July 09, 2013

Breakfast Chickpea Fries with Blueberry Sauce

I don't post a lot of breakfast ideas on my blog, mostly because my breakfasts are typically pretty boring! I'll usually bring some yogurt with fruit and granola to eat when I get to my office, or if I have some homemade muffins or other baked goods stored in my freezer, I'll grab one of those to go. 

Occasionally though, I'll make the effort to prepare something a bit fancier on the weekend, like pancakes or french toast. This past weekend, I tried something new that turned out to be one of the most interesting and tasty breakfasts that I've had in a while!

I saw a recipe for french toast polenta sticks on the blog Tasty Yummies recently and thought it was such a creative idea to make a sweeter version of baked polenta "fries" that could be eaten for breakfast.

That recipe inspired me to try out a similar idea with chickpea flour instead of polenta. I've made chickpea flour "fries", also called panisse, many times in the past - they were actually one of the first recipes I posted on my blog! The basic idea is that by whisking chickpea flour into a simmering liquid on the stovetop, you can create a batter that thickens up just like polenta, and can then be cut into shapes and baked or fried.

My original version of chickpea fries was a simple mixture of chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and pepper, so to make a breakfast version, I used almond milk for the liquid and added cinnamon and vanilla extract to the batter.

You could serve the fries with maple syrup drizzled on top, but I wanted to make a dipping sauce for mine.  I had some blueberries that I had just picked up from the market, so I simmered them on the stovetop with a bit of maple syrup until they thickened up into a dippable sauce.

I thought the fries had the perfect texture - soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, and the fries themselves weren't sweet, which made them the perfect base for covering in the warm blueberry sauce.

They actually reminded me of eating french toast sticks but without the batter part, which I actually prefer because it means they weren't soggy or eggy tasting like french toast can sometimes be. Not only are these fries vegan, but they're naturally gluten-free as well, making this a fun breakfast treat for everybody!

Breakfast Chickpea Fries with Blueberry Sauce
Inspired by Tasty Yummies and adapted from my original chickpea fries
Note: This recipe requires some advance preparation. I recommend making the chickpea batter the night before, then the next morning you just need to make the blueberry sauce and cook the chickpea fries.

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp chickpea flour

1/2 cup blueberries
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pure maple syrup

First, prepare the chickpea batter: Heat the milk, olive oil, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan over high heat. Heat until the liquid is hot but not quite simmering.

Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in the chickpea flour slowly. Continue to whisk constantly for 2 minutes, then switch to a wooden spoon and cook for 8-10 more minutes, stirring constantly (your arm will get very sore!). Scrape down the sides of the saucepan occasionally as you stir. The batter will gradually get thicker and will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and clump together. Once it is very thick and can hold its shape, remove the pan from the heat.

Scrape the batter into a greased square cake pan or loaf pan (try to work quickly as the batter will begin to set almost immediately). It should fill about half of a square pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Let the mixture cool for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator, until it is completely set.

Once cooled, invert the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the batter into sticks about 1/2”-3/4” wide.

Start making the blueberry sauce: Add blueberries and lemon juice to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Let cook until the blueberries have broken down into a chunky sauce, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and let cook for a couple more minutes, until the liquid has reduced a bit. Keep on low heat until the fries are ready.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray or add a pat of vegan butter. Add the fries to the pan and fry for about 5-6 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until they are lightly browned. (The amount here will fit into one skillet, but if you are making a larger amount, you will need to cook them in batches, keeping the finished fries warm while you cook the rest).

Serve fries with blueberry sauce on the side for dipping. I liked to sprinkle my fries with extra cinnamon, and you can also drizzle them with maple syrup if desired.

Makes 1 large serving.


  1. you know, chickpea fries have been on my radar for a while but i haven't made them. these are SO AWESOME! they totally remind me of french toast sticks dayv used to eat back in the day. i must try these! you are so creative!

  2. You are right they totally look like french toast sticks, that all I could think about while reading your post, the blueberry dipping looks so good!



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