Pancake Tuesday (paleo, gluten-free)


Let’s talk for a minute about Pancake Tuesday.

It seemed everyone was Catholic in the town where I grew up. As a result, around February and March, the conversation around the school lunch table turned to what everyone was giving up for Lent. Some stalwart souls were giving up chocolate; others were giving up things like a favorite television show or Twizzlers. More often than not, the sacrifice involved food.

It wasn’t until I lived in Ireland that I heard about the tradition of Pancake Tuesday. As in many other traditions, such as Mardi Gras and Fastnacht Day, the tradition seems to have evolved as a way to use up eggs, lard, and cream before the Lenten season, when those ingredients would be forbidden. Though I usually don’t give up anything for Lent, I immediately loved the idea of a day focused on pancakes.

My first Pancake Tuesday was pretty elaborate; dozens and dozens of pancakes made for my three roommates plus the three young men living next door (in what was clearly a blatant attempt to show them how awesome I was). The amount of toppings was absolutely insane — Nutella, syrup, jelly, whipped cream, powdered sugar, everything you could imagine. It was amazing.

These days, I have fewer people to make pancakes for and my friends have more dietary restrictions. Still, I can’t give up this tradition. Maybe you’ll share it with me this year?

For your enjoyment, I’ve provided two recipes here: one that’s Celiac-friendly and Paleo, and one that’s full of heart-healthy whole wheat and Greek yogurt. Sadly, neither is vegan, but I suspect a little playing around with the Paleo one would result in a vegan pancake as well (see the note). I’ve modified both of them pretty heavily; the Paleo one used to be Michelle Tam’s Cinnamon and Coconut pancakes, and the one with the bananas used to use plain yogurt, much less milk, and an egg instead of the flax. Obviously, you should feel free to tweak as well.

Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Paleo Almond Pancakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (use soy if you can’t find coconut, but then they’re not paleo)
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • coconut oil
  1. Whisk wet ingredients (eggs through extract) in a bowl until smooth. Add coconut flour and baking soda, and whisk until JUST combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  2. Heat a little pat of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until melted. Add 1 Tbsp batter to the skillet and cook for two minutes, or until you see little bubbles forming on the top. Flip. Cook for another two minutes. Remove.
  3. Serve with maple syrup, honey, or coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!
  1. I suspect a flax egg would work in these, but as they are mainly egg held together with a little coconut flour, I’m not positive it would work. Feel free to experiment, though!
Adapted from Michelle Tam
Whole Wheat Banana Flax Pancakes
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 oz Greek yogurt with banana in the bottom (or 1 cup plain with 1/4 cup mashed banana)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  1. First, you’re going to make your flax egg. Whisk the flax seed and water in a large bowl, then leave in fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Add wet ingredients — yogurt, almond milk, and extract — and whisk until smooth. Whisk dry ingredients in another bowl, then add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Let sit 10 minutes to fluff-ify.
  3. Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drop 1/4 cup batter in the skillet and spread out a little. Let cook for 2 minutes on one side, flip, cook for another two minutes. Remove to a serving plate.
  4. Serve with maple syrup or whatever your heart desires.

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