Summer Berry Pancakes (Oil Free, Vegan)

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The sun had been up for a few hours by now, although the heat hadn't quite set in as I pulled into the farmer's market. It was already alive with food trucks, vendors and a band setting up in the shade.

Bags in hand I walked to the first vendor, checking out the fresh carrots, beets, lettuce, greens and herbs. The next had beautiful flowers and herbs as well. More than one vendor was selling fresh made bread and pints of cherry tomatoes. Mushrooms, kale, berries and peppers littered the stands where ever I went.

A few berries caught my eye. The best part of summer being the vibrant fruit that I can never get enough of. Of course raspberries made their way into my bag. Along with june berries or saskatoon berries. These berries look a little like blueberries but they are more mellow and more complex. Their shape is also rather unusual for a berry and their color ranges from a deep purple to a lighter red.

I ate the raspberries out of hand, and on top of chia seed pudding I had made during the week. But the June berries, they were begging to be wrapped in the sweet pillow of whole grain pancakes.

Pancakes have always been a special treat for me. Something that I never really made from scratch until I was living on my own in college. Usually the pancakes were made with a box of Bisquick or Aunt Jemima’s. Just add water and pour onto your griddle. But there’s something about pancakes made from scratch that taste a bit better. Maybe it’s the heart and soul that went into the batter, being careful to never overmix. Confident that lumps are perfectly acceptable as you pour the batter onto the preheated griddle. Waiting patiently for just the right moment to flip and that satisfaction of seeing beautiful golden brown.

 Something about folding fresh berries into the mix makes the pancakes taste all the better.

I've decided to post two pancake recipes. One of which is a little more involved and takes a little bit more time (perfect to impress you brunch friends). The other is my go to pancake recipe that never fails and comes together quickly for a weekday treat. Both are perfect vehicles for any berry of your choosing.

 The second, more complicated pancake recipe includes an ingredient called aquafaba. Aquafaba is the brine or liquid in a can of chickpeas. When whipped at room temperature, it looks, acts and tastes just like meringue! Just make sure the brine is a little thicker as thinner aquafaba won’t whip up very well.

 I always recommend a healthy dose of pure maple syrup when it comes to pancakes. But use what you have! Top with an abundance of berries slightly mashed, agave nectar, jam, nut butters-anything is fair game. These are your pancakes after all.

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Easy Weekday Pancakes

(serves 4)

1 Cup of spelt or whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

½ tsp salt

1 cup non-dairy milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Berries of choice


  1. Combine all of the wet ingredients

  2. Add the flour and then the rest of the dry ingredients.

  3. Stir until just combined. Don’t overmix, lumps are okay

  4. Heat up a pancake griddle to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil

  5. Spoon a half cup or ladle full of batter onto the lightly oiled griddle (smaller amount for sand dollar pancakes). Once you’ve scooped the batter onto the griddle add a few berries of choice on top of the batter.

  6. Wait to flip the pancake until the sides have set and the bubbles coming up to the top stop popping

  7. Flip and cook on the other side until the center of the pancake springs back to the touch

  8. Eat right away with your favorite toppings or place in a low oven until ready to serve

Summer Berry Brunch Pancakes

serves 2-3

3 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 9 Tbsp water

150 g aquafaba or the entire 15oz can’s worth

¼ C non-dairy milk

¼ C non-dairy yogurt of choice

1 C spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

About 1 1/2 C of June berries or berry of choice

Oil for the pan


1.      Mix the aquafaba in a clean bowl with the pinch of salt and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks are reached. (Exactly like what egg whites would do when whipped!) Stiff peaks means that the aquafaba holds its shape when the whisk is removed from the meringue

2.      Add the ground flax seeds to a bowl with the non-dairy milk and non-dairy yogurt. Whisk to combine.

3.      Add the flour and baking powder to the ground flax mixture and whisk until MOSTLY combined.

4.      Heat a griddle to 350 degrees or a pan on medium high heat.

5.       Start combining the whipped aquafaba into the flour mixture by mixing one third of the aquafaba in normally to lighten the mixture a little. Then add another third of the aquafaba into the mixture, this time folding it in with either a whisk or spatula. Scooping the mixture from the bottom and folding it over the top from 12 to 6 o’clock. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the folding motion. Add the last third of the aquafaba and fold until fully combined without losing any air from the aquafaba.

6.      Lightly oily the griddle or pan and drop two tablespoons onto the griddle. Arrange a few berries on top of the pancake and cook until the outside edge is set and the bubbles have stopped popping. Flip gently and cook until the pancake springs back to the touch.

Serve immediately or keep warm in an oven set to warm in a single layer. I highly recommend a healthy dose of maple syrup!

Ali LawrenceComment