If December is not the month of hot chocolate, pancakes and romantic Christmas movies in bed, then which month is it? Picture this; you have a huge stack of (healthy & vegan) chai pancakes that are poured with chocolate sauce and topped with some apple or pear. Sounds good? I know! But you know what? You don’t only have to dream about that but you can make it come true!
What’s special about this dish?
First of all, pancakes that are healthy. Kind of special, right? Usually they are packed with fat and refined sugar but not this one! Second, they are vegan! And please, do me a favour; if you think vegan pancakes are boring and cannot be fluffy, try out this recipe. You’ll be proven wrong! Plus, they are easy to make. If you don’t believe me, try it!
And obviously, they are chai-flavoured, because how could they not in December?! PLUS: a healthy-ish and easy chocolate sauce. Ok enough now. All the goodies but nutritious! Christmas dreams coming true!
What is Chai?
Chai actually is a tea that originated in India. To be exact, a black tea with spices, that is drunken with milk in it. It has become super popular in the recent years and nowadays you can find a chai, a chai latte, a dirty chai latte and so on in every coffee house!
In these pancakes we are not actually using the tea, as in tea bags, but we are using the spices that also can be found in the chai tea. These spices are cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. We are using these spices and adding them to our pancakes, to give them this really comforting flavour.
Are these pancakes healthy?
They definitely are way more nutritious than regular pancakes! Why? Regular pancakes are made from butter, sugar, flour and eggs in most cases. Butter, sugar and flour all are not nutrient-dense.
These pancakes are made of apple sauce instead of butter, which has far less fat and calories, chia eggs instead of regular eggs for extra fibre, wholegrain flour instead of white flour for more fibre and nutrients and plant based yoghurt, apple sauce and a little maple syrup instead of white refined sugar. Those still contain sugar but contrary to white refined sugar, they come along other nutrients.
How do we make them fluffy?
Pretty simple. We are using 2 things to make them fluffy; sparkling or soda water and baking powder. The air in the sparkling water gives nice air bubbles in the pancakes and the baking powder makes them rise when cooking!
How do I know when to flip my pancakes?
There is a great trick for that! You need to cook them on medium-high heat all the time. When they start to get bubbles while cooking, it is time to flip them. But also, be aware that the first few never turn out as pretty as the rest, I don’t know why but it’s always like that. 🙂
How to make these pancakes:
This is nothing complicated where you need to get 100 bowls and mixers out. Definitely not. We start by making a chia egg (simply combine chia seeds and plant based milk), then add the apple sauce, maple syrup, plant based yoghurt and soda/ sparkling water. Then you just whisk in the flour mixed with the spices and baking powder and the batter is done!
Noe we just need to fry the pancakes one by one and make the chocolate sauce. For this, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, cacao powder and plant based milk and bring it to a boil. That’s pretty much it!
When, with what, meal prep?
When – I don’t think that I have to tell you which time of the day you should have pancakes. breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, literally whenever you want, there is no time when you shouldn’t have pancakes!
With what? – I like to add some fresh fruit like pear, apple or banana but go for whatever you want! You could also add some not butter or maple syrup if that’s what you like!
Meal prep friendly? – yes! You can reheat them in the microwave or freeze them and reheat in the pan, microwave or oven! That way you can always make the whole batch and never have to throw something away when making too many!
I hope that this recipe will make you December a whole lot better and that you will enjoy these many many times! Have a lot of fun cooking and a good time eating!
Chai Pancakes with Super Simple Hot Chocolate Sauce
Christmas on a plate. Pretty much. Healthy and vegan AND good tasting pancakes. Super easy. super quick and heaven with the chocolate sauce on top!
What you will need
For the pancakes:
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp plant based milk
- 50 g apple sauce (Apfelmus)
- 50 g yoghurt (plant based for vegan option)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 100 ml sparkling/ soda water
- 100 g wholegrain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- some oil/ butter for frying
For the chocolate sauce:
- 2 tbsp canned coconut milk
- 3 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2-3 tbsp plant based milk
- some fresh fruit for serving
To make the chia egg combine the chia seeds with the plant based milk and let sit for 3-5 minutes until the chia seeds start getting gelly.
In the meantime combine the flour with the spices and baking powder.
Add the apple sauce, plant based yoghurt, sparkling water and maple syrup to the chia egg and give it a good stir until everything is combined!
Whisk in the flour until having reached a smoothed batter. It should have a cake batter like consistency. If too thick, add some more milk or water, if too thin, add some more flour.
Heat up a pan and melt the oil/ butter in it. Once hot, add the pancakes, about 3 tbsp of the batter for each and cook on medium-high for about 4 minutes. Once bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake, it is time to flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
In the meantime make the chocolate sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a pan or pot and bringing it to a boil. Whisk everything so it is combined and take off the heat!
Once all pancakes are done, serve them with teh chocolate sauce and fresh fruit! Enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière