Hojicha Buckwheat-Oat Pancakes with Matcha Syrup and Roasted Plums [recipe]


When I’m out for breakfast or brunch, pancakes have become too much of a commitment for me. They go from pillows of doughy heaven to cloying, oppressively-dense gut bombs halfway through the meal. Eating pancakes feels like an undeserved indulgence -- like  finishing off a pint of ice cream for breakfast. (I’m sooooo guilty of that.) Or having pizza for two meals in a row. (Also, soooooo guilty of that.)

Maybe it’s an age thing. As I’ve gotten older, my decision-making process has seesawed from the dopamine-releasing quick fixes to “how am I going to feel in an hour?” My bounce-back success rate is lower these days. Boozy nights now leave me feeling like a dried mango the next morning. Like all remnants of liquid and youth sucked from my pores.

Or maybe it’s an experience thing. Because the ability to cushion decisions with logic results from practice. The thought of dating someone I didn’t think had staying power in my life feels so foreign now. (I’ve had sooooooo many fleeting romances.) I would also never go and dump an entire paycheck at Forever 21, just because I need something cute to wear to a party. (I’ve spent soooooo much money there.)

Funny enough, it was only two summers ago when I was enjoying my so-called “best” life. Except now, I know carelessness does not equal meaningfulness. But I don’t regret those emotionally-empty morning-afters with boys who would never call me again. Or those 5 a.m. hikes from 14th street back to Chinatown-- with breath burning of really shitty vodka. Or after-work diner pancakes drenched in Aunt Jemima, simply because I wanted to live a little and feel alive a little, fine, a lot. Youth was not wasted on the younger me. Especially not when the younger me was wasted. 

These days though, I feel alive after a good night’s sleep, working out, eating well, drinking lots of water, and putting money into my savings account. I still make bad decisions, just not as often. And ricotta pancakes for breakfast? Nah -- I don’t need them. I’m ok with having a bite of someone else’s instead.


Pan-tea Dropping Cakes
Makes 4-6 pancakes

You want to indulge for breakfast? Here’s a smarter way of doing it. These gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free pancakes won’t leave you feeling heavy or sluggish. The addition of hojicha (roasted green tea leaves) and matcha adds a touch of severity and seriousness to the flavor. And the roasted plums and orange zest brightens up the whole dish.

¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup oat flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons hojicha tea powder (grind dried tea leaves in coffee press or vitamix)
¾ cup nut milk + 2 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla

Coconut oil for cooking

Matcha maple syrup
½ cup maple syrup
½ tablespoons matcha powder

Sliced plums roasted for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees F with a sprinkle of coconut sugar

Orange zest (optional)

Whisk together maple syrup and matcha powder until blended. Set aside.

Combine dried ingredients in one bowl. Beat together wet ingredients (last three) in separate bowl. Mix dried ingredients with wet ingredients for pancake batter. Set aside.

Heat cast iron or nonstick skillet with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil. Ladle about ¼ or ½  cup batter into skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. (Small bubbles will form on the side that’s up.) Top pancakes with matcha maple syrup and roasted plums.

Diane ChangComment