Jax Garren: Elves and Apple-Ginger Pancakes (gluten free, nut free, vegan)

Foodie Friday Magic! Jax Garren is here today with Apple-Ginger Pancakes. What’s the magic part? They are gluten-free, nut free, and vegan (and still yummy!). Jax writes very modern urban fantasy romance. I’m a huge fan of her Tales of the Underlight trilogy. Today she’s brought along her ambiguously paranormal (Is he? Or isn’t he?) holiday foodie romance, The Elf and the Ice Princess. There are five FREE copies up for grabs if you’re willing to talk breakfast temptations in the comments.

I will be highly motivated to make an amazing breakfastJAX:

Brett grinned slyly. “I make a good breakfast. Pancakes. Waffles. I have experimental lox at the house. You could give me your professional opinion.”

“You want me to stay the night to critique your salmon?” Carrie meant it to sound like a joke, but it came out more like an accusation.

“No! No. I’m trying to convince you to stay the night with breakfast incentives.” His face lit up. “I will be highly motivated to make an amazing breakfast.”

Sex was one thing, but…“I’m not sure I’m ready for breakfast.”

Though his shoulders may have sagged a bit, Brett’s smile stayed intact and his voice light. “Okay. That’s fine. I understand. But it’s a package deal for me.” He wagged a finger at her. “I may be easy, but I’m not cheap. Or, something like that. Basically, I’ll wait.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I offered to get naked with you, and you’re turning me down?”

“I offered cuddling and pancakes, and you turned me down.” He snatched her hand and kissed it again. “I’m A-plus-plus boyfriend material, Carrie Martin. You’re going to figure that out—I hope—and then there will be nakedness and cuddling and pancakes. All of it. It will be epic.” Until then . . .” He yanked on her hand, and she stumbled forward, landing against his chest. “Until then, I’ll just have to work on convincing you.”

~ from The Elf and the Ice Princess


I love pancakes (and nakedness and cuddling), but when I went grain free, I thought I’d never have them again. (At least not the pancakes.) Then I discovered plantains! Plantains are related to bananas, and are usually found next to them in the grocery store. When green, they have a high starch content and neutral taste, so they can replace flour in all kinds of recipes. These apple-ginger pancakes are one of my favorite ways to use them; I make these about once a week for breakfast. They’re super easy, require just a few ingredients and a food processor, and have enough room for error that they’re almost impossible to mess up. I love them! Of note, they’re not cake-y like pancakes. They’re more like funnel cake–crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Which, in my book, makes them even better!


I never measure my ingredients; I just toss stuff into the food processor until it looks right. The recipe below is approximately what I shoot for each time, but you can miss the proportions by a wide margin and still get the same results. Plantains are cool that way. After years of baking fancy cakes and breads, it’s a relief to put something together that doesn’t require any fastidiousness.



Apple-Ginger Pancakes Recipe (gluten free, nut free, vegan)

Makes 4-6 pancakes (and I can eat them all in one sitting, but should probably share with another person)

1 medium-sized green plantain*, peeled and chopped for your food processor

1/4cp applesauce (or peel and chop half an apple)

1 tbl coconut cream or milk (can sub regular cream or whole milk. Of course it’s not vegan then! These will still work if you leave this out entirely, but the texture will be hard all the way through instead of crunchy outside, soft middle)

1 to 2 tsp ginger ( I really like ginger, so I use a lot!)

pinch of salt + sprinkle extra

pinch of cloves **

coconut oil (or other cooking fat)

maple syrup for serving


  1. In a food processor, chop the plantain into bits (and the apple if not using applesauce)
  2. Add the applesauce and process to combine
  3. Add the coconut cream, ginger, salt, and cloves. Process until a thick batter is formed.
  4. Meanwhile,  over medium high to high heat, melt enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan
  5. Once the coconut oil is hot, scoop dollops of batter onto the frying pan and flatten into pancake-like shapes, the flatter the crunchier. I shoot for ¼” thick (½ cm for you metric types.) Add another sprinkle of salt to the wet tops.
  6. After a couple minutes, when pancakes are brown on the bottom, flip them. Add more coconut oil if the pan is drying up.
  7. When browned on both sides, remove them to a plate. Repeat until all the batter is used.
  8. Serve with maple syrup or, for something fancier, a berry compote (I love these with leftover cranberry sauce!)


* Yellow will work, but a fully ripe plantain, i.e. black, will be much sweeter, have a banana-like taste, and make the recipe wetter. They’ll take longer to cook, but it would probably still work if that’s all you have (and you like the flavor of bananas). If you’re unfamiliar with cooking with plantains, they’re like extra-firm bananas. To peel them, I chop off both ends, half the plantain, and then cut each side in half the long way. That makes them easy to peel with your fingers. Here’s a great video on working with them.


** Spices can be changed at will. Instead of cloves, sometimes I use a little nutmeg and a dash of vanilla. Cinnamon would undoubtedly be good, too. Use your favorite spices to make the pancakes your own.



Pancakes, waffles, or french toast; which should Brett best use to tempt you? (I’m a pancake girl, but if anybody has a good grain free, egg-free waffle recipe, I’d love to hear it!) I’m giving away 5 copies of The Elf and the Ice Princess, a holiday foodie romance, to commenters. If any answers particularly catch my eye, I’ll give copies to those commenters, then randomly select the rest.


The Elf and the Ice Princess by Jax Garren

Holiday Foodie Romance – Available now!

The Elf and the Ice Princess

A frozen heart…
Three years ago the man who made Carrie Martin believe in happily-ever-afters deserted her after a holiday tragedy. Ever since, she’s seen no reason for holiday joy amid the materialism and chaos of the most stressful time of year. So at happy hour when a drunken man in an elf costume falls into her lap and spouts poetry, it’s just one more reason to be disgusted at the season’s excess.

A prince in disguise…
Brett Virtanen, however, proves a lot steadier than his tipsy entrance. With a buoyant humor and a knack for giftwrap, Brett sparks her interest in the man behind the green polyester. But when Carrie’s ex returns with devastating results, it’ll take more magic than a costumed elf can conjure to make an ice princess once again believe in love.

Author Jax Garren

Jax Garren is the author of hot, urban paranormal romance like the Austin Immortals and the Tales of the Underlight. Though descended from Valkyries and Vikings (she’s part Swedish), Jax was raised a small town girl in the Texas Hill Country. She graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in English and a minor in Latin then found her own Happily Ever After with a handsome engineer who is saving the world through clean energy technology. Jax can be found at jaxgarren.com, at facebook.com/JaxGarren or on Twitter as @JCGarren. She loves meeting new people, so online or in person, make sure to give her a Viking Hail!

Don’t forget, Jax wants to know Pancakes, waffles, or french toast; which should Brett best use to tempt you? and she is picking her favorite comments to win first before any random drawings! To enter, leave a comment below. We’ll leave the contest open until at least noon Saturday. Make sure to leave your email or other contact so we can reach you if you win!


Filed under Foodie Friday, Guest Authors

6 Responses to Jax Garren: Elves and Apple-Ginger Pancakes (gluten free, nut free, vegan)

  1. Yum! All my fave recipes include grains, but your pancakes sound fabulous. I might very well give them a try!
    Thanks for the recipe and the give away, Jax!

    • Thanks Liv! It took me awhile to find a grain-free pancake I like, but these are so easy to make and do that soft/crunchy thing I love. So I make these all the time now. 🙂 Happy to do giveaways and share recipes. I love food!

  2. I usually don’t like pancakes at unless they have fruit in them. Yours sounds pretty good but alas I steer clear from anything coconut. So what could I substitute I wonder maybe a little apple juice?

    • Apple juice may work, but I would try dairy cream or milk first for the added unctuousness. Maybe almond milk? If you try it with juice, I’d love to hear the result! As I said, it’s a pretty flexible and forgiving recipe. Actually, it works just fine leaving the coconut cream out entirely; they just come out crunchier. As for subbing the cooking oil, use whatever you like. I like the sweetness of coconut oil, but I’ve also cooked up bacon and made these in the pan afterward, and that’s pretty dern tasty! You could also use butter or ghee. I’ve never cooked with grapeseed oil, but it’s got a high enough smoke point that that should work, too. Good luck experimenting, and let me know what happens!