Gluten-free Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

This morning I woke up with an intense desire to make pancakes.  I usually don’t eat “break” fast until mid to later morning, & it usually looks like this or this, which requires very little time & effort.  Quick & easy, is how I like it.

But this morning I wanted to make something.

It’s hard not living in your own house.  I find a great deal of satisfication in “making” my house a home & I miss my house.  I miss my kitchen.  I miss cooking & being creative  in my kitchen.   So maybe since I’m missing my house, my kitchen, I’m looking for ways to be creative.

And I like a challenge.

I knew I wanted something that tasted *like* buttermilk pancakes.  Without the actual butter or cow’s milk or gluten.  Or eggs.  Wow.  Is that even possible?

I think by looking at this picture, you can figure that one out for yourself:

Here’s how I did it:

1.  Gotta have some big beautiful bowls to get you excited to get creative in the kitchen.

2.  Ditto for measuring spoons & cups, wooden spoons & spatulas.

3.  I used a blend of 3 grains:  oatmeal, brown rice, & quinoa. {Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, for the record, but you probably already knew that.  Smartypants.}

4.  I adapted my recipe (let’s say, more like my recipe was inspired by) a 40-year old cookbook called,  The Magic of Wheat Cookery: The beginning of a new adventure in wheat cooking.  The front cover cracks me up:  “A Revolutionary New Cookbook, OVER 300 exciting recipes featuring the New, Fantastic, Time N’ Motion Guide.”

5.  I used Bob’s Red Mill chia seeds & quinoa.  More on this later.

6.  I used Wholesome Sweetner’s organic stevia powder and organic coconut palm sugar to add a hint of sweetness to the batter.

7.  Fresh lemons, instead of bottled lemon juice is always a nice touch.

8.  And a bit of applesauce instead of oil.  Keeps the pancake moist.

Mali was my helper.  I love to have her in the kitchen.  So helpful.  Docile.  And she’s getting good with cutting, pouring, stirring (all with supervision, of course).   She helped with everything, including cutting the lemons & making the “buttermilk.”

Mali, still in her jammies, helped measure, pour, & stir.  She even helped flip the pancakes.

 The boys wanted to help, but I said:  “No, it’s girl time in the kitchen.”

They were sad, but they are going to a drama summer camp all this week, which Mali is not old enough to attend, so Joseph & I are trying to make up for it by doing extra special things with her.

I grilled the pancakes on a cast iron tortilla cooker.  I love this thing!  I don’t have one, but I use it all the time when I’m at my mom’s house.  It’s great for warming up corn tortillas, making grilled sandwiches, cooking pancakes, among many other things.

Gluten-Free Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 medium-sized pancakes

Serving Size: 1 pancake

Calories per serving: 90

Fat grams per serving: 1 g

Gluten-Free Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

What's for breakfast, you say? Buttermilk pancakes--without the gluten, eggs, oil, or dairy!


  • 2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 2/3 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 c. uncooked brown rice
  • 3 TBS. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 TBS. dry sweetener of choice
  • 2 packets organic stevia OR additional TBS. of sweetener
  • 2 TBS. chia seeds
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 3/4 c. water
  • 2 c. rice or soy milk (I used rice)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. Okay, if you don't have a Blendtec or Vitamix, you can still mill your own flour with a blender. Blend on high until grain is flour-like. A powerful blender like a Blendtec does a marvelous job of this, but you do what you can. If you don't like the taste of quinoa, just replace it with equal amounts of brown rice or oatmeal. I like the addition of quinoa because it's such a nutritious little seed, packed full of nutrients like protein & fiber, it's a great way to get some more of this stuff into your diet.
  2. Get your oatmeal & rice, but not quinoa & place in blender. Blend on high (see above).
  3. Make your "buttermilk" by combining lemon juice & milk & let it sit.
  4. Combine water & chia seeds. Set it aside to & let it sit. Give it a moment & it'll "bulk up." Did you know chia seeds can expand & hold 10 X's their weight? Their also chock full of omega-3's & fiber, so you'll want to make these little guys your friends.
  5. Combine oat & rice flour with baking powder, salt, sweetner(s), & sift.
  6. Rinse your quinoa in a small sieve. It has a natural bitter coating that you'll want to rinse off. So don't skip this step!
  7. In a blender, blend your chia mixture, applesauce, & quinoa & "buttermilk" until smooth.
  8. Add the vanilla to this mixture.
  9. Now's the time to preheat your cast iron griddle or non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  10. Combine your wet & dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  11. Mix ingredients with a spatula, but be gentle. Don't overmix. Pancake batter is sensitive to overmixing. If you want light, fluffy pancakes (I know you do), only mix as much as needed to combine the wet & dry ingredients. A few lumps are okay.
  12. Use a 1/3 c. measuring cup & pour 1/3 c. batter on griddle.
  13. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, or until most of the bubbles have popped.
  14. Flip & cook on the other side for about half that time.
  15. Serve with your favorite toppings. This pancake goes really well with some chopped walnuts, sliced bananas & maple syrup or maple agave.

2.5 g protein, 18 g. carbs, 2 g fiber, 85 mg sodium.

We’re out of maple syrup, but fortunately I do have a lot of single serve packets of flavored agave from Wholesome Sweeteners that I got at the BlogHer Food conference.  I had strawberry, cinnamon, & maple flavored to choose from.

I was kind of bummed we’re out of fresh strawberries, but turned out to be a good thing, because I used bananas & walnuts instead, a great pairing with the flavor of this pancake.

So in the end:  I drizzled my stack with some maple & cinnamon agave, tossed a few banana slices, & then finished it off by sprinkling it with some chopped walnuts.

This recipe is also posted at Diet, Dessert, & Dogs blog Wellness Weekend.  Check it out for more healthy, feel-good recipes!


Do you ever have days where you just want to get in the kitchen & be creative?  What do you like to make when your in one of those moods?


  1. Pingback: vegan gluten free buckwheat pancakes

  2. alanna
    on March 24, 2013 at 11:57 am said:

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for my family this morning and it was a hit. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Gluten-free Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes | Bring Joy | ogremum

  4. Anja
    on September 30, 2012 at 1:32 am said:

    Hey Janae,
    I just wanted to let you know that these pancakes taste great and have a wonderful texture. I was looking for some good recipes and this one is definitely a keeper. I made it for the second time yesterday after I got a new non-stick pan since they did not come out beautifully at my first attempt because of my old pan. Now, I am happy! Enjoy your Sunday!

  5. Pingback: Peach Syrup and Peach and Greens Salad — Healthful Pursuit

  6. Dana
    on July 4, 2012 at 8:20 am said:

    I made these for breakfast this morning and they were fantastic! I cut the recipe in half and it was enough for the five of us, including seconds for the boys- who devoured them like a mini pack of wolves! I added blueberries to the pancakes while cooking and then topped with applesauce, walnuts, and a bit of blueberry syrup. Thanks for the recipe, Janae!

    • Janae Wise
      on July 4, 2012 at 8:26 am said:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed them! Thanks for letting me know, my day will just be a little bit better because of that.

  7. Melanie
    on June 30, 2012 at 11:21 am said:

    Looks and sounds pretty good! I want to try it. 🙂

  8. Michelle @
    on June 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm said:

    YUM! I have a slight pancake obsession.

    Love your website!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm said:

      Well, pancakes are so likable, it’s a pretty easy obsession to have.
      & thank you.

  9. Melodie
    on June 26, 2012 at 11:29 pm said:

    Those look yummy! I will have to try them soon.

  10. Summer Ceraolo
    on June 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm said:

    Mmm!! These look delicious AND healthy!

  11. Sarah
    on June 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm said:

    I am such a fan of the dessert pancake! Bananas, walnuts, & quinoa- sounds like a delicious and energizing start of the day! I’m always searching for delicious sources of protein. This one’s definitely a keeper- thanks!

  12. Terri
    on June 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm said:

    Those look yummy! I would not have thought to use quinoa in pancakes but now I will be giving that a try!

  13. Kelly
    on June 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm said:

    Wow, that looks amazing! I am working on being able to flip pancakes! I haven’t mastered that ability yet :/

  14. Kristen
    on June 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm said:

    Wow! That is so wild that quinoa is in these pancakes! I never would have thought to use quinoa in that way. So healthy… I LOVE IT!! My mom and sisters are coming into town next week to meet the new babe so we’ll definitely be making these pancakes. The way you made these pancakes reminds me of banana nut bread. YUM!! Your pictures are so perfect… I wanna take my fork and dig right in…. to my computer screen. 😉

    • Janae Wise
      on June 24, 2012 at 7:48 am said:

      Yes, the pancakes were a bit reminiscent of banana nut bread. Maybe I should re-title the recipe?

      The quinoa adds a distinctive flavor & can be overpowering to some, so maybe try 1/2ing the quinoa in the recipe & replacing it with oat or rice flour. It’s a fun what to introduce different grain flours into your cooking (who doesn’t love pancakes?!).

      Have fun with your family & new baby (so cute!). Hope you’re finding time to enjoy the moments & get some sleep 🙂 Goes by fast…

  15. Judy
    on June 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm said:

    Yum! Anxious to try this one. I’ve blended oats into flour before, but never tried quinoa or rice. Don’t have a Vitamix…Hoping my Nutribullet will suffice!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 24, 2012 at 7:50 am said:

      I would try soaking your quinoa in some water (cover w/ water & let soak for 1-2 hours before using) before using in the recipe if you’re going to use a regular blender. This should help your blender out & you should get a finer blend this way.

    on June 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm said:


    • Janae Wise
      on June 24, 2012 at 7:45 am said:

      Good for you for being so open-minded & willing to try new things. Keeps life fun & exciting, for sure 🙂

  17. Shanda
    on June 22, 2012 at 10:36 am said:

    My kids love pancakes so I am always trying to sneak things in. The other day I made some almond meal and mixed half and half with wheat flour for

    • Shanda
      on June 22, 2012 at 10:39 am said:

      A little extra healthy fat for my kids. I often throw in a mashed banana or pumpkin as well.

  18. kristy @ coconutmama
    on June 22, 2012 at 8:51 am said:

    This looks like a great go-to pancake recipe! I will definitely give it a try. I know I am able to make oat flour and I bet I can make the quinoa flour with my magic bullet’s flat blade (I so want a vitamix or blendtec!), but I am not sure about the brown rice. Your recipe calls for 1 cup brown rice…do you know what it comes down to after grinding?

    • Janae Wise
      on June 22, 2012 at 8:55 am said:

      It’s a little less than a cup. A scant cup, I’d say 🙂

  19. April
    on June 22, 2012 at 6:48 am said:

    Thanks for doing the give away on the next post! You sound like me-I usually have a smoothie for breakfast-6 days out of 7 at least but maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks I get the urge to have something more substantial. I usually turn to pancakes too! As far as being creative in the kitchen I’d say that I probably don’t do what you are looking for-my creativity is all in trying as many new recipes as possible. I’ve been married 7 years and have only repeated a recipe maybe a dozen times and I cook 5-6 nights a week consistently. I just LOVE trying new recipes so I think that’s my creativity! Not inventing my own but trying as many as possible from others!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 22, 2012 at 7:12 am said:

      Wow, I’m impressed! Once I started having kids (which was pretty immediate after getting married), I had to cut my cooking down to a more no-frills approach. I love trying out new recipes too, and of course, creating my own (the wanna-be artist in me, I suppose).

  20. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    on June 22, 2012 at 4:42 am said:

    These pancakes are just gorgeous! They look so amazingly fluffy! I’ve bookmarked them for sunday 🙂

  21. Jenn T.
    on June 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm said:

    I am glad I’ve found your web site! I’m trying to improve my diet (and my family’s) due to health concerns and your blog is inspiring! I love reading your posts.

  22. Jenn T.
    on June 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm said:

    I’m glad I’ve found your web site! I’m trying to improve my diet (and my family’s diet) due to health concerns and you have an inspiring blog. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts!

  23. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    on June 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm said:

    Oh my! I’m so happy we found one another. I LOVE your photography. So fresh, inspiring, all the little details… very amazing.
    I have mornings like that too, but they’re few and far between, that’s for sure. When I do have a hankering to make a big breakfast, I always go to pancakes. I’ve gotten stuck making pancakes with chickpea flour. It’s easy, inexpensive, and I’ve memorized the recipe. Will have to give yours a try, I love how low in calories they are!

  24. Leslie
    on June 21, 2012 at 11:58 am said:

    Love the new website!! So crisp and clean. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try.

    • Janae Wise
      on June 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm said:

      Thank you & you are welcome :).

  25. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy
    on June 21, 2012 at 9:30 am said:

    what a delicious way to start the day! those look fabulous! love your little ktichen helpers:)

    • Janae Wise
      on June 21, 2012 at 10:50 am said:

      I know, it’s great to have such a lovely, little person help me out. I really want my kids to know they’re always welcome to help me in the kitchen & I hope I can keep it light & fun, even though sometimes they make a less than perfect pancake or spill something on the floor. It’s about being together, learning, & making memories.

  26. lfwfv
    on June 21, 2012 at 8:21 am said:

    These look so great. I still don’t own any type of blender, just a food processor. I can’t find GF oat flour anywhere, so i know i would need to blend my own to get the flour. Your recent baking recipes look so tasty and make me want to get the tools and ingredients i need to try some of them. Yum!!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 21, 2012 at 8:25 am said:

      You can make oat flour in a food processor & you can buy brown rice flour. Not sure about quinoa flour though…

  27. Katie
    on June 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm said:

    Okay, just to make sure I know what you mean when you have brown rice in your recipes…do you mean brown rice flour? Or cooked brown rice? I noticed it had that in the cookies too.

    These look amazing. These are headed to my recipe book!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 21, 2012 at 6:19 am said:

      Great question! Uncooked brown rice, when milled, turns into brown rice flour. You can buy brown rice flour, but I make my own because it’s fresh & I can do it at a lower cost than if I purchased the flour.

      Great clarification, I guess I should make that very clear in the recipe!

  28. Christine
    on June 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm said:

    These look delicious! The banana walnut combo sounds great too. Now I’m in a pancake mood! 🙂

    I usually make a bigger breakfast on the weekends, either homemade waffles or pancakes (Dreena’s blueberry chocolate drop are our favorite right now). I’ll make oatmeal or have muffins or banana bread for my kids to have during the week. I’m a green smoothie-type-of-gal so I have one 6-7 times per week.

    Gorgeous pictures too. Oh, and I love old cookbooks. They are a hoot!

    • Janae Wise
      on June 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm said:

      Yes, I know the old cookbooks, I read them for entertainment. Better history than a history book!

      I’m the same with breakfasts–weekends are usually waffe/pancake/crepe time. During the week it’s usually oatmeal or some such grain like that and/or smoothie. But occasionally I just get in the mood for something different & a bit more creative, like today!

      (I LOVE Dreena’s blueberry carob version.)