blueberry pancakes-vegan and grain-free

blueberry pancakes

this is a very special, very messy breakfast.

i should start by explaining my absence, though.

you see, dear readers, there is a reason that i have neglected this blog for a long stint. the reason is that i didn’t know if i should divulge some top-secret information or not. i knew if i was blogging lots, i would spill the beans. i would out the secret. there was no way i could write and not say it. i wasn’t sure if i could… i didn’t know what would happen… i didn’t know if it was bad voodoo.

but i just don’t care anymore, i want to be out with it already.

here it goes.

i am having a baby! i am just over 4 mos pregnant, and super thrilled. so far, everything is on track, all signs are pointing to “healthy”, and nothing in the world could ever make me happier! our due date is april 21. -and don’t even wonder about the sex of the baby, we won’t be finding out! and i will be keeping things pretty private about the pregnancy, so don’t expect to be bombarded with every detail about the doctor’s visits, issues, etc. -but that doesn’t mean i won’t gush from time to time. this is our first, after all!

i will, though, give you some food-related details of the pregnancy thus far.

foods i hate now: eggs, chili, stew, the smell of bread baking or toast toasting, fries, the idea, smell, and anything to do with fast food, cashews.

foods that i just can’t quit: greek salad & meat grape leaves (daily), falafel, humus, pad thai, curry, socca pizzas, sausage, sweet potatoes, peanut butter (a jar a week!), rice and rice noodles, bananas that are not ripe.

as you can see, i have been eating bits of rice here and there. i do tolerate it well in small amounts, and i plan on keeping it in my diet so long as my body doesn’t mind. i have been experimenting with hot porridges for breakfasts and sausage with wild mushrooms or sweet potatoes for breakfast in place of eggs. my body has rejected eggs instantly upon eating them for years now, and i just realized this a week ago. i feel much better since eliminating them from my diet.

and though the baby is old news to brian and i, again, we are just thrilled like a couple of idiots with the whole thing.

so it is hard, now, to go on with a recipe… such a minor speck in the grand scheme of things.

none the less… on with it, liz.

one reason why this is such a special pancake recipe is because it is egg-free. -yes, again. it turns out i can’t tolerate eggs at all. which is forcing me to branch out and try new things, new ingredients, new recipes! i even purchased some tapioca flour yesterday!

well this pancake recipe was inspired by the great ricki, from diet, dessert and dogs. her original recipe was for lemony pancakes, but i was feeling the almond/blueberry pairing this morning. i made a few modifications to use what i had up, and viola! a beautiful double-stack of pancakes adorned out table! i was so thrilled about them, i forgot to photograph them before i started to gobble them up.

thanks, ricki, for your awesome blog, that is JAM PACKED with special diet recipes, wisdoms, and cute doggy photos.

this recipe serves 2 hungry adults.

vegan blueberry pancakes

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup (scant) flax meal

1/3 cup protein powder or coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp stevia powder or 1 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup warm milk of choice

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup frozen blueberries (keep ’em frozen until i say!)

method:

combine all wet ingredients in a small bowl.-not the blueberries!

separately, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. -not the blueberries!

combine the wet and dry, and allow to sit for a few minutes. the batter should be a little thick, you’ll want to scoop it out of the bowl, not pour. -still, wait on the blueberries.

heat a skillet over medium heat, and add a small amount of oil to the pan. once the oil shimmers, your pan is ready.

use a ladle or measuring cup to scoop out some batter. pour it onto the skillet, and top with a small handful of blueberries. allow to cook for a few minutes, flip when the bottom is set.

these will turn out a beautiful, crisp on the outside, moist and crumbly on the inside pancake.

top with hot blueberries, coconut cream, and maple syrup.

what a hot mess!

beer

bard'sbefore my diet changes, i used to like beer. i mean really, really like beer. i am of the school that a few beers a week are good for the mind, body, and soul. i like the taste of beer. i like to sit in the sun with my feet up sipping an ice cold beer. i like to chat with a friend over a beer. i just like it.

it had been quite some time since i had a beer. then, one hot spring day while shopping at the anderson’s food market, i stumbled upon this gluten free, oat and barley free sorghum beer. “impossible!” i declared. then read the ingredients again:

water, sorghum, hops, yeast.

it’s true! so i bought 3.

it is delicious.

i drink beer again.

life is good.

stick with me, here..

brian and i just moved into our beautiful home! we are having an amazing time getting things set up, but are remarkably busy. please excuse my brief absence, and your patience will be rewarded with a cookie recipe that will blow your mind. i swear i will be posting very, very soon.

oh, and a side note, i have the following tasties growing in my backyard:

peaches

cherries

mullberries

rhubarb

asparagus

BE JEALOUS!

making whoopie! (pies)

whoopie!

here i am… back to the midwest. back to the smaller town with a slower life. all in all, i’m really loving being back. i was unfairly dreading it as it approached, but now that it’s here, i feel like i’m on vacation. aside from 3 boxes, we’re all unpacked into our apartment, which is much larger than the one we moved out of. the cats are loving the space, but not the hardwood floors. when they finally get a good running start, they end up slamming into a wall. it is quite laughable. poor kitties. we are only in this apartment temporarily, while the final details go into the purchase of our first home in grand rapids, ohio. keep your fingers crossed for us! we would have a small patch of grass as a back yard, a river a few blocks away, and an apple-butter festival in the fall. the house is exactly what brian and i pictured ourselves in. the neighborhood is quiet, but not too isolated. what fun is ahead of us!

for brian’s birthday, which was also st. patrick’s day, we celebrated with the traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, and roots. he said he had never eaten it before! i didn’t believe him, but he swears by it. good thing he liked it, we have pounds and pounds left. it was mighty tasty, and so have been the leftovers… and will be for the next week! we bought our brisket from the little market down the street, which has a nice selection of locally raised meats. their bacon is probably the best i’ve ever had.

corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and turnips

i offered to make him any cake he wanted for his birthday, but he did not want cake. no, nothing quite that simple. my brian wanted whoopie pies. why not? it’s his birthday! brian loves carrot cake, and what a wonderful thing to love in march. carrots are in abundance, and their bright color and flavor reminds us that spring is on its way. carrot cake whoopie pies it is!

they turned out quite lovely. i used this recipe as a base, and added things as i went along to make it into what we wanted. i ended up modifying it to such an amount that it did turn into a completely different recipe. so i am publishing the recipe as i made it, not as comfy belly published it. these, for the most part, were exactly what i was expecting: sticky, cakey, spiced, sweet cookies with a tangy and sweet cream cheese filling. these are fairly nutrient dense, too. made with almond flour, they are packed with protein, healthy fat, low in carbs, and studded with healthy carrots, sweet raisins, and walnuts. i might use less honey next time to let the raisins and carrots do more of the sweetening. i could almost categorize these under “breakfast”, but i won’t push it. i will probably be making these for my dad’s birthday next year, because they are such a welcome change from the usual cake. they are a little more casual than a birthday cake, and though they are very filling, they aren’t overwhelming like a fat slice of cake. i was able to shove 2 in my mouth for dessert within 5 minutes. no, we didn’t have a contest, i was just in the mood to be a glutton. no biggie.

a big pile of whoopie

sky high whoopie pie

this recipe makes 2 dozen assembled whoopie pies.

i’m certain it could be cut in half successfully.

carrot cake whoopie pies

4 cups almond flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2-2 cups honey

4 eggs

2 tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup carrots

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

preheat oven to 350f. prep cookie sheets with parchment paper. do not, i repeat, DO NOT use a silpat. trust me on this one. just don’t.

place racks in middle of oven.

combine almond flour, spices, and baking soda in large bowl. combine eggs, vanilla, and honey in separate bowl. carrots, walnuts, and raisins can be combined separately in another bowl.

mix wet ingredients with dry until well combined. stir in carrot mixture. if batter seems a little loose, you can add 1/4 more almond flour until it tightens up, or stir in 3-5 tbsp coconut flour.

drop batter by the tablespoon onto cookie sheets, quite a few inches apart. they spread out a lot.

bake for 15 minutes. let them cool slightly on sheet before transferring to wire rack. letting them cool on the wire rack is what helps them stiffen up. otherwise, they will remain too cakey for spreading the frosting, or even for handling.

once all the cookies are cooled, spread frosting and store in the refrigerator. the cookies are pretty delicate and will stick to each other, so i recommend using sheets of wax paper to separate, or do what i did and wrap individually with plastic wrap.

cream cheese frosting (enough for all 24 pies)

2 blocks room temp cream cheese (no, not reduced fat)

1/3 cup honey

2 tbsp vanilla

with either hand mixer or stand mixer, whip all 3 ingredients together. i like mine pretty fluffy. spread on cookies (or a cake!)

the original recipe on comfy belly uses a marshmallow filling, which is most delicious. however, i felt that the cream cheese filling was more appropriate for the carrot cake version. also, the marshmallow filling is made from egg whites, so it has to be eaten quickly after using as it dissolves a few hours after being made. it is very tasty, though, and i have used and loved it on cupcakes before. check it out!

new life

i have an amazing new life here in ohio, and i am busy beyond words!

i will be updating asap, with a very fun recipe for an amazing treat that i made for brian’s birthday. no, it is not another booze cake.

that will be next week.

see you soon!

“organic” finally means what we think it does!

the USDA is saying now they will enforce new rules that govern the pasturage of livestock whose meat and milk are to receive an “organic” label. this label used to be pretty loose and meaningless, but now, according to slashfood.com, “Animals must be permitted to graze at least four months out of the year, and receive 30 percent of their sustenance from that source during those periods.”

this is very good news. no more wondering if you are wasting money at the grocery store by paying for the “organic” label. -but this still won’t stop producers from labeling their meat with the misleading “all natural” label. jerks.

check out the real story:

USDA news on slashfood

“chemicals in food can make you fat”

another reason to quit buying prepackaged, "conventional" produce: pesticides on apples made the most dangerous foods list.

this is something my mom stumbled upon, and passed it along to me. apparently, it’s not just a hunch any longer, that pesticides, growth hormones, and plastics linger in our foods, and inevitably in to our bodies. studies are now finding that these chemicals are causing issues with our immune systems and presenting other dangerous health issues, including diabetes, over weight, heart disease, and probably a whole slew of other crap. i found it really interesting and important, and urge you to follow the link:

“chemicals in food can make you fat”, says cbs