Summer was here. Then it went again. It might be back I heard. But I’m still feeling it, because for the first time in five years I am not working throughout the summer months. I’m also enjoying a new found appreciation of weekends.
After a busy winter period following the publication of Vegan Street Food, I decided to take the summer off. I wanted to give myself a break from slogging it out at street food events and concentrate on developing and writing some new recipes, and do some serious travelling again with my family. Not just a week off here or there. But lose myself somewhere in the world for a while, with no intentions and fewer attachments.
We wanted to have a last big trip travelling together this summer, before our teen twins fly off to university and I’ve wanted to do some foodie research in the Americas for a long time. Both children are hoping to study or work out there at some point and they’ve badgered us on and off about visiting the United States since they started absorbing global teen culture via their numerous devices. So an American summer it is.
Some people have said to me it’s not that veggie-friendly across some of the states, but I know there’s plenty of places we’ve travelled in Asia where we’ve lived off peanut butter crackers for a day or two. We still had an amazing time. And anyway, it’s America not the Tibetan Plateau; there’s always chips! I’m very excited about the prospect of some great vegan food on the West coast, hooking up with my Canadian travelling friend Maya, doing some solo travel and revisiting New York for the first time in 25 years. You can definitely expect the odd recipe and travel blog from time to time.
I want to immerse myself in the world again, away from home, with my favourite travel buddies, our only worries being where to stay and what to eat. The children’s exams will be finished (for now). Time to recharge those batteries and spend that ever decreasing time together, doing my favourite things. Travelling and eating!
To get us started, how about this delicious recipe for American style pancakes? Blueberry of course!
AMERICAN-STYLE BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
You will need:
120g plain flour (white or wholemeal)
3 level tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
1 tbsp flax seeds, finely ground (or use 1 large free-range egg)
140ml almond or coconut milk
3/4 drops of vanilla extract or seeds from ¼ vanilla pod (optional)
1 tbsp maple syrup
120g blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp pomace or veg oil
Mix the finely ground flax seeds with three tablespoons of water and blend well. Set aside for a few minutes.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a jug, whisk together the milk, vanilla (if using), maple and one tablespoon of the pomace oil.
Then add the flax mixture (or egg if using) and lightly beat until well combined.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, folding so all the ingredients are combined. Do not beat or overmix.
Add the blueberries, gently fold and set aside for at least 5 minutes, preferably somewhere warm so the raising agents start to activate and your pancakes will be light and fluffy.
Heat the frying pan on a moderate hob, and add a little drizzle of oil. Wipe with kitchen roll so pan is only lightly oiled.
Spoon the mixture into the hot pan, aiming for approximately 2 tablespoons per pancake.
Gently fry for 3-4 minutes until bubbles start to appear and the underside is golden brown. Then turn and cook for another few minutes until both sides are cooked.
Cook pancakes in batches, and keep them warm in a low oven 120C until ready to serve. Serve with an extra drizzle of maple syrup or a swirl of cashew cream.
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