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paleo

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Apple Pie Almond Meal Pancakes

January 19, 2014

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Is there anything better than weekend breakfasts? Joe and I make a point to eat breakfast together almost every morning. We’re even the crazy people who wake up an extra hour earlier than we need to because we want time to drink coffee, eat breakfast, talk and watch a little morning news. Weekend breakfasts, however, are an entirely different thing. We have time to wake up a little later and still soak up a few hours together, drinking cups and cups of coffee and lounging around in our pajamas, playing with the pups.

During the weekdays we stick to our routine of oatmeal or oat bran for ease, taste and convenience. But on the weekends, we get a little more creative. Eggs, bacon and homemade biscuits are a favorite, homemade pancakes, yogurt bowls with chia seeds and berries and plenty of drippy almond butter.

Although I love pancakes first thing in the morning, particularly of the whole grain variety, I don’t love the fact that they leave me hungry only a couple hours later. Almond meal pancakes, I’ve found, keep me full much longer probably due to the fact that they contain protein.

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For a while now, I’ve been making a quick “apple pie” mixture by mixing apple slices, a little brown sugar and butter, cinnamon and flour and microwaving the mixture for a couple minutes until soft and delicious. It’s amazing how much it tastes like apple pie and satisfying dessert cravings without totally blowing the rest of your day. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that combining this apple mixture with almond meal pancakes would create a breakfast nirvana, but I’m glad I finally did!

If you’re looking for a slightly more involved but totally delicious breakfast that’s worth every bit of effort, make time for these Apple Pie Almond Meal Pancakes. I usually steer clear of overly sweet breakfasts, so I don’t care for maple syrup on my pancakes, but I think most people wouldn’t mind a warm drizzle of maple syrup for moisture and sweetness.

Apple Pie Almond Meal Pancakes
Pancakes 
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar (you could swap out the brown sugar for a little maple syrup or stevia)
3/4 cup almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
Apple Compote
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Very small pat of butter, melted (maybe 1/4 tablespoon or a little less)
1 packet stevia or 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Directions
In medium mixing bowl, combine egg, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda, almond milk and brown sugar or other sweetener of choice. Whisk until well combined. Mix in the almond meal until combined.

In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt a small amount of butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon batter by the 1/4 cupful into pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until edges are set. Flip, cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until pancakes are cooked through in the center.

In small microwavable bowl, combine apple, cinnamon, melted butter, brown sugar and flour. Stir until evenly combined. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until apples are softened and cooked with just a bit of crunch remaining.

Layer apples and pancakes in a stack. Serve with a little maple syrup, if desired. Serves 2

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust

May 28, 2013

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Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Perhaps you were blessed with prettier weather than we were in Minnesota? It pretty much drizzled all weekend and stayed in the 60s. Since my dad, step-mom and little sisters were visiting from Idaho, I was hoping to have a little bit better weather. But we made the best of the weather and gave them a great taste of Minneapolis. It was also so much fun showing them our house for the first time! We managed a full long weekend with six people in our house and it wasn’t all that bad. I would call that a success.

I’ll have photos of our weekend to share in a couple of days, but in the meantime let’s talk about pizza. A couple weeks ago, someone at work prepared this pizza recipe and immediately I knew I had to have the recipe. The recipe, created by master baker Peter Reinhart, was unlike any pizza recipe I’ve ever had before. It was made with almond flour, egg whites and was completely gluten-free. Crazy, right? How almond meal and egg whites could come together to make a pizza crust is beyond me, but after tasting it and then making my own batch, I’m totally a believer.

If you have friends who are gluten-free or looking to cut back on carbohydrates, this would be a great dish to share. It’s fun to make because it’s so unique and takes much less time than traditional dough. Additionally, Joe and I both found that it makes great leftovers because the almond meal keeps the dough from drying out. This dough doesn’t taste like wheat-based dough but it its own thing all together. Very delicious, slightly nutty with a little crunch. It’s incredibly delicious, hearty and a great change of pace for pizza lovers like us.

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Peter Reinhart’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust
Ingredients
Dough (adapted slightly)
*3 cups almond meal
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
*4 egg whites
*1 cup chicken broth
*3/4 cup grated mozzarella, fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
Toppings
*Marinara sauce and shredded cheese

Directions
*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat, such as a Silpat. Set aside. You can also use parchment paper brushed with olive oil.
*In bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In a second bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until they develop stiff peaks.
*Add the broth to the dry ingredients and stir until it makes a smooth batter. Fold in the egg whites and the cheese.
*Pour mixture onto prepared pan with the nonstick baking mat. Spread into an even layer, using wet fingers if necessary to prevent sticking. Top lightly with marinara sauce and shredded cheese.
*Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the crust is puffed through and baked and filling is bubbly. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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Almond Meal Pancakes

March 28, 2013

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Breakfast is my carb meal. Most mornings I find myself plopped down at my kitchen table with a bowl of oatmeal, breakfast farro, or toast with peanut butter and bananas. Aside from a short and very dark period in high school when I cut out all carbohydrates and ate nothing but meat and vegetables (no butter, oil, condiments, or sauces allowed!) until I almost passed out at band camp (don’t judge, band was cool), I’ve always believed that healthy carbohydrates have a place at the table.

Despite my best attempts, I have never been able to develop a love for eating eggs, especially not first thing in the morning. Now and again I’ll order eggs while eating out, but I hardly ever eat eggs for breakfast at home. From a nutritional perspective I love what eggs have to offer and the fact that they are packed with protein. So when I finally settled on a recipe for almond flour pancakes that suited my carb-loving breakfast style while being packed with eggs, I feel in love. I believe that, technically, these pancakes would also be considered paleo (paleo friends, correct me if I am mistaken!) though that wasn’t my mission in creating these pancakes. What I was going for was a hearty, filling and protein-packed breakfast that would leave me full and satisfied for hours. Mission accomplished.

A few notes about the pancakes:
-The flavor of the pancakes is pretty spot-on with traditional pancakes. The almond meal does not give much almond flavor to the end product. However, the texture is a bit different. The almond meal (and lack of gluten) prevents the pancakes from having very much chew to them. They stay quite soft no matter how long you cook them.
-I was pleased with the way they held together in the pan while cooking. I didn’t have any issues with the pancakes falling apart while I was cooking and flipping the pancakes.
-A single pancake (about 1/3 cup of batter) seemed to be enough for me for breakfast when topped with some peanut butter and banana. However, if you want a very decadent and large breakfast for multiple people, I would plan on two pancakes per person.
-It’s important to spread the pancake batter out slightly when you first pour the batter into the pan. The batter won’t spread much on its own like a typical pancake might.

Almond Meal Pancakes
Makes 3 Pancakes
Ingredients
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 packets stevia natural sweetener or 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk or milk (I use almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup almond meal (I buy mine from Trader Joe’s)

Directions
1. In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, stevia, milk, cinnamon and baking soda until well combined. Stir in the eggs and beat until well combined.
2. Heat a little butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spoon batter, 1/3 cup at a time, into skillet. Spread the batter out slightly to form a 5-inch circle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until edges are set and the center bubbles slightly. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
3. Serve with butter, syrup, fruit or peanut butter.

Happy Cooking!
Madison

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