If You Want Your Pancakes To Sing, Add Fonio

It seems like breakfast lovers everywhere are in search of the absolute best pancakes and everyone has their own ideal version. Do you like your pancakes pillowy soft, thin, and delicate, or crisp and golden? Is plain Jane the way to go or are you in the "more is more" camp when it comes to toppings? For many, the perfect pancake is easy to make and fluffy, but with some textural intrigue. If that sounds like you, fonio pancakes are the way to go. The addition of fonio keeps the pancakes soft and fluffy, but they still maintain a pleasant bite. The grain has a nutty richness, which gives your pancakes a lovely depth of flavor.

Fonio is a heritage grain in the millet family that comes from West Africa. This tiny, gluten-free, whole grain is sand-like in appearance and has a taste and texture that is almost like a cross between quinoa and couscous. While the grain was once a very important and even regal food, the crop has fallen out of favor in West African communities because of a preference for Western products. However, the West's insatiable appetite for the next big health food trend seems poised to put fonio back on the map. The grain is high in calcium, vitamins, and minerals, and also provides a decent amount of fiber and protein.

How do you make fonio pancakes?

Fonio can be found at African specialty stores, online, and at some Whole Foods and Target stores. Just make sure you are buying the actual fonio grains and not fonio flour. Fonio flour is simply ground fonio grain. While fonio flour's light texture and nutty taste would make a great substitute for the gluten-free flour you usually use, adding the whole fonio grains to a flour-based pancake recipe is what makes these pancakes something special.

Unlike many recipes for pancakes that require the separating of egg yolks out and beating egg whites into stiff peaks, fonio pancakes are made by simply adding cooked and cooled fonio to an otherwise straightforward pancake recipe. For a stress-free breakfast or brunch, cook up some fonio the night before, and use the rest as a substitute for quinoa in your meal prep for the week. When it comes to pancakes, fonio enhances the crumb, adds a delectable nutty taste, and keeps them nice and fluffy. It also has the added bonus of making this breakfast treat a little healthier and more filling.