Spring’s a great time of the year isn’t it? The sun (in theory) comes out more, daffodils are in bloom, and we’ve got Shrove Tuesday AND Easter to look forward to. GLuten free sweet treats may be tricker to find from time to time, but gluten free pancakes are, thankfully, just as easy to make as the originals! I was challenged to recreate Sambazon’s fruity Açai Compote pancake topping with gluten free pancakes, just in time for pancake day!
This year, Pancake Day (as Shrove Tuesday is affectionately known) falls on Fairtrade Fortnight. This is something still close to my heart as I actually helped to set up and run a Fairtrade Committee in high school – we ran loads of events through the year as well as running a Fairtrade Friday tuck shop (apparently we raised £2000 in two years through sales of Fairtrade goodies) and we got our school recognised as a Fairtrade School.
The reason I’m telling you this, is because Sambazon, whose recipe I’m using, is proud to be the only certified organic and Fairtrade Açaí brand in the UK! Sambazon take its name from its core goal, Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon and each purchase helps to protect the Amazon rainforest and the families that farm there.
What is Açaí?
Açaí is one of those fancy sounding superfoods that I’d heard of before but wasn’t completely sure what it was. Well, apparently it grows on palm trees in the Amazon Rainforest, is naturally sugar free, and is packed with antioxidants, healthy omegas, fibre and other good stuff. Oh, and it’s pronounced AH-SIGH-EE!
Açaí berries are 80-90% seed and at Sambazon not a single seed is wasted: their factories run 100% off Açaí seeds – the biggest by-product in Açaí production. To further support the environment, Sambazon Açaí never sees an aeroplane – every pack is shipped to the UK instead.
The reason Fairtrade is so important is that it ultimately strives to give a better life to farmers and people involved in the manufacturing processes.
Sambazon is proud of it’s sustainability:
- it is certified organic as well as fair trade
- pioneers hand harvesting. Picking Açai berries by hand minimally impacts the environment
- prevents deforestation – over 2,000,000 hectares saved to date
- pays fair wages to support 30,000+ family farmers
- reinvests in the community by building local schools, hospitals and sports facilities
- closes the loop – the factories use our Açai seeds as fuel while the rest are donated to the locals who turn them into jewellery
Acai is normally served in a bowl as a smoothie type consistency, however today I used the Superfruit pack to make a berry compote to use as a topping for my gluten free pancakes. And guess what – I didn’t drop a single pancake! Check out the video below:
Now, I’m a bit funny with berries in general due to the texture, but cooking berries and the Superfruit blend down into a compote made for a really tasty topping, a nice change from sugar and lemon or chocolate spread!
Check out the recipe below!
- 1 Punnet Fresh Organic Blackberries (can be swapped for Blueberries)
- 1 Sambazon Original Superfruit Pack
- 125g gluten-free plain flour
- 1 egg
- 250ml milk
- Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle and pour in a quarter of the milk.
- Use an electric or balloon whisk to thoroughly combine the mixture. Once you have a paste, mix in another quarter and once lump free, mix in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 mins while you make your compote.
- In a sauce pan, add your berries and a pack of Sambazon Original Superfruit. You may have to let it thaw a little first or run the pack under warm water to get it out of the packaging.
- Begin to cook down on medium heat
- Stir often and allow to cook down, until you have a thick syrup that you can draw your spoon through and see the bottom of the pan. Take off the heat while you cook your pancakes.
- Give the pancake batter another stir while you heat a small non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter.
- When the butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of the mixture into the pan and swirl around to coat the base – you want a thin layer. Cook for a few mins until golden brown on the bottom, then turn over and cook until golden on the the other side.
- Repeat until you have used all the mixture, stirring the mixture between pancakes and adding more butter for frying as necessary.
- Put your pancakes on a plate and add your compote. Finish it off with fresh berries and a sprig of basil if you're feeling fancy.