October Unprocessed & Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

1 Oct

It’s October 1! And do you know what that means? The 2013 October Unprocessed Challenge has officially begun! For the next 31 days, I have pledged to eat as “unprocessed” as possible. This means reading food packaging as closely as if I were proof-reading copy. No preservatives, flavorings, artificial colors, or anything that I a five year old can’t pronounce. The foods I WILL eat, and will fill my diet with, must pass the “kitchen test.” Andrew Wilder at Eating Rules helps define this for us:

“Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed. It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.”

What a challenge! I love food. And challenges. So this is perfect for me! I first learned of this last September and participated in the 2012 Unprocessed challenge, with pretty good success. The daily guest posts on the site piqued my interest to read through them and do my own research on food products. I learned to love (yes LOVE) veggies and dishes that I would never have let pass through my lips before. I tried new-to-me ingredients and foods, and now incorporate them into my normal cooking (ahem, quinoa!). I taught my taste buds to savor and appreciate all the wonderful flavors and complex textures that occur in real, whole, unprocessed plants, grains and other ingredients. I use less salt and sugar in my cooking and baking as a result. I don’t *need* something sweet all the time (contrary to many of the posts on my blog, dessert has become a less-than-once-a-day occurrence for me, which is a huge improvement over the after-every-meal-sweet that I used to require).

Long story short, last year’s Unprocessed challenged transformed the way I look at, buy, cook with, and enjoy food. While I now eat about 80% unprocessed, my goal is to tighten that up and go full-force 100% unprocessed for the month. And hopefully carry that with me through the rest of the year!

My posts this month will feature unprocessed ingredients and meals. And maybe some new foods along the way! Join me if you like, or just check into my blog for a view of how I’m doing. Food is as physical as it is mental, and I expect some mind games will hit me as road blocks along the way. But I can do it! And so can you 🙂 If you sign the pledge, let me know in the comments! I’d love some unprocessed buddies.

Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

This recipe is a continuation from yesterday’s Apple Sauce Cornmeal Pancakes. I wanted something savory, healthy, and crunchy. So I adjusted the recipe to take out the sweetness. And then topped these with salsa! Add your own herbs and spices to suit your tastes. These are quick and easy and so versatile!

Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes, inspired by Group Recipes and Apple Sauce Cornmeal Pancakes

Makes 6 4″ pancakes

  • 1 C cornmeal
  • 1 C oat flour – grind oats up in a food processor to achieve oat flour, and use GF to make it gluten free
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 packet stevia, or 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 C skim or nondairy milk
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • handful ripped cilantro leaves
  • fresh salsa, to garnish

Mix dry ingredients together. Stir in milk and oil and mix until incorporated. Finally, mix in the cilantro.

Heat a nonstick pan or griddle on medium high, and spray with PAM.

Scoop batter into the pan in a round shape and cook each side until golden brown. It’ll take 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with fresh salsa on top, like my award winning hot salsa!

Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes


One Response to “October Unprocessed & Spicy Savory Cornmeal Pancakes”


  1. Vegan Taco Casserole | Eat, Drink, Be Healthy! - October 1, 2014

    […] month comes a challenge: October #Unprocessed. I’ve mentioned it before, but this will be my third year participating in the challenge, and I couldn’t be more excited! The spirit of the challenge […]

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