Vegan-style holiday fun. Yes, vegan

10:47 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 Local
“The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Flapjacks, johnny cakes, hot cakes, hoe cakes — by any other name, pancakes are a luscious choice for breakfast.

They’re what I make when I want to splurge once in a while, usually on the weekend.

For an extra-special holiday breakfast or brunch, make eggnog pancakes. If they sound too rich, consider the accompanying recipe for Banana Eggnog Pancakes, containing no dairy or eggs. I found the recipe in “The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Mashed-up bananas, it turns out, work well in pancakes, and yes, vegan eggnog really does exist. Look for almond or or coconut milk nog in major grocery stores.

These pancakes are luscious, superfun and waist-friendly — one of my favorite combinations, especially for the holidays.

BANANA EGGNOG PANCAKES

2 very ripe medium bananas

1 1/4 cups (vegan) eggnog

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg, plus extra for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon salt

Refined coconut oil, for cooking

For serving:

Banana slices

Fresh or dried cranberries

Pure maple syrup

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas until they are almost pureed. Add the eggnog, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla and set aside.

In a separate 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 mix until a thick, lumpy batter forms. That should take about a minute. It doesn’t need to be smooth; just make sure you get all the ingredients incorporated. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick pan (preferably cast iron) over medium-low heat. Lightly coat the pan with coconut oil. Add 1/2 cup of the batter for each pancake and cook until puffy, about 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes, adding a new coat of oil to the pan, and cook until puffy, about 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes, adding a new coast of oil to the pan, and cook until golden brown, another 3 minutes or so.

Transfer the pancakes to a plate tented with aluminum foil while you cook the rest. Serve with slices bananas, cranberries and maple syrup.

Our assessment: Banana pancakes are denser than regular pancakes. Also, they cook a little differently, so take the time to cook a test pancake before making a batch. Banana pancakes are also sweeter than regular ones, so there’s no need to drench them with syrup. Just a little will do.

From the book: “The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz; 440 page, $32. Published by Hachette Book Group, 2016.

What you get: Recipes are arranged by holidays and special occasions: New Year’s, Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Oscars Party, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s and Father’s Day, 4th of July, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. You’ll find recipes such as Bagels and “Nox” with Wild Mushroom Caviar, Beeting Heart Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Irish Cream Whoopie Pies, Quiche “Lorrain’t” and Mummy Dogs. Don’t those sound fun?

In her own words: “The reason I wrote this book is simple: I love to cook for holidays and specially occasions …. I also wrote this book for everyone who’s ever asked what to serve to the vegans in their lives that is more than just salad.” — Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Next week: Five cookbooks for a healthier, new you.

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