Don’t shut down on me yet. I know I said the “P” word! And while paleo and gluten-free are certainly hot topics and very trendy today, I’m betting most of you are like me and when you hear those words (along with vegan or vegetarian) you think, “Uuuughh, groan, whine”. I’m of the mindset that food is good, and I like to eat it. I like to eat it ALL.
…Unless of course you *can’t* have something. I had to give up dairy proteins in all forms for a few months for each of my girls when they were newborns because I was breastfeeding and they had colic so bad. THEN I was grateful for all the dairy-free recipes I was able to dig up. And one time I got a bug in me to purchase a vegetarian cookbook because I was convicted that my family was centering ALL our meals around animal proteins. (That book proved to be more helpful in the SIDE DISH department than with the main course. We are just too carnivore-ish ;))
There’s plenty of solid reasons for trying new lifestyle changes, though. I have one friend who discovered, once she went completely vegetarian for a month, that her body does not handle animal proteins well. Now she serves meat, poultry and fish as a treat instead of daily rations. I have another friend who co-wrote with her husband a really great post on going mostly paleo/primal. I highly recommend reading Daniel’s notes on WHY they went that route and how it has benefited them.
I actually enjoy a dietary challenge from time to time. I think it opens the doors of culinary creativity, and almost always introduces me to new foods that I would not have thought to try – or new ways to use foods that I wouldn’t have tried on my own.
Right now my husband and I are nearly done with a detox/diet that we started at the end of March. We’re at the end of a 3-week phase where we can’t have starches or sugar. It has not been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, largely due to several recipes I’ve tinkered with. I’ve also enjoyed several of the recipes I’ve discovered so much that they are now a member of my recipe book. I don’t think I’d want to make this a permanent lifestyle, but I can say that I’m going to continue to find and add grain-free foods to our regular menus.
This particular recipe is a keeper. Now, honestly, nothing beats good old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup. But these grain-free pancakes are delightfully versatile as a breakfast food, a mid-day snack, or dessert!! I haven’t tried them with syrup yet since we can’t have sugar for another 4 days (but who’s counting?) but that’s no matter. They are really good with strawberry puree and whipped cream! (My daughter tried them with syrup and liked them.) I say these are “practically” paleo because I do use dairy, which is not part of the traditional paleo diet. You can sub out the yogurt for applesauce and the milk for almond or coconut milk like the original recipe calls for, if you are trying to stick with true paleo. And omit the whipped cream, of course. (The first time I made these I used applesauce, and I will say they are sweeter, but much more prone to crumbling.)
One more note: I think they are actually better the next day. The last batch I made, I made on Saturday night so we could eat them Sunday morning. Just re-heat them for 30 seconds or so in the microwave or in the oven for a few minutes.
Grain-free Pancakes/Strawberry Shortcake
Pancakes (makes about 8-10 small cakes):
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour (almond flour is simply almonds pureed in the food processor!)
- 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani 2%, but fat-free would work, too)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Milk (I used raw whole milk. Skim, low-fat, or almond/coconut milk would also be good!)
- 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (optional, but delicious!)
- Coconut Oil for greasing the griddle
- 1 cup Strawberries and/or other fruits (pureed in blender or food processor)
- Whipped Cream
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, except coconut oil. Batter should be slightly runny. If it’s still thick, add more milk until it resembles typical pancake batter. Grease griddle or pan with oil. Spoon batter onto hot griddle into 2-3″ rounds. When sides begin to brown, flip pancakes. Brown the other side, then serve warm! Add pureed strawberries and whipped cream. If strawberries aren’t super sweet, you may want to add a packet of stevia or a teaspoon of sugar while pureeing. Typically they won’t need it, though. Especially if they are in season! Leftovers should keep in the fridge at least a week.
Tell me if you try these! I have a few more starch and sugar-free recipes that I will post here if anyone is interested. I’ll be back to eating those things next week, but it never hurts to try new recipes, right?