The perfect gluten-free, vegan, winter warmer breakfast idea...

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When it comes to breakfast, this recipe will have you springing out of bed in the morning. That could be down to the rich chocolate taste from the cacao powder – chocolate in its purest form. These pancakes are made from grain-free flours, so they are great for those who are gluten- or grain-sensitive. They also use chia seeds ­– rather than eggs – to bind, so they work for vegans, too. All that aside, these pancakes are deliciously gooey and perfectly satiating. It is best to make the coconut kefir in advance so it can chill and set, but if you haven’t got time then you can serve these with unsweetened coconut yogurt instead.

Serves 2 (makes 6–8 small pancakes)


2 tablespoons chia seeds 
120ml warm filtered water
50g coconut flour, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
30g chestnut flour
4 tablespoons cacao powder, plus a little extra to serve (optional)
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200ml unsweetened cashew (or almond) milk
5–6 drops of vanilla essence or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 
2 teaspoons coconut oil for frying

Coconut vanilla kefir 
125g cashews, soaked for 2 hours, then drained and rinsed with filtered water
40g desiccated coconut
¾ cup/150ml kefir (dairy or coconut)
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Pinch mineral-rich salt


1. First make the coconut vanilla kefir: it needs at least 1 hour to chill and set, or you can make it in advance as it will last in the fridge for up to 3–4 days.

2. Put all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You will need to use the tamper to push down the ingredients, or stop and scrape a few times.

3. Transfer to a sealable glass or ceramic container and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

4. To make the pancakes, mix the chia seeds and water in a bowl and leave for around 5 minutes until sticky.

5. Sift the coconut flour, chestnut flour, cacao powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl with the chia mix. Add the milk, vanilla and vinegar and stir to combine well.

6. The mixture should be very thick and dough-like; you may need to add a bit more coconut flour so you can roll the mixture into one big ball without it sticking to your hands – if so, add it gradually.

7. Divide the dough into six to eight smaller balls (each about the size of a golf ball) and flatten into pancakes around 1cm thick.

8. Dust with a little extra coconut flour on both sides, to stop them sticking to the pan.

9. Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick shallow pan over a low heat. Add the pancakes (you might need to cook them in two batches).

10. Cook for 2–3 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.

11. Serve on a plate, lightly dusted with cacao powder if you wish, alongside the coconut vanilla kefir cream or coconut yogurt.

Recipe taken from  Be Good to Your Gut  by Eve Kalinik, published by Piatkus. Buy online  here.  Images © Nassima Rothaker.