Caramel apple oat pancakes (Gluten-free)

When I think about fall, I think about apples.

I picture myself walking through an orchard, wearing some cute layered sweater thing, and munching on a jewel-bright, beautiful red apple. I’m talking a Snow White-about-to-get-poisoned-type of apple.

I haven’t been apple picking in years. When I was living in New Brunswick, it was one of my favourite things to do. You get to cozy up in the car, take in all the fall colours as you roll past and snack on the crunchiest, yummiest apples you can get. Plus, these apple farms often come with amazing goodies like cider and apple butter and pie, delicious apple pie!

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My first experiment with pie crust earlier this summer did not go well. It’s something I want to hone and perfect, particularly as the autumn pie season ramps up (apple, pumpkin, pecan and sweet potato, all the good stuff).

On this particular Sunday, I was definitely in an apple pie mood. But, definitely not in the mood for rolling and re-rolling dough until it finally cooperates.

Pancakes are a Sunday staple in our house. I’m the brains. C. is the flipper. He has this knack for knowing exactly when to flip the pancake so that it doesn’t fall in on itself or get stuck to the pan. I’ve left many crushed, lumpy pancakes in my wake, including the first one of this batch that went straight into the garbage can. I had better luck with pancakes 2 through 4.

For these beauties, I went back to an old favourite gluten-free oat-based recipe. They are the simplest pancakes to make. All you need to do is throw your oats and other ingredients in the blender and whip them up until they look like batter. This batter makes for a pretty healthy pancake, free of excess sugar and zero flour. The caramel apple topping is another story…

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Once you chop the apples and add the ingredients to a pot on the stove, the topping is very much a “set it and forget it” addition. It cooks quickly and this breakfast only took about half an hour from chopping to plating.

The pancakes are dense and extremely filling. I was satisfied with just one.

The topping recipe makes just a bit more than you need, so save your leftovers for supper (I’m thinking atop biscuits with ice cream for a twist on shortcake? More on that later…)

I highly recommend these for the next brunch you host. Happy fall, dears!


Caramel apple oat pancakes
Makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, any variety (peel and chop your apples)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water (add more if you need it)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats (Regular oats will do if you’re not gluten-free)
  • cup almond, soy or regular milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • tsp baking powder
  • Your oil of choice for cooking
  • Greek yogurt, for serving

Directions

  1. Start by peeling and chopping your apples. Add them to a medium-sized pot on the stove. Then add butter, sugar, water and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Turn the heat up to medium. When the mixture begins to boil, turn the burner down to low and cover the pot.
  2. While the apples are cooking, take your oats, milk, banana, spices, salt, vanilla, baking powder and egg and add to the blender. Blend on high until fully mixed and the ingredients form a batter.
  3. In a large pan on the stove, add 1-2 tbsp of your cooking oil of choice and turn the burner to medium. When the oil is hot, add your first pancake, pouring 1/4 of the batter into the pan. I cooked mine one pancake at a time. They should cook for about 6-8 minutes on the first side and 3-5 minutes on the other side. As they are oat pancakes, they will look naturally darker than flour-based.
  4. When all of the pancakes are done, set them on their respective plates. By now, the apples should be soft and the caramel slightly thicker. Spread each pancake with plain or vanilla greek yogurt for added richness and protein and then top with caramel apple sauce.

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