You Heart What You Eat: Pass the Buck(Wheat) Pancakes |

You Heart What You Eat: Pass the Buck(Wheat) Pancakes

These homemade buckwheat pancakes offer an interesting texture and nutty flavor different than most traditional pancakes.

— I’m not sure if my aversion to pancakes began in the womb as my mother sometimes suggests. As legend has it, she had a craving so strong for them at some point during her pregnancy, she indulged until she lost her cookies (or in this case, pancakes), and neither of us took much interest in them since. Until, that is, I was in my late teens visiting a friend in Highland Park, Illinois and visited the famous Walker Bros. Pancake House.

Initially, I was nervous to explain to my friend, okay, boyfriend at the time, how much I really hated pancakes. So, I quickly decided to try something outside the traditional buttermilk, blueberry or chocolate chip versions I’d seen in just about every other breakfast establishment. Walker Bros. had something called Buckwheat Silver Dollars (their menu title has since changed but I distinctly remember the little silver dollar sized cakes, hence the name at the time). As a naïve, country girl from the central parts of Illinois, I thought buckwheat sounded classy enough, so I ordered them and upon arrival was even more nervous about their taste. Here were these little dark brown cakes with a bit of powdered sugar and strawberries on top and all I could think about was how gross there were likely to taste due to their weird color and clearly different texture.

Fortunately I was willing to take the plunge and eat this foreign food before my then-boyfriend saw my nerves take hold. To put it simply, they were delicious. These buckwheat pancakes had such an interesting texture and nutty flavor different than any other pancake I had tried. This time I felt like I could eat a dozen of these without a single gag reflex, and that was something! Since that introduction over twenty years ago, I have been a rather regular pancake eater again barring I make them with a buckwheat or other non-traditional pancake recipe.

Nutritionally, buckwheat is considered a great alternative for gluten-free folks since it’s not a cereal grain or related to wheat. It is instead a seed but can be used in the same fashion as that of many other common cereal grains. As a rich source in soluble and insoluble dietary fibers as well as more B-complex vitamins than that of quinoa seeds and more concentration of minerals like copper (helps in the production of red blood cells) and magnesium (relaxes blood vessels leading to the brain and helpful aiding in depression and headaches) buckwheat is a great dietary addition. Below is my closest comparison to what I remember eating at Walker Bros. Give it a go and I’ll bet you’re taste buds will do a happy dance you’ll never forget!

Pass the Buck(Wheat) Pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk (or 1 1⁄4 cup regular 1⁄4 tsp. salt milk, 1 tbs. vinegar)

  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 large egg
1 tsp. baking powder (1⁄2 tsp. at high altitude)
  • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp. baking soda (1⁄2 tsp. at high altitude)

First combine buckwheat, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine milk, egg and vanilla and gradually pour into the buckwheat mixture. It will likely be runnier than a traditional recipe, but don’t worry, it should fluff up nicely on the skillet. Using butter, lightly grease your heated skillet and pour in your preferable sized portions. Be careful not to flip until there’s some nice crispy edges and bubbles in the middle to refrain from making scrambled pancakes, otherwise serve with your choice of syrup or fruit toppings and enjoy!

YOU HEART WHAT YOU EAT is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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