Vegan pancakes for a fast and delicious breakfast on Meatless Monday

No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Have you ever met a pancake naysayer -- someone who claims not to like pancakes? We think those people have been subjected to one too many rubbery flapjacks at assembly-line pancake breakfasts, but their condition can be cured. The solution is as simple as a homemade pancake fresh off the griddle. This recipe was adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking, and is proof that you can be a vegan and still eat some of your favorite breakfast treats.

You will need:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups nondairy milk (we like coconut milk) 2 tablespoons nondairy butter, melted (Smart Balance brand is the best) 3 tablespoons maple syrup (plus more for the finished product) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Butter or oil for the griddle (plus more for the finished product, if desired)

1. Preheat your griddle to medium or medium-high heat and grease with nondairy butter. (You can also use a nonstick griddle or pan, but if you have a cast-iron griddle, we recommend taking advantage of it!) At the same time melt two tablespoons of butter in the microwave. 2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl (preferably one with a spout for pouring). Stir with a fork or whisk until thoroughly mixed together. 3. Measure out the milk, melted nondairy butter, maple syrup and vanilla into a measuring cup. Stir until combined. 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened -- be careful not to overstir, or your pancakes will be tough. 5. Pour the batter onto the heated griddle; you want small pancakes, about four inches or so in diameter. When you see bubbles like in the photo above, the pancake is ready to flip. Perfect! Repeat until the batter is gone. If you're careful and wait until the cakes are bubbling to flip them, they'll be a beautiful golden-brown. Butter and stack your 'cakes for consumption. This recipe makes enough for four moderately hungry or two absolutely starving adults. You can add a handful of blueberries, chocolate chips, walnuts or whatever else you'd like to the batter; top the finished cakes with more nondairy butter (we like coconut and cashew butter -- yum!) and maple syrup.

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