As kids, my sisters and brother and I were subjected to what we thought was the ultimate horror: Health food. Our mom belonged to a natural foods co-op and we were relegated to ingesting a very healthy diet. As kids who yearned for the Fruity Pebbles and potato chips their friends were eating, the health foods diet was torture. We were the children who knew what a carob chip tasted like and how it was NOT a good substitute for chocolate in trail mix. My brother tells me stories of escaping to a friend’s house to gorge on Nutella instead of the oily natural peanut butter we were allowed at home.
The primary offender to our taste buds was the buckwheat pancake. Mom mixed up mass quantities of buckwheat pancake mix in a massive Tupperware container on a regular basis and scooped it out by the cup, combining it with milk and eggs on weekend mornings. While other kids enjoyed Sunday morning donuts, we got buckwheat pancakes. The buckwheat pancake was so overused in our house that it has become a running joke to us siblings as adults. If there was one thing I would never feed my children, it would be a buckwheat pancake.
Then, Roman was diagnosed with autism. I did all the reading on the gluten and casein free diet. It was supposed to help with everything from sleeping issues, which he had plenty of, to reducing stims. I mentioned the diet to Eric and he, being a gluten free enthusiast, jumped on board. We purged the house of mac and cheese and I started scouring the internet for ideas for flour replacements. My old nemesis buckwheat jumped out at me. Hey, pick me! He cried. I have twice as much protien as wheat flour and enough fiber to keep you regular for the rest of your life.
Buckwheat is not actually in the wheat family. It is related to rhubarb. I found that fact amazing as I chose it as our go to substitution for wheat flour. I started making breads and cookies out of buckwheat and agave nectar, another one of the new health foods I found to be a lifesaver. Roman ate them up. He had no qualms about ingesting the heavy flour in baked goods.
That brings me to last night. Eric was working late and I wanted something quick and easy to make for dinner. Since we can’t do many convenience foods because they contain gluten, dairy, soy or rice products, I had to turn to what we had. There were only a few eggs, as our hens have only been laying a few each day. I searched high and low and found buckwheat, eggs, and almond milk. The reality of what I was about to do hit me then. I was going to feed my kids buckwheat pancakes.
I did it. I mixed up the buckwheat with some potato flour and added a little baking powder and salt. Thinking about what I was doing as little as possible, I whisked in the eggs, milk and a little agave nectar. I was pouring the batter out in perfect circles before I knew it. It was simply mechanical. I couldn’t stop to think that I was actually going to feed my kids buckwheat pancakes or I wouldn’t go through with it.
Finally, I served them up with a little butter (on Tycen and Tanis’ only) and syrup. They didn’t flinch, they didn’t whine, they didn’t cry. I distinctly remember doing all three when I was served buckwheat pancakes. They even asked for seconds. Before I knew it, the stack of pancakes had nearly disappeared. There was only one left and I had to eat something. I doctored it up with butter and syrup and closed my eyes. I took a bite. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was quite tasty. I just wished the kids had left me more than one.