Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes: Paleo Friendly

Wow, these are really good. I've made similar banana pancakes but they are always so runny and hard to flip. Plus, they don't rise like a pancake should and are always gummy in the middle. Yuck! These have a more traditional pancake texture and are Paleo and vegetarian friendly; but good for all.*

(Serves 2-4)

2 Ripe Bananas (not black), mashed
4 Whole Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/3 cup Coconut Flour

Mash bananas and cinnamon on a plate, set aside. Beat eggs until frothy and then add banana mixture while continuously beat with a hand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time in the order listed; continue to beat until all ingredients are incorporated and airy. The more air the more light and fluffy the pancake.

Heat griddle to medium-low-medium (300-340 degrees) and grease with coconut oil or oil/butter of choice. Pour a 1/4 cup batter on the hot griddle and cook for 4 minutes or until the bottom is brown but not burned. The edges will be firm. Swiftly flip pancake and cook for another 4 minutes or until done. Slower cooking will yield a better pancake.

I find starting out on a medium heated griddle/skillet to "crisp" the edges but turning down the heat almost instantaneously once cooking begins works best. Keep in mind, these are not traditional pancakes so bubbles will not form. These are fragile until cooked through, which happens only after once flipped. If your pancake is much larger than the spatula, it will be more difficult to flip so keep the size on the smaller side.

Serve with butter, maple syrup or sprinkle with powder sugar. Mine above is pictures with a light drizzle of both maple syrup and peanut butter. Yum!

*Not a self created recipe; but my words and instructions. I found this on a random Facebook post without attribution. Whoever created this is ingenious! 

Bon app├ętit!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Best Ever Tasting Gluten-Free Flour Recipe

In full disclosure, this is NOT my recipe. In fact, it's probably the only recipe I have ever used that I didn't change a thing. Being new to a gluten-free lifestyle, not by choice, I haven't forgotten how delicious gluten foods are and how inferior gluten free food is. However, as a person dedicated to serving healthy foods to my family, including occasional indulgences, my new lifestyle needs to be on par with traditional dishes if I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Thankfully, there are many gluten free products available now that weren't just a few years ago. Unfortunately for my sister Genessa, who had to go gluten free about 15 years ago, everything she did was through trial and error. At that time, few even knew what gluten was. Thankfully, gluten free foods are nearly mainstream in the United States. In fact, there are many gluten free flour blends so easily accessible that I doubt this article will be hugely popular; but it should be! This seriously is an outstanding gluten free flour that mimics regular flour so well in taste and texture, it's worth the time (about 5 minutes) and the mess. Its creation by America's Test Kitchen, I believe is truly superior to anything available on the market. Let me just reemphasize, I am the only gluten intolerant person in my house, but since discovering this recipe, this is ONLY flour now used; and I have very sensitive eaters.

Lastly, I implore you to order your own copy of The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook. I know, nobody buys cookbooks anymore, including me! But I'm telling you, this is much more than your run-of-the-mill cookbook. In addition to all the crowd pleasing recipes (I haven't found a dud yet), it explains in layman's terms the science behind these foods and why what works in one recipe won't necessarily generate the same results in another. Plus, what you learn is easily transferable. What you learn goes well beyond the recipes in the book. You will know which tweaks are needed to get just the right color, rise, taste and texture in your mom's recipe as she did with regular flour.

One final note, unless otherwise noted, this will be the flour used in any recipe shared on Snazzy Apple. However, as always, I try to keep in mind other's sensitivities and/or dietary choices when I publish recipes, so each recipe should be easily modified to fit most preferences.

The America's Test Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour Blend Recipe
Makes 42oz (about 9-1/2 cups)

24oz (4-1/2 cups plus 1/3 cups) white rice flour*
7-1/2oz (1-2/3 cups) brown rice flour*
7oz (1-1/3 cups) potato starch* (not potato flour)
3oz (3/4 cup) tapioca starch* (tapioca flour is fine)
3/4oz (3 tablespoons nonfat milk)**

Whisk all ingredients together until blended in a large, air-tight container. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.

*I used all Bob's Red Mill products except for the dairy. Bob's Red Mill was strongly recommended as the "choice" flours for this blend for reasons you can read further about in their book.

**It was strongly recommended that if not for dietary reasons, not to exclude. It was discovered that without powdered milk, baked goods wouldn't brown as nicely and were less rich, especially in recipes without a lot of fat. If dairy must be omitted, powdered soy milk was suggested in its place to mitigate some of those effects if left without powdered milk substitute all together.

Additional Information
American's Test Kitchen noted that although many gluten-free flour blends include Xanthan Gum, they chose to exclude it because the tiniest amount of it could make or break a recipe. By omitting it to the blend, they felt each recipe could be better served by adding xanthan gum in the quantity best suited for the particular recipe. The cookbook goes into greater detail about when and how to use xanthan gum that's both beneficial and interesting.