Diary of a Part-Time Vegan: “Buttermilk” Pancakes

By Mio Higashimoto

Two years ago, my husband watched the documentary Forks Over Knives— he’s been vegan ever since. When we dine out, it’s usually not a problem.  A lot of local eateries cater to vegans by offering vegan options or customizing non-vegan menu items. Let’s just say, he’s eaten a lot of salad. Yet, a bigger challenge is that I remain (stubbornly) a meat-eater. In fact, I occasionally eat steak at home in front of him. Together, we’re probably the equivalent of a proper omnivore. So, how do you prepare meals at home that satisfy both the vegan and the non-vegan? Find recipes you’ll both love.

The following is a recipe that I adapted from Carol Gelles1,000 Vegetarian Recipes (1996). Her recipe serves four to six. As a result, we ate cold, leftover pancakes for two days. I’ve halved this recipe to save you from a similar fate.

“Buttermilk” Pancakes


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup soy milk (Earth Balance)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp Vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted vegan butter (Benecol)



  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and the salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the Ener-G egg replacer with the warm water.
  3. In another separate smaller bowl, mix together the soy milk and vinegar, slowly add the vegan butter and vanilla. Combine with the Ener-G mix.
  4. Add the Ener-G & soy milk solution to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine– do not over mix.
  5. Cook your desired pancake portion(s) in a pan/griddle over medium heat.
    The batter contains a great deal of liquid and needs to be cooked slowly to “ensure complete doneness without burning on the bottom” (Gelles, 1996).

We topped our pancakes with sliced bananas and maple syrup and added a side of vegan chorizo, which I really liked, but my vegan husband did not. Thankfully, my husband was thrilled with these pancakes. My opinion? These were very delicious! The pancakes were hearty and felt real– they didn’t have that fake food feel. While these pancakes take a little extra effort, they’re worth the work. Plus, I felt better about myself, having eaten something healthier (vegan even) and I think you will too.

Mio Higashimoto is an Instructor & Research Specialist at the East Columbia Branch. She has a background in history and spends much of her spare time knitting, reading, hiking, and watching Star Trek reruns.