Vegan Corn and Zucchini Pancakes
August 28, 2010

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It’s always nice when a recipe you like seems to “take off” with other bloggers. This has been true recently of my sweet potato and chickpea burgers, which Matt and Katie have made recently, as well as a bunch of other bloggers and readers who have emailed me or left comments on the original post. Thank you guys for trying the recipe out! I hope you’ve enjoyed the sweet, dense taste and texture as much as I did when I first made the burgers.

My experience with the sweet potato burgers got me hooked on chickpea flour. Versatile, high-protein, and possessed of a starchy texture that’s fairly unique, chickpea flour is ideal for all sorts of pancakes, burgers, and bread recipes. Just check out the Twins’ socca adventures if you’re looking to be inspired!

I’ve been enamored of chickpea flour as a burger ingredient, but this week I wondered whether or not I might extend its powers to the world of pancake making. Not sweet pancakes, but savory ones. Back before I became a vegan, I had a zucchini pancake recipe I loved, which came together with shredded zucchini, flour, and egg whites. I’ve long wanted to veganize it and amp up the color with more veggies. On Monday, with some corn and red pepper in hand (ah, summer produce!) I decided I’d give a zucchini and corn pancake a shot—made with chickpea flour as a binder, of course, and with flax as an egg replacer. The results were great!

With most of my raw recipes, I remind you guys that most substitutions and tweaks at home are just fine—they won’t do much to disturb taste or flavor. With anything involving flour and flax, however, I tend to say that it’s best to stick to instruction, because small changes might really affect texture and results. If you make these, then, try to stick to the instructions.

Corn and Zucchini Pancakes (makes 4 large pancakes)

1 small zucchini, shredded
Kernels from 1 large ear corn
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
6 tbsp chickpea flour
1 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
1/4 cup flax meal + 6 tbsp water, mixed 5 min prior to making pancake batter and set aside
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp Herbamare or Spike
1/2 tsp cumin
Dash red pepper flakes (to taste)

1) Preheat a griddle or large saute pan over a medium flame. Spray or rub it with coconut oil—just enough for pancake making.

2) Mix all ingredients together.

3) As if you were making regular pancakes, drop the batter by 2-tbsp servings onto the griddle, and wait until the bottom side is nicely browned. Flip, and cook till second side is browned.

4) Serve!

These are fresh, sweet, and tasty:

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And I imagine they’d be equally perfect for breakfast OR dinner. For my part, I enjoyed them over a big raw kale salad (how else?):

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A few months ago, I made raw and cooked versions of homemade Sunshine burgers, which also got some nice reader feedback. You guys will be glad to know that I’m hard at work on a perfect raw version of these corn and zucchini pancakes, so stay tuned! It’s time to take advantage of the last few bushels of summer produce.

On that note, I have a long and busy Saturday ahead of me. I hope you guys have a great one—if you’re in NYC, enjoy the sun for me—and I’ll be back tomorrow.


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  1. i made these the other day and they were delicious. the texture of the pancakes were nice and not dry. also the flavor was spot on for me.

  2. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all of your hard work and lovely recipes! Your posts are great to read and your photos are always fun. These pancakes are definitely on my weekend list!!

  3. not sure my other comment went through. anyhow, i said these look delicious and looking forward to a raw version.

  4. Beautiful! I’ve had a sack of chickpea flour sitting in the pantry forever, but I never really knew what to do with it. This will make the perfect experiment!

  5. We made this for breakfast this morning, as it was my mother in law’s birthday and she is a vegan and I wanted to do something special. They were perfect! And very filling.. it’s 1:15 and I’m still full! They would be perfect for students trying to fill up for school. Loved them! The flavors mixed perfectly. Kudos for the recipe.
    Propane Burners

  6. Those look so good! I always make sweet pancakes and never think to make savory ones instead. Plus its on kale, which is my favorite green, so it a definite try!

  7. Gena way to rock this recipe!!!!
    No garlic or onions
    Minimal added salt
    1/4 c of nooch…
    OMG this is a perfect recipe for me!

    They look professional…so colorful and awesome and I know youve said in the past you feel your cooking is not super spiced up (dare I say think you said about your own food it’s on the blander side?) Well…these look anything but bland! Omg they look amazing!

    In bewteen your job, your life, everything you’ve got going on, you whip up glorious savory pancakes! Impressive 🙂

    And oh, I have peanut flour from TJs that “everyone” seems to be buying and using lately but I havent opened it yet. I bet that it could somehow work in these. I may just try it out b/c I dont have chickpea flour nor would I likely be running out and grabbing…soo..

    Anyhoo, hope your weekend is MELLOW! You deserve it!


  8. Look amazing!!! Thanks for the shout out, you are the best! We are hooked on chickpea flour as well…as you can tell, haha.


    Have a great weekend!

  9. This was dinner tonight and it was fantastic, we added some snap peas, grated carrots and few odds and ends to clean out the crisper but left the “baking” ingredients the same. Passed the 4 year old taste test as well although home made salsa was involved, but just a bit!

  10. Still “suffering” from an overload of zucchini (every town/garden we stop by seems to want to gift a little more) so this sounds like a great way to use it. I’ve certainly baked enough zucchini bread over the past few weeks to try something new!

    • Rachel,

      Depends. If you’re using them as a thickener, sure — they’ll do what flax does. But not if you need BINDER — chia seeds won’t bind like flax. So they’re not right for this recipe.


  11. That looks freaking good. I’ve been looking out for chickpea flour anyway because I really wanna make chickpea fries. Now I have another recipe I can make with it! Awesome.

  12. these look so yummy!! I want to try them, can’t wait for the raw version, I would think they would work with same ingredients in the dehydrator!

    • Kelli,

      I actually tried making them in the dehydrator at the same time, but I just don’t feel great about the chickpea flour raw, so I want to try to tweak the recipe to work without it. Stay tuned, OK?


  13. Might also be tasty with raw or roasted Hatch green chiles, +/- the coriander and cumin, which Texas is getting fresh and in season from New Mexico right now. Any GI gas issues with chickpea flour?

  14. these look fabulous! hate corn though… any idea on what i could use instead?? maybe pulsed chickpeas??
    hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
    I MISS YOU! <3

    • Roomstar,

      Sure, you could do beans of any kind (black beans? yum!). Or maybe chopped carrot or something, another veggie? I’m sure that’s fine!

      There will be lots of corn on this blog this week, so we’ll have to find substitutes for you.



  15. I know you said that it’s best to stick to the instructions on these but is there anything I can substitute for the nutritional yeast? Or can I leave it out?

    These look great Gena! I’m hoping I can try them out soon. Thanks for the great recipe, as always.

    • Hi Ameena, I make a similar pancake and only recently added nooch to the mix, they are perfectly tasty without it. I used to just put some freshly ground cumin and coriander in with the grated zukes and couple of tablespoons of gram flour.
      These look great Gena, I have to try your version with all the extra texture from the peppers and corn:)