Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fluffiest GF Coconut Pancakes--Without the Fluff!

I'm going to tell you how I really feel. I don't like the gluten-free craze. If you have celiac disease or a true allergy, then I understand, but I don't think that wheat in it's pure form is making everyone sick. Rather, I think refined, genetically modified wheat is what's making many ill, but if we could all stop eating that garbage, then I think we would find that good old humble whole wheat is not the culprit.  In going gluten-free, I think a lot of people are improving their health because this forces them to change their way of eating and thus consume less processed, chemical-laden foods, including refined, GM wheat.  But would we have the same outcomes if we all just cut out processed and genetically modified foods, increased our fruit and veggie intakes, and ate organic homemade whole wheat bread? We will probably never find out because the paleo diet appears to be taking over the world, just like its next of kin, the Atkins Diet, did before.

My allegiance to wheat now proclaimed, I will add that I make gluten-free meals and baked goods for my family not infrequently because I think that God has made all sorts of grains that are good for our bodies and that make for a more interesting palate of flavors and textures.  Wheat makes up much of our grain intake, but I want my family to also have a taste for the many wonderful grains given to us for our health and enjoyment.  So here is a GF pancake recipe I whipped up on a night of breakfast for dinner, with some coconut flour I had purchased out of curiosity. This recipe was inspired by Tessa's sweet potato muffins made with coconut flour--the first egg-free recipe I found using coconut four.  These pancakes are gum-free; frankly, I'm not sure how they hold together, but they sure did, and were adored by all. I think the combination of the chickpeas and coconut flour are what make for the magical fluffiness. As Abiline said, "We don't have a treat after dinner tonight because these pancakes are our treat!" As you can see from the picture, I also believe in chocolate chips.

1 cup roasted sweet potato flesh*
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups plain or vanilla non-dairy milk + 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut extract (optional)
2 Tbsp. coconut cream (You could sub oil.)
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your pancake griddle or frying pan over medium heat (about 275 on the griddle). Puree the sweet potato through hemp seeds in a food processor or blender until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir until evenly moistened. The batter will be thick. Drop by 1/4 cup fulls on the preheated griddle and sprinkle with chocolate chips, if you like. After 2 or 3 minutes, check if they are firm enough on bottom to flip, then cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes more.

*To roast a sweet potato, preheat your oven to 400, line a baking pan with parchment paper, scrub the potato, and place it on the pan in the oven for about an hour. The cooked potato will be very soft and easily pierced with a fork and have golden juices bubbling from it. Do not try to steam or microwave your potato instead; to bring out the sweetness, it must be roasted.

My little helper...

This recipe is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesday Healthy Vegan Fridays Whole Food Fridays. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Breakfast Banana Split with Chocolate and Caramel Oatmeal Pudding

I love fancy breakfast. My husband is always telling the kids that they are totally spoiled for getting pancakes, waffles and french toast almost every week.  Of course I make breakfast for my kids because I love them, but my motives are also selfish, as I need something a bit more stunning than a bowl of cold cereal to transition me from grumpy woman wishing she were still in bed to mile-a-minute mom.

This particular breakfast indulgence came about as I sought for ways to use the leftover pulp from making oat milk for my homemade yogurt. I whipped up the thickest chocolate pudding the other day using the soaked oats, which of course tasted great with banana, which got me to thinking...Breakfast Banana Split!!!

The first step to making this dream a reality is to soak your oats overnight. Then your pudding will come together in about 15 minutes in the morning: a bit more work than a bowl of cereal, but well worth it. If you have extra time to devote to your toppings, this would taste great with my pumpkin caramel sauce on top. This recipe makes enough for 4 small (1/2 banana each) or 2 large (1 banana each) banana splits.

For the soaked oats:
2 cups rolled oats
filtered water to cover (I use about 4 cups.)

For the Chocolate Oatmeal Pudding:
1 cup soaked oatmeal  (1/2 of the soaked oats)
2 Tbsp. cacao powder
3 prunes
2 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 scoops stevia powder (I use Trader Joe's Organic brand.)
1 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup black beans

For the Caramel Oatmeal Pudding:
1 cup soaked oatmeal
1 Tbsp. tahini
1/3 cup pitted medjool dates (3-4)
1/2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/4 cup chickpeas
1 Tbsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 scoops stevia powder
2 Tbsp. white chia seed meal (optional, but will make it thicker. You could use flaxmeal if you don't have a flax allergy like we do.)

To assemble the banana splits:
2 medium, ripe bananas

Optional Toppings:
non-dairy yogurt (I use homemade.)
hemp seeds
mini chocolate chips
sliced strawberries
pumpkin caramel sauce

1. Place the oats and water in a large bowl, cover, and soak in the fridge overnight.
2. In the morning, you can either a) drain the oats in a colander and proceed to make the pudding or b) make oat milk with the soaking water by blending the oats and the water and then straining out the oat pulp using a mesh sieve.
3. Make the chocolate oatmeal pudding by blending all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth. Empty the chocolate pudding into a bowl, clean out the blender or work bowl, and then combine all of the ingredients for the caramel oatmeal pudding and blend until smooth.
4. Assemble the banana splits by cutting your bananas in half lengthwise. (For four small splits, cut the bananas in half widthwise as well.) Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to dish up a scoop of each pudding over the bananas. Garnish with desired toppings.

Here's the other big news around here beyond fancy breakfast:

Emie is Walking!

And Sawyer and Abiline had a momentary truce.