Monday, April 30, 2012

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Coconut Banana Pancakes

I made some fantastic pancakes this past weekend. So fantastic, in fact, that I had no patience to make the photo very pretty. But I promise they were great--very moist, satisfying and tasty. Also relatively low in calories and fat and high in protein.

I've been experimenting with gluten-free flours, and what you've heard is true. Gluten-free baking ain't easy, but it is really fascinating. You've got so much raw material to work with: teff, rice flours, oats, sorghum, cornmeal, coconut...the list goes on. Problem is making it all come together (literally--binding can be a challenge, especially if you don't want to use gums). If you have no clue what I'm talking about, that fine. For these high-protein pancakes, you might have the necessary ingredients on hand already.

I adapted the recipe from some previous high-protein, low-grain pancakes I've made, and to tell you the truth, every version has been fabulous. I love this one--it's the right balance between filling you up and not being too heavy, which I feel happens frequently with pancakes made mostly from grains, whether the grains are gluten-free or not. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Coconut Banana Pancakes
Adapted from my other high-protein pancake recipes, which started with other various sources.

I used liquid egg whites (not egg substitute), but fresh egg whites will work too (1 large egg white should measure 2 Tbs plus 2 tsp, so you need a lot to get to 3/4 cup). If you freeze your very ripe bananas whenever you have some and thaw them overnight in the fridge, they are the perfect consistency for recipes like this--practically liquified. I forgot to weigh the potato starch (sorry!), but I dipped a tablespoon scoop into the starch and leveled it. The batter will be on the runny side, but the starch gives it enough thickness that it sets up with no problem when you pour it into the hot pan.

Serves 2; Makes about 11 small (3 to 4-inch) pancakes

40 grams rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)

15 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup egg whites
2 very ripe medium bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1 tablespoon (scooped and leveled) potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
Maple syrup for serving

Add oats to a blender and blend until chopped up into smaller flakes, about 1 minute. Add coconut and blend to combine, about 20 seconds. Add egg whites and bananas and blend to combine. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves and pulse a few times to combine. Add potato starch and blend until combined, about 20 seconds. Rest 5 minutes to thicken. 

A few minutes before you're ready to cook, add baking powder, and pulse to combine. Preheat a skillet on medium-low to medium heat and mist with cooking spray. Using about 3 tablespoons batter for each pancake, add to pan and sprinkle with pecans. Cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve with maple syrup.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

After a long winter in blog hibernation spent writing a cookbook, I finally have a new recipe! I love brownies, and these rich red velvet ones with a thick layer of cheesecake swirl are a fun twist. It's hard to imagine getting tired of chocolate brownies, but even I like something different occasionally.

I am linking to two very similar versions of this recipe. The one I used calls for a very cool ingredient: red velvet bakery emulsion. It's basically concentrated red velvet flavor and color in one. It's like an extract, but it's also meant to create the signature red velvet color in cakes and in these brownies. It's from my favorite source for baking flavors, LorAnn (I have no relationship with this company and have never gotten anything free from them, just so ya know.).

I really liked how easy it was to make red velvet brownies with the emulsion (and I think it would be amazing for cake), but I get that not everyone wants to bother ordering one little ingredient to make some brownies. Here's a very similar red velvet cheesecake brownie recipe from the blog, Baking Bites, that looks like it would work great and doesn't require special online ordering. But, if you do want to get some red velvet in a bottle, you can order it from LorAnn or from King Arthur (I love KA, and I consider the fact that they stock this stuff to be a great endorsement for it!). Enjoy!