So many people say they like these pancakes even more than “regular” pancakes, and now these are their regular pancakes. These cakes rise nicely and fill your kitchen with a wonderful lemony aroma. For best results, read the Notes section of this recipe before beginning to cook.
- 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk (plus more to thin batter as it sits)
- 2 ounces pitted dates (3 to 4 Medjool or 6 to 8 Deglet Noor), chopped
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon; see Notes)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Sliced fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries, to top pancakes (optional)
- Finely chopped walnuts to top pancakes (optional)
- 1 recipe Strawberry Date Syrup (optional)
- Place the nondairy milk and dates into a small bowl, and set aside for 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).
- Grind the rolled oats into flour using a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Heat a nonstick frying pan or griddle to medium heat (not high).
- Pour the soaking dates and milk into a blender, and blend until smooth.
- Add this mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients, along with the lemon juice and zest, and whisk until smooth.
- When a water droplet sputters on the surface of the frying pan or griddle, it is ready: pour ¼ to ½ cup of the batter onto its surface (no oil is needed), and cook until bubbles form around the edges and on top, and the underside is medium brown (1 to 2 minutes). Flip the pancake and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. (As the batter sits, it may thicken so add a little more milk as needed.)
- Serve pancakes immediately, with one or all of the optional toppings: sliced fruit, chopped walnuts, and/or Strawberry Date Syrup.
If you do not have (or do not want to use) nonstick cookware, you can also bake the pancakes in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake the pancakes at 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes before flipping them and baking for another 5 to 10 minutes. Baking does not yield the same deep brown color as the frying pan, but the pancakes will still taste great.
Use a silicone (not plastic) spatula with a large, flat surface and tapered edge for best pancake-flipping results.
To zest a lemon, use a very fine-toothed grater (a Microplane), grating or “zesting” only the yellow outer skin while avoiding the white pith below it. Be sure to always zest your citrus before juicing it.