Thursday, November 1, 2012

Favorite Pancakes & Fall Trips

November 1st!!! How did that happen so fast? In the past few weeks I've experienced the splendor of autumn (New England), an early taste of winter (Tahoe), and even a few searing, summer-like days here in Sonoma; a last hurrah before the much needed rain we got this week.
My trips have been a wonderful mix of the nostalgia-stirring and the brand spanking new.
The trip to Maine was a homecoming. Familiar, sentimental in an almost painful way. Even though it was October it smelled like every summer of my whole life: of wet pine, of moss, faintly of smoke and strongly of the sea. It smelled like capture the flag, blood drawn by a barnacle, mildewed rope bracelets, first kiss, first drunk, and lying on the lawn after dinner with my sister and my parents because the stars were too bright and too startlingly milky to ignore. And bed can always wait.
I have been to Tahoe a few times now and feel like I am only just beginning to understand its greatness. On our most recent trip we left Sonoma in the dark, at 6am, when it was already 60 degrees, and made it to Donner Summit by 9am to find thigh high snow, fog over Donner Lake, and that bright mountain sun already glaring against the white- a reminder that you have been thrust several thousand feet towards it in only a couple of hours.
 I have also, in recent weeks, found a favorite pancake recipe. Purists be warned! This is not your standard flapjack. But stay open minded if you are able. My pancake obsessed sweetheart has completely converted from his flour-based pancakes to these gluten-free, energy packed, and truly scrumptious stacks instead. 
Said sweetheart, Pete, is a rock climber, and thus, has chronic joint pain. When its particularly bad we try to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. For those of you new to this idea it basically means eating a mostly raw, plant-based diet, and cutting back on alcohol, meat, dairy, caffeine, sugar and gluten. I know. Even as I type the list I realize it sounds severe. But in reality, when we eat this way, it never feels abstemious. I love to cook (as you know), we both love to eat (those of you who know us can attest), and we want our food to taste good even when consuming with the specific intent to heal the body, or even fuel it.

After making this pancake recipe once I decided to make a quadruple batch of the dry ingredients to have the mix on hand all the time. I have since gone from being a once-every-couple-of-months pancake eater to a bi-weekly pancake eater. Very happily and healthily so.

The Pancakes
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
1/3 cup almond meal *
1/3 cup oat flour **
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 T sugar
pinch of fine grain salt
1 egg
1 cup almond milk (or milk or buttermilk)
coconut oil or butter for cooking
1 t vanilla (optional)

*You can make your own almond meal by grinding whole or slivered raw almonds in a food processor until very fine.
**You can make your own oat flour by grinding whole organic oats in a food processor until very fine.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. 

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg, then add the cup of almond milk and the vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. 

In a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan, melt the coconut oil or butter over medium heat.  When the pan is ready add about 1/4 cup of the batter and repeat as desired without overcrowding. Personally, I like to limit it to 2 pancakes at a time so they are easy to flip.

When bubbles form on the top of the pancake, flip and cook another minute or so. When making larger batches for a crowd I pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees and keep the finished pancakes warming on a plate so everyone can eat at once. 

The options for toppings are endless. As documented in the photo above, I mixed some Maine maple syrup with whole milk yogurt and topped my pancakes with that and fresh figs picked from a tree up the street. We have also eaten them with homemade apple syrup from a friend. They are great with just a slab of high quality salted butter melted on top, or a scoop of your favorite nut butter if you are looking for enduring energy.

How do you like to eat them? Please let me know!

3 comments:

Cuzzie said...

I like to eat them with... YOU! My favourite part of your birthdays is knowing we are going to have killer pancakes for breakfast. Don't ever stop writing these amazing slivers of joy!

Jenny said...

WE just made killer pancakes too! Very similar. . . I'll send you the recipe. . .cause my sweetie is an avid pancake lover and also has the chronic joint pain (those builder/surfer/climber guys!). . . so anti-inflammatory pancakes it is! Just the thing for a cold morning post run for me and post early morning hunting for him. We meet back in the kitchen with hot mate and almond milk and some raw honey and grass fed butter on these babies.
So glad you came home for a bit . . . and looking forward to coming out there. . . xo

Jennifer Hall Taylor said...

Jenny, sounds like a lovely morning! I would love to have your recipe. And keep me posted about your travel plans! xo