We dropped the ball.

At the beginning of this week, Rob and I didn’t have any fresh fruit or rye left. We couldn’t make cookies, smoothies, rye cereal or any of our other breakfasts we normally eat. We weren’t in a position to buy a large amount of fresh fruit (for monetary and quality reasons) and we didn’t want to make a trip to the bulk store in the beginning of the week (with no fruit available).

Two bags of apples and two kilograms of flour from Woolworths solved our predicament.

What was our solution? Chocolate Sourdough Pancakes.

Chocolate Sourdough Pancakes

We have been perfecting this recipe for the last three days.

The first day we didn’t use any flax. I thought the pancakes were tasty but Rob was dissatisfied. He was attempting to create wholegrain pancakes that were fluffy like non-vegan, white flour pancakes. This seemed difficult however I was up for the challenge.

We searched ingredients commonly found in non-vegan pancakes made with white flour and discovered the majority call for eggs and oil. He had a hunch an emulsifier (usually containing fat and protein) was the key to fluffier pancakes so we decided to incorporate flax.

As most plant-based cooks already know, flax works as an egg replacer. We hoped the flax seeds would do to our pancakes whatever they did to unhealthy pancakes.

Our second time we added a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and some extra water to the batter. Rob said it was better than the previous day yet not quite was he was looking for.

We decided to increase the flax seeds, water, vinegar and baking soda to the mixture on the third day. The batter thicker than the previous two days. I decided to try the new viscosity and see the results.

The thicker batter yielded beautiful pancakes that could be cooked at the same temperature as the pancake batters from the previous days and simply required a longer cooking time.

Chocolate Sourdough Pancakes

The sourdough component of this recipe is crucial for multiple reasons.

It’s nutritionally significant because allowing the flour to ferment overnight in the sourdough increases the bioavailability of certain nutrients, decreases the phytic acid and increases pytates in the flour and flax seeds.

The acid and liquid of the sourdough are chemically important because they prevent the ground flax seeds from becoming rancid.

The sourdough pancakes are more easily digested as the bacteria in the sourdough have partially digested some of the starches of the flour into sugar. The carob is made less bitter by the sourdough.

In the end you needn’t worry about specifics in nutrition, chemistry and science. Just believe me when I say these pancakes are healthier than your traditional pancake recipe while still retaining the deliciousness of a typical pancake.


Think again if you believe pancakes are only a treat that can be consumed once in a while. Carob Cherub’s Chocolate Sourdough Pancakes are a healthy and filling way to start your morning if you are craving comfort food or if you are out of fresh fruit. There is no reason to feel guilty and many reasons to feel awesome about consuming these sourdough pancakes.

Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, soy and nuts.

Reasons to love this recipe: chocolate, breakfast, whole grains, omega-3 boost

Serves 2 people


  • 200 g sourdough starter
  • 50 g whole wheat flour
  • 100 mL water
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (or cacao or cocoa)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar


Combine the sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, water, ground flax seeds and carob powder in a medium bowl. Mix until homogeneous. The mixture will be somewhat thin. Allow the batter to sit overnight at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

10 minutes before you’re ready to cook the pancakes, add the baking soda and vinegar to the batter and gently mix. While waiting for the bubbling mixture to calm, heat a nonstick pan to high heat (11-12 out of 12 on our dial works best). Pour batter into the pan to cook the pancakes.

When the batter color has turned a darker brown and the top is covered with bubbles, the pancake is ready to flip. Flip the pancake and allow the second side to cook for another minute. Remove from pan and repeat the process for the rest of the batter.

Enjoy fresh with your favorite pancake toppings. I served mine with homemade applesauce, cinnamon and 2 chopped Brazil nuts.

  • Updated 3 years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.