Let the holiday shuffle begin! I noticed that the non-dairy, non-denominational holiday nog display at the grocery store was looking particularly robust a couple weeks ago and said to myself: “It’s time!” (The giant tower of pannetone at the entrance was also a decent tip-off) I like making my own, but I also enjoy having some nog on hand for whizzing up into my morning superfood coffee situation, so sometimes store-bought hits me just right. I’m in the thick of a couple large projects right now, so from-scratch nog will have to wait anyway. Can’t wait to share all of this up-and-coming stuff with you all! In the meantime, there’s pancakes.
Even if you only eat plant-based/vegan sometimes, I’m sure that you know Isa Chandra Moskowitz. On the subject of vegan cooking, all of her books (as well as those authored with Terry Hope Romero) are authoritative, thorough, and so much fun. When I get stuck on a recipe, or something just doesn’t seem to be working, OOOR I’m giving up entirely and just need something good for dinner, I can usually suss out a clue/coping recipe from one of her books. My copy of Veganomicon is completely tattered, marked up, and stained–it was the first vegan cookbook that I bought and cooked from. Isa Does It is practically a way of life for me at this point and has never left my kitchen cookbook rotation. You might guess that I’ve been anticipating her latest book, The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, for a long time.
First of all, the book is huge. There’s that immediate vibe of great value when you feel the weight of it–which sounds lame but is totally true and you know it. Everything from New Year’s day to Cinco de Mayo to Christmas, and any possible occasion for gathering in between is covered, so there’s a lot of recipes here. The photography is sharp, bright, super clean without feeling sterile, and just so appetizing. I immediately turned to the harvest-y/festive chapters on Thanksgiving and winter holiday foods when I got it, and there are great recipes for classics like stuffing, mashed potatoes, Christmas cookies, and even a vegan “roast.” But there’s so much good stuff in this book that you could just make because you feel like it. Some of the things I’m excited to try: roasted beet borscht with cashew sour cream, the all natural shamrock shakes, cauliflower tikka masala, chipotle mac and cheese, and the eggplant chimichurri kebabs for when grilling season comes around again.
I like these pancakes because they’re a very casual way to get festive. Like, you’ve just hauled up the holiday decorations from the basement and you’re not exactly in the mood to hang everything up/douse yourself in sparkles, so you just make pancakes and listen to Loretta Lynn instead (guess what we did last weekend!). There’s that subtle eggnog flavour that comes out even more with an extra sprinkle of nutmeg and maple syrup. I made mine a little more fancy with pomegranate and lightly thinned out cashew cream, too. Keeping cashew cream on hand at all times is one of my things now! These are the perfect weekend treat to usher in the season.
BANANA EGGNOG PANCAKES RECIPE
From The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
SERVES: Makes 8 or so pancakes
NOTES: I made a couple minor pantry substitutions with this recipe because pancakes tend to be flexible. I used light spelt instead of all purpose flour and melted coconut oil instead of canola. I’ve noted these changes below! There are a ton of vegan eggnogs on the market, and if you’re using them in a recipe like this, you don’t have to be super picky. I chose one with the lowest amount of sugar, but you could also make your own with this recipe that I contributed to The Chalkboard a few years ago.
Last thing: I served these with a lightly thinned-out cashew cream that was flecked with nutmeg and vanilla. It was decadent and awesome. The basic formula for cashew cream is 1 cup of soaked and drained raw cashews blended with 1/2 cup filtered water until totally smooth. From here, you can add maple syrup, spices etc. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
2 very ripe medium bananas
1/ 1/4 cups plant-based eggnog
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or canola/other neutral oil) + extra for cooking
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup light spelt flour (or all purpose/light whole wheat)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg, plus extra for serving
1/4 teaspoon salt
pure maple syrup
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until they are almost pureed. Add the eggnog, oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Set aside. Preheat the oven to a warming setting, and set a parchment-lined baking sheet on the top rack.
In another large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the banana mixture. Use a fork to gently mix everything together until you have a lumpy batter. This should take about a minute. Don’t mix until smooth! Lumps are totally fine as long as all ingredients are well-incorporated and there aren’t any dry flour spots. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat a large nonstick pan (Isa recommends cast iron) over medium-low heat. Using a brush, lightly coat the pan with coconut oil. Drop pancake batter into the pan by the 1/3 cup. Cook pancakes until puffy and holes are poking through, about 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven. Re-grease the pan and keep making pancakes until the batter runs out.
Serve pancakes warm with accompaniments of your choice!