simply using milk in this recipe.

Save Time
To save time, you can make the batter in a blender by adding the wet ingredients in the blender bowl first, blend for a minute or two, then add in the dry. Blend until combined. No sifting required. 

Gluten Free
You can easily make this gluten free by subsituting your favorite gluten free flour blend for the whole wheat and barley flour or use 2 cups - 200g oat flour, 2 cup - 225g sorghum flour, 2 cup - 225g buckwheat flour, ½ cup - 75g date flour and ½ cup - 75g flaxmeal

Use Later
After cooking allow them to fully cool. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make sure they're not touching. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for at least 6 hours. Once the pancakes are completely frozen remove from the freezer and place them in freezer safe plastic bag stacked. A freezer safe container works as well. Label with the date and name. To consume, preheat your oven or toaster oven to 180°C - 350°F. Lay the pancakes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes until nicely warmed through.

Storage
The date pancake syrup can last in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Variation
These pancakes are so versatile, you can mak them into crepes by thinning out the batter with 1/2 cup carbonated water ( club soda, vichy) or even plain tap water. After cooking, smear them with the date pancake syrup and roll up. A light dusting of icing sugar wouldn't hurt either. 

 CATEGORIES:  breakfast, healthy, gluten-free adaptable, refined sugar free

SOURCE:  HENI EL G

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    These pancakes are pretty much a meal in themselves, but served with a nourishing date milk Ya Allah one of the best breakfast/suhours ever! 


      HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR PANCAKES? 




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      7 comments:

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        ReplyDelete
      2. Wow - I never tried pancakes with whole flour, I think I should try!

        ReplyDelete
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      5. Mashaallah recipe looks great. Will have to try inshaAllah. I'll post it when I do

        ReplyDelete
      6. Salaamu aleikoum Samar, Thanks for visiting and commenting. Please share your results enchallah! oxox

        ReplyDelete
      7. as-salaamu alaykum,
        JazakAllah khair for sharing such a hearty and healthy breakfast recipe.
        Barak Allahu Fiki

        ReplyDelete



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