What Are the Best Tips for Making Quinoa Pancakes?

Amanda R. Bell

Quinoa pancakes can be a healthy and delicious substitute for standard breakfast pancakes made with an all-purpose flour. To make these high-protein pancakes as delicious, fluffy, and flavorful as possible, make sure that you thoroughly cook the quinoa first and treat it like a dry ingredient when you are mixing the batter. Oftentimes, healthy pancakes are significantly denser than their lighter, fluffier counterparts. To achieve this same texture with quinoa pancakes, use a small amount of acid in the batter to activate the baking powder completely. For healthy, flavorful pancakes without the use of copious amounts of butter and syrup, try adding dry spices to your pancakes prior to cooking them.

Bowl of cooked quinoa.
Bowl of cooked quinoa.

It is extremely important to cook the quinoa before you mix it with the other ingredients, as not doing so would be the equivalent to adding raw rice to your pancake batter. You can simply cook the quinoa according to the package directions, although a ratio of two parts liquid to one part quinoa is usually best. As you will be using it in pancakes, water is generally the preferred liquid, and it is important to rinse the grain before you cook it, as the natural coating can have an undesirable texture.

Cooked quinoa should be treated as a dry ingredient when making quinoa pancakes.
Cooked quinoa should be treated as a dry ingredient when making quinoa pancakes.

Even for an experienced baker, determining whether or not to treat quinoa like a dry or wet ingredient can be a bit confusing, as it does have a slightly damp consistency after it’s cooked. One of the best tips for making quinoa pancakes is to treat this ingredient as you would any type of flour. It should always be mixed with the dry ingredients before the wet ingredients are added to it. Adding it to the wet ingredients on its own before mixing it with the other dry ingredients can result in lumpy quinoa pancakes.

Often, any time an all-purpose flour is substituted with a whole grain, such as quinoa, the resulting product is dense in texture, which is not usually what is desired in pancakes. This is because whole grains are naturally denser than their refined counterparts, and, as such, the baking powder used in the batter is weighed down. A good way to alleviate some of this problem when making quinoa pancakes is to include a small amount of acid, about 1 tablespoon (about 15 milliliters), to activate the baking soda completely, which is the ingredient responsible for most of the pancake’s fluffiness. Lemon juice and white vinegar are the two most popular options, and generally have little effect on the flavor of the quinoa pancakes.

Generally, quinoa pancakes are extremely healthy as soon as they come out of the skillet; however, what one uses to top this dish can make an otherwise nutritionally and figure-friendly meal unhealthy. To maintain a good amount of taste without having to use a lot of butter or syrup, try adding flavorful seasonings to your pancake batter. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves are all excellent, complementary ingredients, while a small amount of brown sugar can increase the sweetness of the dish without a lot of extra fat or calories.

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