This morning's breakfast of fluffy Paleo Pancakes was a fun little endeavor and happily, I'm still full hours later. The best part is, no carb crash! Everybody loves pakcakes, but needing a nap after breakfast is never good when there's a whole day ahead of us. The secret weapon? Coconut flour (thanks, Mom!).
Coconut flour is a great substitute for grain flours, providing much more protein and fiber. It also contains less carbohydrate than an equal amount of grain/wheat flour, but requires much less content in recipes than grain flour (note these pancakes use just 1/2 cup of flour), therefore drastically cutting carb content even more. Coconut flour is great for those with grain or gluten sensitivities or those who lean toward a grain free diet, being recently popularized as "Paleo".
Coconut flour acts differently than grain flour, so they can't be interchanged in recipes without lots of adjustments, but as with any baking recipe, stick to it and you'll be good! The texture of these pancakes is different than that of a conventional pancake, and make sure you are using coconut flour that hasn't been exposed to moisture. Have an open mind, and enjoy!
(makes about 8 small cakes)
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk of choice (I prefer coconut milk)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but yummy!)
dash of cloves (optional)
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
fat of choice for skillet frying (I prefer coconut oil, butter, or olive oil)
(If nuts or fruit are desired, either fold in 1/4 cup before frying or add to top when serving.)
Pre-heat skillet (I prefer cast iron) to medium-low. In small mixing bowl bowl, beat room temperature eggs for a couple minutes until very frothy (the secret to "fluffy"). Beat in milk, vanilla, and honey (or maple syrup) until combined. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk or fork together flour, spices (if desired), baking soda, and salt. Whisk egg mixture into dry flour mixture until combined and not lumpy. Batter will be very thick, sort of like muffin or brownie batter, and not like regular cake or pancake batter. Add fat to skillet, and add batter by less than 1/4 cup dollups to skillet. Trust me, keep them small! These do not hold like conventional pancakes, so keeping them small makes them easier to flip and helps them cook more uniformly. Cook for a few minutes on each side, and be very careful when flipping. When they're brown on both sides and spring back in the middle when tapped, they're done. These are best topped with real, grass-fed butter (or coconut oil) and real maple syrup. Chopped nuts, berries, or bananas would be great on top, too!
Smoothies are one of my favorite things, not only because they're delicious and easy, but also because they're a powerhouse of nutrition and a great way to get greens into kids (and adults) who wouldn't normally eat them! This KaleBerry smoothie is one that I make more often than any other for my family. With the right balance of ingredients, the taste of the kale (which I happen to love!) is virtually undetectable by even the most critical tongue.
Kale happens to be the second most nutrient dense food in the WORLD (and my favorite vegetable)! It's chock full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals (lots of iron and calcium), fiber, amino acids, and the ever important omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It's readily available at supermarkets, and definitely abundant at farmer's markets (my personal preference) where you'll get the freshest crop and therefore the highest nutrient content. It can be bought in bulk at a more than reasonable price at farmer's markets and can be frozen for year round use.
Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, also rank very high in nutrition content, being one of the top ten nutrient dense foods on earth. They're loaded with powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and minerals. Berries also have the lowest carbohydrate content of all fresh fruits. They're commonly available at supermarkets and farmer's markets, and, just like kale, berries can be bought in bulk and frozen for year round use. Frozen berries are also available year round in supermarkets, being a great choice because they're picked at peak ripeness and then quickly frozen, preserving nutrient content. For the best price and quality, I prefer Trader Joe's organic frozen fruit. Nature's Promise and Cascadian Farms also market organic frozen fruits which are a little more expensive, but still very good.
I tend not to measure my smoothies by methods other than handfuls, palmfuls, and pinches, even when following recipes that call for it. I prefer to throw things together quickly and experiment with different ingredients each time I make something. The ingredients for this smoothie are pretty basic, and at the bottom of the recipe you'll see suggestions for adding a little flair if you prefer, which I alwasy do. Enjoy!
KaleBerry Smoothie Recipe
Yeild: 4 servings
(all organic highly recommended)
2 large kale leaves, or 1 handful of chopped kale**
1 heaping handful of blueberries**
1 heaping handful of strawberries**
1 heaping handful of raspberries** (these best mask the kale flavor)
enough water (unsweetened rice or almond milk work nicely, too) to cover about 3/4 of blender ingredients
**More can be added once blending has commenced, depending on what will fit in your blender and what consistency you like. The more the merrier!