My dad has always made the best big and fluffy pancakes, but one thing’s for sure: He probably wouldn’t be down with this healthy green-colored vegan and gluten-free version, even though they taste just as good. (Look away, pops—it’ll be ok!) As a lover of the breakfast staple and matcha, I couldn’t resist combining the two into a mouth-watering treat that also just so happens to be full of benefits.
While regular pancakes don’t exactly do much for your body—they primarily consist of white flour, eggs, butter, and oil, after all—these babies are jam-packed with body-boosting ingredients. In fact, they’re so healthy you can make them any day of the week. The batter is essentially oats, spinach, banana, and soy milk—so like oatmeal, except in a much-tastier form!—which contains a solid amount of iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. As for the matcha, get ready: Full of antioxidants, the powdered green tea has been shown to protect against cancer and heart disease, and it energizes without the crash that comes with coffee. And another bonus I’m particularly fond of? It can also help calm anxiety thanks to L-theanine, the amino acid it contains.
How to get a quality matcha: I made the mistake of buying matcha from my grocery store, and it ended up being about 80% brown rice filler… aka a total health fail. Since labels can be deceiving and sometimes companies try to fool you into thinking you’re getting something pure when you’re not, make sure you’re buying from reputable retailers. I’m a fan of Mizuba Tea Co. and Encha, and even Trader Joe’s has a quality option available.
What to pair your pancakes with: Make yourself a batch of matcha pancakes topped with a dab of Earth Balance butter and maple syrup. Just make sure your syrup is vegan: I recently wrote about the topic on Well+Good, and surprisingly, not all varieties are animal-byproduct-free.
Fluffy Vegan Matcha Pancakes
These vegan matcha pancakes are so healthy you can eat them every day.
Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and spray with olive oil.
Pour batter into your desired pancake size. After a couple minutes, carefully check to see if the bottom is firm with your spatula. If it is, flip and cook on the other side.
Serve with Earth Balance butter and pure vegan maple syrup.
Ever since moving back to Iowa, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how many vegan options there are here. Obviously I can’t just walk to Peacefood Cafe anymore (*insert tears here*), but hey—I’m a quick drive away from pizza with soy cheese and the Impossible Burger, and that’s fine by me. Plus, it’s safe to say I’m still nailing my version of the restaurant’s spicy Caesar dressing, so it’s basically like I’m there, right?
One of my favorite places I’ve eaten at in the area is actually Karma Coffee Cafe in Hiawatha—a small coffee shop that has a few really tasty vegan eats on the menu. Whenever I post up and work there, I always get a matcha latte and their summer rolls—both of which are completely to-die-for. Since I work from home most days, I decided to make some myself… and unlike the last time I tried working with rice paper (which was kind of like my first time with tofu), it was a total success.
While the restaurant uses what I’m guessing is a homemade sweet potato hummus, I subbed in some store-bought roasted red pepper hummus from Sabra until I have time to make their version myself. The rest of the ingredients are incredibly easy to prep, too: after a few minutes of chopping, you just have to assemble everything and you’re good to go.
Hummus + Veggie Summer Rolls
A light, healthy, and delicious meal that only takes minutes to make. Double up the servings to prep lunch for the entire week.
Cut and combine all the veggies and set them aside. Wash the spinach and pat dry.
Get a large bowl or container—one that's big enough to sit the rice paper in without bending it—and fill it with warm water.
Take a sheet of rice paper and put it in the water, making sure it's completely covered. After about 5 to 10 seconds, or until it's soft, remove the rice paper and set it on a plate.
In the center of the rice paper, lay down a few pieces of spinach, then scoop on some hummus. Top with a small handful of the mixed veggies and save the extras for future rolls.
Fold in the two sides of the rice paper over the veggies, then fold up the bottom portion. Roll into a cylinder so everything is secured inside.
Eat right away or chill in the refrigerator. Want a dip? Mix a couple Tbsp of hummus with a splash of water, adding additional liquid until it's at your preferred consistency.