baby banana blueberry pancakes

ok, where have i been… i get it. well in the last 8 months, i have lived in 4 different homes in 3 different cities, raised an almost walking baby, quit my job, gotten rid of my chickens and 3 cats… i’ve just been busy. leave me alone!!

so now that we have bought the home that we will be in for a loooong time, i’m ready to use a kitchen again, and call it mine.

juniper is now eating like a sweet little piglet. at 6 months or so, we started giving her purees like avocado, banana, sweet potato… things i would all make in my baby magic bullet. i started really having a blast making her baby food., getting creative with combos like peas, spinach, and parmesan cheese, or sweet potato with cinnamon and coconut butter…. then it happened. we took her to a greek restaurant where we let her lick humus off of a carrot chip, taste our lamb, suck on the buttery broccoli….. and that was it.

she quit eating baby food that day. THAT DAY.

now she will only eat what she can pick up on her own.. meatloaf, meatballs, cheese, sausage, eggs, cut up fruit, gluten-free pasta,… it is sooo much fun, but really hard to remember that she needs different nutrients than we do. extra iron is a big concern of mine, along with extra fiber.

anyway, i decided to start making her quick, easy pancakes in the morning that didn’t have a lot of baking ingredients, to make it easy for her cute little belly to digest. these pancakes are delicious. i make a batch on sunday, then heath them through the week.
juniper loves loves loves them. she gobbles them up faster than i can dish them out!

these are a little more delicate in the pan than “flour” based pancakes, so be ginger with them when you flip. they do set up very nicely, but are a little jiggly before cooked through. adding about a tsp or arrowroot or tapioca starch will help these hold up MUCH better for flipping, but it is not necessary. coconut flour should also do the trick, but i have not tried yet!!

ingredients

1 small/medium ripe banana

2 eggs

2 tbsp flax meal

1-2 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch (optional)

3 tbsp blueberries

dash of cinnamon

dash of vanilla

method: using a blender, magic bullet, or baby bullet, combine all ingredients EXCEPT for the blueberries until frothy and smoothly mixed.

allow batter to sit for 5 minutes so the flax soaks up a little liquid.

heat a skillet over medium heat. spread a little high heat oil, such as safflower, to the pan to get hot.

pour a little batter into the oiled skillet. sprinkle blueberries over pancake. allow it to set up, bubbles coming through to show it is cooked through.

flip!

cook other side until cooked., maybe a minute or so. continue until batter is gone. store in container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

now enjoy this picture of little juniper at the beach!

sweet potato waffles, nut free

someone i know… ok, myself… i love sweet potatoes so much. i eat them most mornings for breakfast with dippy eggs and bacon.

i love sweet potatoes in sweet applications, too. just ask my mom. between dad’s cranberries and mom’s buttery cinnamon sweet potatoes over thanksgiving, i was a happy, full-bellied eater.

this waffle recipe follows the same guidelines as my banana waffles recipe, swapping the pureed banana for half a cup of sweet potato puree. the same thing can happen with pumpkin puree. just follow the ratios!

i don’t like a soggy, rubbery waffle. i want my waffles super crisp on the outside, moist and stretchy on the inside. i want them to taste like real waffles. these waffles are exactly that, and have such a crisp, light crust on the outside, they almost seem yeasted. the tapioca flour is what is responsible for those textures. i like to use whey protein powder instead of coconut flour because i like extra protein in the morning, but coconut flour works the exact same in this recipe and produces a wonderful flavor. if you use coconut flour, think of adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to sweeten the deal.

schmear of warm cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, and drizzle of warmed, real maple syrup.. i insist. … -don’t skip it! melted coconut butter, toasted pecans, and whatever else you can dream up would be acceptable to have with these waffles. bacon on the side balances out the sweetness with salty protein., and a little sausage wouldn’t be a bad idea either!

just look at how orange the inside of these things are. such a yummy, healthy treat. one serving of sweet potato (1/4 cup) contains an entire day’s worth of vitamin A for your eyes and for your immune system. learn more about the magic of the sweet potato by clicking here.

this would make a wonderful addition to the holiday breakfast table.

whatever you do, don’t skip the cream cheese and syrup. i’m warning you..

sweet potato waffles

1/2 cup sweet potato puree (fresh or canned)

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp whey protein powder or coconut flour

4 tbsp tapioca flour

2 tbsp flax meal

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

method: plug your waffle maker in and coat the surface with oil. allow to heat up for at least 5 minutes, or according to the manufacture’s instructions.

combine all wet ingredients in a medium bowl.

separately, combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

combine the 2 in a bowl or pyrex with a pouring spout, if you have it. stir well to form a runny batter. allow to set for 5 minutes to let all of the wet soak into the dry.

pour batter into waffle maker, close the lid, and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. i like to wait until the steam slows to check the waffles.

carefully remove waffles and serve with desired toppings.

*note* while the batter is setting up, i like to place a hunk of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese in the microwave on super low setting for a few seconds to soften it. additionally, i like to place my cold bottle of maple syrup in a bowl of hot water to warm the syrup. this takes 20 minutes or so, so start doing this before you prepare the batter.

banana waffles, nut free

i have been trying to rely less on nuts these days. don’t get me wrong, i think that almond cakes and walnut muffins are just about where it’s at, but it turns out that heating them up can make them inflammatory to the body when we consume them. i will still use them in many of my recipes, but it is time to venture out a little past the nut.

these banana waffles use tapioca and coconut flour as the base, which soak up lots of liquid and provide a light, crispy result. i have used both coconut flour or whey protein powder in this recipe, so feel free to swap them 1:1. the tapioca flour, however, can not be subbed out unless with another compatible starch, like arrowroot flour, or maybe even potato flour. flax meal provides a little more structure to these waffles, and gives them a wonderful texture without letting them feel wet.

if the finished batter seems a little thin, you can add an extra tsp or so of either flour. if it seems very thick, it can be thinned out with a little milk or yogurt. it should be similar to a slightly thin cake batter.

these have the perfect banana flavor, aroma, and sweetness. fluffy and light banana waffles like these deserve lots and lots of butter. i also piled on peanut butter and buckwheat honey. i know i have before professed my love for honey, but this is special honey. my dad gave me what might be a quarter gallon of buckwheat honey he bought on a vacation in michigan at a road side stand. i believe he may have purchased several gallons of it, because since said vacation, he has had a peanut butter and honey sandwich 5 days a week. really and truly, i’m not sure that this is exaggeration at all. when my sis and i were kiddos, if my dad didn’t have enough time to fry us a dippy egg in the morning, he would make us peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the road. we would climb into the car with our runny sandwiches and slop up the car upholstery with our clumsy, sticky fingers. really, pb & h is a flavor combination that will always remind me of dad. anyhow, thanks dad, for the honey. it was AMAZING with these waffles. let my days of pb & h sandwiches live on in memory through this grain free weekend treat!
banana waffles

serves 2

ingredients:

1 super ripe banana, worked over in the food processor or otherwise pureed

2 eggs, beaten

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp coconut flour or whey protein powder

4 tbsp tapioca starch

2 tbsp flax meal

method: plug  your waffle iron in and allow it to heat properly. generally, 5 minutes or so does the trick. it must be piping hot before you pour the batter in. brush it with oil.

combine all dry ingredients together.

separately, combine all wet ingredients together.

now combine wet with dry. whisk well. allow batter to rest for 5 minutes before using. this allows the flours to soak up the liquid, and the flax to expand and get spongy.

pour batter into hot waffle maker. cook for 2-3 minutes. no peeking. opening the waffle maker while the magic is happening makes for a sloppy mess. you can wait.

remove cooked waffles from waffle maker, serve while hot and crispy with melty butter, peanut butter, and buckwheat honey.. or whatever your pleasure!

these waffles are an awesome blank canvas to be topped with nuts, chocolate chips, almond butter, coconut butter.. whatever tickles your fancy!

savory zucchini fritters

these grain-free fritters were an awesome way to start a really long day at our local amusement park. we knew we would be gone all day with nothing but junk food to rely on for filling our bellies, so i wanted to kick it off the right way. we had a zucchini lying around in the refrigerator from the farmer’s market, and didn’t want it to go to waste… viola! big, healthy, hearty breakfast for 4! we had a little sausage on the side and were fulled up all morning.

these fritters don’t need butter or gravy, they are quite moist and flavorful on their own. i really wanted a sweet zucchini bread type fritter with walnuts and maple syrup, but boy, am i glad brian talked me into savory. the cheese crisped up so nicely in the skillet, and the onions made great friends with the zucchini. trust me on this one, don’t differ from the recipe. just stick with it and modify it after you try it just once! i’d be willing, though, to say that these would probably be pretty great with mushrooms and sausage in the batter… oh yum!

garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan is quite easy to find in most any grocery store. i use bob’s red mill brand. letting the batter sit for the initial 30 minutes or so is essential for keeping the beany flavor from overpowering the recipe and turning it into more of a savory, cheesy flavor. with a little preparation, you’ll find this to be a quick prep, easy breakfast to make. i really can’t wait to have it again next weekend! and no, these are not primal  due to the use of a bean flour, but they are very healthy, nonetheless, so i don’t feel guilty about gobbling them up every once in a while.

savory zucchini fritters

ingredients:

1 medium zucchini, shredded

1/2 small yellow or white onion, shredded

3 eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

2 tsp tapioca starch

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

fresh cracked pepper

method: combine milk and garbanzo bean flour and let sit for 30 minutes, up to 3 hours at room temperature and covered.

combine all ingredients together with batter.

allow batter to sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly. batter is a little thin, so don’t be alarmed, but it should not be watery. if it is watery, add a tbsp or more garbanzo bean flour until you are satisfied.

get a skillet good and hot over medium heat. pour in a glug of olive oil and allow it to get hot. you want quite a bit of oil here so the fritters crisp up.

use a 1/3 measure cup to pour batter into prepared skillet. cook until bubbles come through the top and bottom is set and golden brown. edges should be crisp, but not burnt.

flip the fritter and cook for another few minutes. keep cooked fritters in warm oven until it is time to serve.

this was the perfect amount for 4 people to have 2 fritters each, with a side of sausage.

Whole 30, day 18

we’ll be skipping a few days again as we go into the weekend. sorry, but things are getting super busy for us!

i find that, since mindless snacking is no longer an option, i have lost a few pounds. i’m still unable to really whittle-the-middle due to most of my issue being a little postpartum stretchy skin. but wherever it is coming from, i’m keeping an eye on things out of caution that my milk supply could go down.

cutting out the crazy amount of fruit that i was eating has all at once:

a) helped with my bathroom visits

b) trimmed back a little midsection bloating that i usually have that i though was inherent with being a female above the age of 20. like i said, still a little fluff around the flagpole, but what a nice surprise! cutting down on fruit is just like cutting down on any sugar!

c) gotten rid of more sugar cravings. one piece of fruit would ALWAYS lead directly to another, until finally i would give in and eat a small handful of cashews to “protein crush” all that sugar. feels good to have that under control.

tonight i had a “dinner oops”. i made a roast pork from marks daily apple. when i initially planned dinner, i thought since our butt was a pound short of his, it would require less cooking time. well it’s 9:40p, and dinner is still in the oven. we will be having it on sunday night since we will be getting in from out-of-town so late.

i had breakfast for dinner, instead!

breakfast: 2 eggs sunny side up, sweet potato hashies, 2 strips bacon. coffee and coconut cream.

lunch: turkey, tomato, avocado, baby greens, 2 soft boiled eggs. a few cashews.

snack: pepitas, a peach.

dinner: 2 egg mushroom omlette. sausages.

results: YAY! i ate half a dozen eggs today!
YUMZ!

2 egg omlette

2 eggs

slices shrooms

basil

S & P

ghee

method: beat the living sin out of the eggs. stir in pepper.

saute sliced mushrooms dry. this makes it so they don’t get rubbery!

get a big skillet nice and hot on medium heat. add ghee. turn heat down and promptly add egg, covering whole surface of skillet. quickly sprinkle salt over egg. it will not take long for this to overlook. while the egg is still mostly wet, add cooked mushrooms and basil. roll egg into omelette and slide onto a plate to serve.

no, we don’t flip an omelette.

this whole dance must happen fast, or the egg will harden and you will have a rubbery, stiff egg on your hands. instead, you want a soft, cheesy texture. believe me.

sweet potato hash

i’m not sure if i’ve ever shared with you the method for my madness regarding sweet potato hashies. i love sweet potatoes and eat them probably 4 times throughout the week. i think they are an awesome source of slow-moving carbs. they are so delicious, i like them better than white potatoes. my digestive system seems to love when i eat them, too.

i know i post a lot of breakfast recipes here, especially egg recipes. but breakfast is both super important and super dismissed. i know you’re busy. -trust me, i get up for work at 4:30am.. WITH AN INFANT. but i still have time to fry up a good breakfast so i’m not a jerk all morning, grazing on fruits and sugar bombs later in the day. breakfast makes you solid. and if you aren’t hungry for breakfast when you wake up, that probably means you ate too much for dinner. your digestive tract should be ready for food in the morning. there are the few that just aren’t breakfast people. they can go until lunch without feeling woozy, grouchy, or snacky. but that is rare.

i always use 1/2 of a medium sweet potato, and place the other raw half in the fridge to cook up the next day. if you are serving 2 people, use the whole potato to avoid a fight.

here is one of my very favorite breakfast recipes!

this recipe serves 1.

sweet potato hash

1/2 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and cut int small dices (i leave the skin on, you don’t have to)

2 strips of bacon

2 eggs

1 tbsp ghee

2 tbsp bacon fat (could be reserved from this recipe!)

method: get a large cast iron skillet hot over medium heat. throw in the bacon. flip every 2 minutes or so and cook until good and crispy. drain.

keep skillet hot and filled with the bacon fat. add potatoes. spread them evenly over the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. set a timer for 3 minutes. don’t touch them before that. after 3 minutes, move them around the pan, flipping and stirring and whatnot. turn heat down to low/medium. stir and flip every 3 minutes for a total of 15 minutes or so.

in the mean time, fry up your eggs in some ghee until desired doneness. i love them with runny yolk and set whites. sprinkle with salt and pepper.

crush bacon over potatoes. serve dippy eggs over sweet potatoes. enjoy with a big coffee.

*yes, our yolks are looking quite yellow. we haven’t had rain in weeks, and the chickens aren’t getting many bugs. we’re giving them dried grubs and cracked corn to get them by until the worms and ants come out of the ground again!

Whole 30, day 10

i mention stress throughout my previous posts. i admit reluctantly that i deal with stress by munching on cheese and pretzels, and also with a drink throughout the week. -no, not in the “slippery slope” way, but still not a really healthy way to deal with it. now i’m stuck dealing with the stress by, well, dealing with it. this means lots of talking it out. lots of honesty and communication.

“with what?”, you may be asking. what could this stress be…

we are moving to cleveland. my husband has found himself in such a desirable position at a cleveland library, that we are moving! i will be staying home with sweet little juniper for as long as possible. this means i had to quit my beloved job at the dental office. i will be working through august 1. after that, i will be a stay at home mommy for a bit, and brian will be working in his dream-job setting!

we get to move back to a city, with sidewalks, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores all within walking distance. no more 20 minute drive because i forgot the bacon. no, we will be walking for destination. we can spend lots of time playing in parks, socializing with other babies, and enjoying city life once again!

we still don’t have a place to live, so we’re not sure what will happen of the cats or chickens and lots of other factors. all we know is that we’re going in 3 weeks! hooray!

breakfast: half of a baked sweet potato, 2 fried eggs, 3 strips of bacon. coffee with coconut cream.

snack: some pecans & some cantaloupe chunks.

lunch: ham, peppers, sprouts. plantain chips (no, not ENCOURAGED on W30, but not unapproved, either…)

dinner: shrimp antipasto and a small chunk of tapioca bread. nomsville.

dessert: an apricot (they are perfect right now)

results: ok, so the plantain chips were probably a mistake. i won’t be doing that again. i dunno, i just like ‘em. but next time i need some carbs, i’ll opt for a piece of fruit. though i think it wasn’t carb i was craving so much as salty & crunchy.

and yes, i’m still fine with myself having the tapioca flatbread in super moderation. i am nursing and feel that i really want the carbs outside of the fruit realm.

i like to bake the night before i’ll be needing it, because i don’t have time in the morning to bake! i then reheat in the oven for a few minutes before i serve.

one potato should serve 2 people.

baked breakfast sweet potato

1 sweet potato

oil

S&P

method: preheat oven to 400f. coat sweetie in oil, salt, and pepper.

bake on a sheet for 45 minutes. stick a knife into the center of the potato to check for tenderness.

while potato bakes, you can fry your bacon and eggs.

slice potato in half, cover in ghee, salt and pepper, and top with bacon and eggs.

juniper is always this perky and cheery in the morning! i am thrilled that i can soon spend my mornings with her again instead of leaving her for work!