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gluten sensitivity

Make-Ahead Gluten Free Pancakes

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Can Pancake Day be all day, everyday? (In short, yes)

This post is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp ( @zoedesborough) and on her blog

In honor of Pancake Day, I’m sharing with you my foolproof pancake recipe so that you too can make delicious and healthy pancakes! This recipe is great, and very easy to double the batch so that you can make a ton of them then store them in the freezer for those lazy mornings, or the mornings that you’re running late!

I had someone tell me the other day that if I was eating healthy, I shouldn’t actually eat pancakes because they aren’t “clean”. Well I’ve got a secret that I’d like to share. What that person said is a big fat lie and I’ll tell you why. Eating clean doesn’t imply that you have to cut out anything and everything. It just means that you should limit or reduce your intake of processed foods and focus on healthier alternatives.

I work out for my mental health just as much as my physical health, so I can feel great about my body, no matter what shape or size it is. I eat very healthily, with my weekly treats (nachos on Thursday pub nights, and a few glasses of wine with my girlfriend). Otherwise, I eat all my veggies and fruits, and limit my intake of fish and chicken for ethical and personal reasons. Making pancakes from gluten free flour, coconut oil, soy milk and a bit of sugar doesn’t mean I don’t eat “clean” or that it’s a “cheat meal”. It only means that I love myself enough to to treat myself with foods that make me happy and that are good for me.

Your fitness journey should be a personal thing, and the goals you set yourself should be your own. Personal behaviour modification only takes place when you yourself actually want to make a change for yourself and not for someone else’s sake (sorry, I’m a Psychology major). If you love yourself enough to change your behaviours for healthier ones, make sure that the decisions you take are for your own good and not someone else’s happiness.

In honor of self-love and acceptance, I challenge you to make yourself a batch of these pancakes and caramelized apples this weekend, and tell yourself “I’m worth it”. Don’t feel guilty; feel happy and free to be eating something so delicious!

First off, really simple pancakes! You can easily double this recipe to make more pancakes and freeze them for when you want something a little sweeter throughout the week.

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Pancakes

  • 1 cup buttermilk (milk and 1 tbsp of lemon juice works perfectly well)
  • 1 cup of gluten free flour (rice flour works just as well)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt
  • squirt of vanilla extract (if your yogurt is flavored, you can omit it)

Whisk all your ingredients together, but not too much so your pancakes don’t get tough, but enough so that most of the lumps are gone.

In a hot pan with a dab of coconut oil, cook your pancakes like you would any pancakes. If it’s your first time, your first pancake will be a flop, so don’t worry too much. Cook it until it starts bubbling and the edges are cooked, and then flip it over for another minute or two, until the inside is cooked. Gluten free and egg free pancakes don’t rise as much as “regular” pancakes, so expect them to be more like crêpes.

Now, for that extra bit of love, you’re going to want to top these bad boys with caramelized apples.

Ingredients :  Caramelized Apples 

  • 2 apples, thinly sliced (you can remove the peel if you want)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

You can use the same pan as the pancakes to make the apples once the pancakes are done. Melt your brown sugar and butter together for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in your apples and caramelize them over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just watch out that you don’t get butter splatter on you, since that stuff burns.

There you have it! Serve your loved one pancakes topped with caramelized apples, a sprinkle of shredded unsweetened coconut, some fresh fruits and maple syrup, along with a nice coffee or latte!

5 Ingredient substitution tips every allergy-conscious cook needs

This post is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp (@zoedesborough) and on her blog

Zoë’s blog features recipes that are all egg, nut and gluten free.

Before I get into my recipes, I wanted to take this chance to give you guys a few of my food tips when it comes to substituting ingredients in recipes and what you can do to make your life easier.

Gluten Free Flours: A comparison

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If you need to find gluten free flour, check the ingredients out. I have been surprised too many times by additives and sweeteners that aren’t necessary

  • Personally, I avoid Robin Hood’s gluten free flour… It’s sweetened with beet sugar, and I swear I can taste the beets., regardless of what I add to the mix
  • Quinoa flour is great if you’ll be baking breads, or want something with a whole-wheat taste… Otherwise, I don’t suggest baking with it, since it is quite bitter and overpowering.  I do have a recipe for quinoa muffins on my blog (Pumpkin Chai Muffins) where it works well.
  • Rice flour is good, but you need to make sure that you have ingredients that will keep it from crumbling (especially if you’re not using eggs)… I only use it if I’m making carrot cake/muffins, zucchini chocolate cake, or my surprise recipe below…
  • Mixed flours are great. My two favourite are Bob’s Red Mill (THEY EVEN HAVE A PIZZA CRUST MIX…and it’s awesome) and Metro’s (brand of Canadian superstore) in-house brand, Irresistible, GF flour mix. Price wise, I go with the Irresistible since its 1kg for about 8$ instead of the pricy BRM for a small amount (I do treat myself from time to time when I can get my hands on it)  
  • Oat flour… make your own! Buy bulk old fashion oats (less processed) and blend them in your food processor or blender until you get a flour texture.

Storing Gluten-Free Flours

Make sure you store them in hermetic, preferably glass, containers (label them properly as well… you don’t want to go through the pain of mistaking chipotle chili power for paprika like I did last time I was in my mom’s unlabelled spice cupboard).

Making the most of your bananas

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When you’ve got bananas you know you won’t use, just pop them in the freezer! They make super good post-workout treats cut up with a dollop of nutbutter/sunbutter (sunflower seed butter), super good “ice cream”, and great to add to any baked goods or smoothies!

  • Leave them in their peels, so when you take them out of the freezer, let them thaw out a bit and then just squeeze them out!
  • Chop them up and divide them in portions in little baggies so you don’t need to fuss around with frozen bananas (It won’t require an electric chainsaw to cut a piece off either)

Baking with oils

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In general, it is not suggested to use olive oil when baking baked goods since olive oil has a distinctive and overpowering taste that can mask more subtle flavours in your recipe

  • Use Canola/vegetable oil, coconut oil, and even sometime nut oils (walnut preferably)

Butter vs. Margarine: The Great Debate

  • I never, ever, ever, use margarine (WE ARE NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, GETTING BACK TOGETHER….sorry….doesn’t that ever happen to you? You start a sentence and it reminds you of a really popular, or in this case annoying, song?)
  • There is a lot of debate about the two; I usually opt for unsalted organic butter. It is more expensive, but I rarely use it, other for cooking or for when I make popcorn.

Eggcellent substitutes for eggs

If you need to substitute eggs (1 to 2 eggs) you can

  • Use apple sauce
  • Greek yogurt / plain yogurt
  • Chia seed “egg” (1 tbsp. chia seeds + 3 tbsp. water)
  • Flax seed “egg” (1 tbsp. flax seeds + 3 tbsp. water)
  • Milk (if it’s a runny recipe)

My Story

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I have the great honor to be featured for this Foodie Friday! I first starting blogging about the recipes I made because my best friend was tired of eating frozen pizzas and take out sushi and needed some inspiration. I’ve always had a great passion for food and fitness, and even more so since I moved out and had to really start looking out for myself.

When I was a few months old, my parents discovered I had a life-threatening allergy to eggs. When I was 20, I discovered I was allergic to many different nuts/tree nuts, as well as certain fruits that have a similar protein buildup, such as cherries and stone fruit (plums, peaches, and nectarines). Last fall, I suspected I had a gluten intolerance, so I cut out gluten from my diet while being followed by a dietician. It is important to note that being intolerant to gluten and coeliac are two different things, and it is suggested to not stop consuming gluten if not necessary. Many studies have been written about this, and I am no expert, but it’s important that we all do our homework when it comes to our health!

If you’ve ever stumbled onto my blog page, you’ll know that I post recipes that are all egg, nut and gluten free. However, not all of these are originally free of these allergens, and I usually indicate it so everyone can make these yummy recipes!

This week, I will be giving you recipes that are all gluten free, but if you’re one of the lucky ones that don’t need to avoid gluten, I have included options for you!

  • First up, a healthy alternative for breakfast, or as quick snack in the middle of the day, this Oat Flour Banana Coconut Date and Cranberry loaf will become your best friend.
  • Second, tired of that old Chicken Noodle Soup? Well I’ve got a spin on a traditional Pho soup, which is just as comforting as it is delicious.
  • Third, you’ll know (if you’ve read my blog, or peeked in my freezer) that I have probably around 3 to 4 different frozen meals in my freezer for the sake of practicality and laziness. As I am writing this, I realized that both my lunch (frozen portion of Chickpea and Spinach Masala) and my supper (Sicilian Chickpea and Squash Stew) will have been out of my freezer. So, I am offering you a version of my all-time favourite Jamie Oliver recipe, his Vindaloo (you can make it vegan or full o’ meat), which is an excellent recipe to freeze off some portions for quick lunches and dinners.
  • Finally, I have a fall treat for y’all with a sweet tooth but that can never find a recipe that caters to your allergies… You’ll have to scroll down to see what it is!

Read Zoe’s blog for more healthy, allergy-conscious recipes and keep clicking through the PumpUp Daily for Zoe’s September Recipe Round-Up!