Food & Drink

In the Kitchen With: Diana Leahy’s Rosewater Pancakes

by Annie Werbler

Breakfast is the most important meal of any day. Kicking off the morning with good nutrition can enhance the way you look and feel and give you the right energy to start your day on the right foot. Diana Leahy knows this better than anyone; as a home cook with food sensitivities and founder of the all-encompassing wedding consultancy Freeheart Project, she can attest to the many mental and physical benefits of a natural diet. Whether you’re following the autoimmune protocol like she is, eating paleo, raw, gluten- or sugar-free, Leahy’s rosewater pancakes are full of real ingredients that will support your biggest and smallest activities alike. —Annie

Why Diana loves this recipeThese pancakes are free of processed sweeteners and dairy- and are also super easy to whip up! I’m all about natural, toxin-free living and spend a large portion of my life in the kitchen cooking up farmers’ market finds or homemade concoctions such as deodorant, toothpaste, face oils, and laundry detergent. It can be tough to fit that in with work, other hobbies, and a social life, but the ingredients will keep you energized, radiant, and grounded for the day’s journey. They’re full of healthy fats, loaded with fiber, rich in essential vitamins (A, C, D, E and B3), and brimming with antioxidants. And most importantly, the combination of rosewater and cardamom is divine.

*This recipe is part of our healthy summer series, focusing on recipes that are good looking and good for you!

Diana Leahy's Rosewater Pancakes, on Design*Sponge

Photography by Diana Leahy, except where noted

Radiant Rosewater Pancakes
Serves 2

Pancake ingredients
– 2 ripe bananas
– 2 tbsp coconut flour
– 4 tbsp finely shredded unsweetened coconut
– 1/4 tsp cardamom (substitute cinnamon to make it AIP-friendly)
– 1/4 tsp real or Himalayan salt
– 1 tsp rosewater (preferably Heritage brand or homemade)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– virgin coconut oil for frying

– pure maple syrup or raw honey
– raw shelled hemp seeds
– raw or soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds
– toasted coconut flakes
– dried rose petals
– fresh berries of your choice

In the Kitchen With: Diana Leahy's Rosewater Pancakes, on Design*Sponge

For pancakes:

1. Lightly heat enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of a large a cast iron pan, griddle, or nonstick skillet.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it’s soft and a bit runny. Stir in the coconut flour and shredded coconut to form a soft, thick dough. Since bananas vary in size, you may need to add more coconut flour until the mixture reaches the consistency of cookie dough.

3. Add the cardamom, salt, rosewater, and vanilla to the dough, and mix until fully incorporated, either in a blender or by hand.

4. Using about 2 tablespoons of dough per pancake, form 4 individual patties with your hands. Place patties in the pan with a turner, and press down with a spoon or spatula to flatten to approximately ¼ inch thickness. Fry for approximately 5 minutes on medium-high heat until the bottoms are golden brown, then flip and fry for another 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and add toppings.

To assemble:

Customize the toppings according to your tastes, dietary restrictions, and availability. I started off with thinly-sliced strawberries because they’re currently in season. Then I sprinkled the pancakes with mineral and protein-rich pumpkin and hemp seeds. And to boost the rose power, I added dried rose petals. Finally, I poured on the maple syrup (raw honey would work well, too). For those of you following the autoimmune protocol, remove the pumpkin and hemp seeds, and add a protein side of your choice such as pastured bacon or wild-caught smoked salmon. Serve immediately while pancakes are still hot.

In the Kitchen With: Diana Leahy's Rosewater Wedding Day Pancakes, on Design*Sponge

About Diana: Diana Leahy is the founder of Freeheart Project, a one-stop bridal shop based in Brooklyn that aspires to make weddings cool, attainable, and personalized. Diana launched Freeheart in December 2014 after finding the wedding world boring and out of touch while planning her own nuptials. She was looking for a store with an authentic and fashion-forward vibe offering a selection of wedding apparel for the woman with a strong sense of personal style. Freeheart offers wedding services that include planning, mystic readings, floral design, makeup artistry, and more.

In the Kitchen With: Diana Leahy's Rosewater Pancakes, on Design*Sponge

Photo by Hatnim Lee

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