My heart is heavy this morning. Our little Sketchie cat is going through a surgery right now. It broke my heart saying good-bye this morning. He has no idea what he’s in for, what he will wake up to, and have to recover from. I haven’t written much about Sketchie’s bowel problems (most likely because it doesn’t tie into the topic of food very well!), but our vet suspects that he has Irritable Bowel Disease. Many days he is running to get to his litter box in time. I won’t get into details, but it’s so sad to watch. His problems were there as a kitten and have gotten worse over the years. We’ve tried relentlessly to find a cure for his problems – grain-free food, the raw food diet, single protein food sources, pumpkin, probiotics – you name it, and nothing seemed to help for long and he’s also extremely picky with food so that complicates things too. He has had blood work and stool testing galore! I feel so bad for him because he obviously doesn’t understand what is going on with his body.
Our vet recommended that Sketchie have exploratory surgery where they will take a biopsy of his intestines, examine his organs, and look for anything unusual like cancer. If we just put him on medication it might cover up a serious problem that’s going on, so we decided it was best to know what’s really going on inside him. His recent blood work came back that he has low B12 which could be a result of IBD or it could be due to something more serious like lymphoma. The hardest part about this decision is that we don’t know for sure if it will end up finding a solution to his problem, but we figure it’s worth a shot for his long-term health and happiness. We really don’t know what else to do at this point. One thing is for sure; this wacky, quirky little cat has left such a mark on my heart, I can’t imagine my life without him and I would do anything to help him.
The house feels so empty and quiet this morning (there’s no one rubbing his head on my computer screen right now or meowing at me!), but I know he’s in great hands. And he will be spoiled and taken care of 24/7 when he’s home, so hopefully his recovery goes well. I’ll keep you posted on how he’s doing. Hopefully he doesn’t hate us too much, especially with that cone around his head and mystery incision.
There’s no good way to transition into a pancake recipe today, but let’s just go with it. I need a little comfort food right about now! I made these pancakes for Eric and I after the hockey game on Sunday to celebrate the Olympics. It was an event we looked forward to for weeks and I couldn’t think of a better way to treat ourselves. It’s been a LONG time since I wrote about pancakes on this blog…too long, in fact! Hopefully this makes up for lost time.
These vegan pancakes are made with raw buckwheat flour, rice flour, and arrowroot flour - making them naturally gluten-free - and chopped bananas are folded into the batter to provide a fluffy, pillow-like texture. You can enjoy them plain (they are seriously really good without anything added!), or you can get fancy and serve them with some coconut whipped cream, fresh berries, vegan butter, and/or maple syrup. The sky is the limit, pancake lovers. They are also fantastic with some finely chopped chocolate thrown into the batter or blueberries! You can tell I’ve made this recipe a lot! One word of caution: The combination of gluten-free flour is sensitive to changes. I don’t recommend subbing any of the flours with oat flour, for example - it tends to create a pancake that cracks, sticks to the pan, and falls apart. I don’t have any issues with this recipe when I follow it as written and use a non-stick skillet though. This recipe is adapted from my Vanilla Blueberry Buckwheat pancakes.
- 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground into a fine flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 cups + 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup diced ripe bananas (about 2 small/medium)
- Coconut Whipped Cream, for garnish
- Chopped Fresh Strawberries, for garnish
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. A drop of water should sizzle on the skillet when it’s ready.
- In a blender, blend the buckwheat groats on high speed until a fine flour forms. Place into a large bowl. Now whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients (rice flour, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour this onto the dry ingredients and whisk the batter until no clumps remain.
- Dice the banana until it's the size of peas or a bit larger. Fold the diced banana into the batter.
- Lightly grease skillet (I spray olive oil on it). Scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet and quickly spread the batter out into a circle. Cook until some bubbles appear and the edge looks deeper in colour and more firm. Flip and cook for another couple minutes until golden. Adjust heat as needed. Repeat for the other pancakes. I spray the skillet with oil before each pancake is cooked and this seems to work well.
- Stack and serve with Coconut Whipped Cream and fresh chopped strawberries, if desired. Or simply serve with pure maple syrup!
If using frozen blueberries, pour batter onto skillet first and then top with blueberries to prevent bleeding.
I tried subbing the rice flour for oat flour and the pancakes stuck to the pan, so I would advise against that substitution.
If at any time your batter is too thick or if you want thinner pancakes, simply thin it out with a splash or two of almond milk.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have let me know you received the cookbook a bit early (Indigo is shipping early and stocking the book in some stores, FYI). I’ve received so many tweets from you sharing pictures of the book in your home, recipes you’ve already made, and the like. It’s really brightened up my week and I’m so grateful for your excitement and support. One week from today, the book will be officially released and out in the world. I feel nervous, excited, anxious, scared, and grateful all at once.
Now go on and treat yourself to some pancakes!