Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

February 3, 2017

This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a long time and have just never gotten around to it! It probably would be better suited to the fall when people go crazy for anything pumpkin, but I think pumpkin is perfectly suitable to eat year round (although, it gets harder to find!). Pancakes have long been an occasional weekend staple in the Rowland household, but a year or two ago, I decided to try my best to stop eating unnecessary carbs. Since there is literally nothing healthy about a traditional pancake, I stopped eating them. Since I generally stick to as much of a Paleo diet as possible, this is a great occasional weekend breakfast treat! (I usually drink green smoothies for breakfast every day, recipe here.)

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
makes 10-12 pancakes

Ingredients:
-1 (15oz) can pumpkin
-6 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla
-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
-1 cup almond flour
-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or alternatively, 1 tsp nutmeg & 1 tsp allspice)
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-coconut oil, for cooking
-pure maple syrup, for serving
-optional extras for serving: Kerrygold butter, chopped pecans

Directions:
1. In mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup.
2. Add almond flour and combine.
3. Add spices and baking soda and stir to combine.
4. Melt coconut oil on an iron skillet or electric griddle.
5. Scoop out in 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle, spreading out slightly.
6. Cook on both sides until done (this will vary on temperature of your pan, I cook on a 350 degree griddle for a couple minutes per side).
7. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup, and pecans. A side of bacon and a cup of orange juice are also lovely additions!

Enjoy!

P.S. This does make a lot of pancakes! I’ve made many half batches before, but I hate that a half batch only uses 1/2 a can of pumpkin, and I never end up using the other half for anything. So I’ve started making full batches and then reheating leftovers for additional breakfasts. If you’d rather make a half batch (5-6 pancakes) here are those measurements: 1/2 can pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp allspice), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking soda.

P.P.S. The original recipe that I started this from doesn’t call for the almond flour and I’ve made these many times without it. They are still great that way, however, they are really delicate and hard to flip without completely falling apart.

Green Smoothies

May 30, 2016

Recently, I’ve been trying to eat more Paleo (basically eat more veggies and less carbs). That wasn’t difficult to incorporate into my lunch and dinner plans, but breakfast really stumped me. My usual breakfast was cereal (usually Honey Nut Cheerios) with almond milk or oatmeal. Both are a very carb/sugar rich way to start my day that I wasn’t super happy with. My diet is further limited that I can’t eat wheat, eggs, or much dairy (I’m gluten-intolerant and eggs and dairy also agitate my digestive system). I tried a few other Paleo breakfasts – including a potato/sweet potato/onion/bacon hash and pumpkin/banana pancakes. Both were great, but time consuming to make — so not sustainable for regular workday breakfasts.

At the perfect timing for my life, one of the blogs I read posted about incorporating green smoothies into her diet. I’d obviously heard of green smoothies before, but I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before to try them for my breakfasts. My sister Kelsey makes a similar smoothie for her breakfast occasionally. But it started the wheels in motion and I’ve been green smoothie-ing for breakfast for a couple weeks now and LOVING it!

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Part of the reason I hadn’t tried this sooner is that we didn’t have a blender (Drew broke ours trying to blend a spoon in it while making daiquiris for a party he threw a few years ago when I was out of town, lol!). I tried to blend my first smoothie in our food processor and that turned out terribly! I did a little research on small blenders perfect for smoothies and narrowed it down to these two: NutriBullet ($79.99) & Bella Rocket Blender ($24.99). The NutriBullet is a little more expensive and probably better for the long run, but since I wasn’t even sure I was going to like smoothies, I went with the cheaper, but still well-reviewed Bella Rocket Blender. So far, I’m perfectly happy with my choice! At just under $25, it has been working great (and I’ve been using it daily for the last few weeks). It is super easy to clean, comes with multiple cups, and even includes an extra grinding blade for grinding small seeds and such. I like that it is small enough to leave out for daily use and the design is simple and looks nice.

P.S. Feel free to use your regular blender if you have one! No need to buy a specific smoothie blender for this! I will say though, that the super easy to clean design of this is what has made me actually stick to it. If I had to take a blender apart every day to clean it, I wouldn’t do it (Drew washes the dishes in this house!).

There are a million ways that you can make green smoothies, but this is the recipe that I’ve found perfect for my daily use:

Banana Spinach Green Smoothie
makes one 16 oz smoothie

Ingredients: (feel free to modify as you wish!)
-1 1/4 cup fresh spinach
-1 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
-1 tsp honey
-2 tsp ground flax, chia, and hemp seeds
-1 Tbsp almond butter
-1/2 banana, frozen into small chunks
-2 strawberries

Other ingredient ideas:
-raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapple, pear, apples (fresh or frozen)
-coconut milk
-nuts or other nut butters
-cinnamon
-dates
-avocado
-vanilla
-cocoa powder
-oats
-coconut

Directions:
1. Place spinach, cashew/almond milk, honey, almond butter, and seeds (I usually pre-grind mine) into blender cup and blend until well blended. (I’ve read that mixing the spinach and liquid together first before adding other fruits helps to get a smoother blend and avoid small bits of spinach in your smoothie).
2. Add banana and other fruit or mix-ins as desired. Blend until well blended.
3. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
258 Calories, 30g Carbs, 8g Protein, 13g Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 190mg Sodium, 288mg Potassium, 5g Fiber, 11g Sugar

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I honestly can’t believe what a difference this has made so far in my routine. It is still quick and easy to make and drink (the small smoothie blender makes it so quick and easy!). It doesn’t take any longer than making and eating a bowl of cereal! But I feel SO MUCH BETTER! I’ve noticed that I have so much more energy lately and this is just such a refreshing way to start my day. I like feeling like I’m being better and healthier to my body. I’ve even started to crave and look forward to my morning smoothie — so much so that I’ve even had another for an afternoon snack some days! I’ve been drinking a bag of spinach a week!

Blueberry Lemon Walnut Muffins

February 21, 2016

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Homemade muffins were a weekend breakfast staple in my house growing up. We would go pick our own fresh blueberries practically just to have for muffins. My mom would freeze them in big bags so we would have them for muffin making year round. We also made banana muffins, peach muffins, and strawberry muffins, but blueberry (with lemon and walnuts!) will always be my fave. Last summer, I went blueberry picking with some friends on the North shore, just outside New Orleans. I have a large bag of those blueberries in my freezer just for muffin making! The recipe we used growing up is great, but after going gluten-free, I found I didn’t like the way the muffins in that recipe came out as much. I also like this GF Blueberry Lemon Ricotta muffin recipe, but when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen I knew it was bound to be great. I tweaked it a little to make it gluten-free, more lemon-y, and to add walnuts, and I’m in love with the result! The first time I made these was over Mardi Gras when Drew’s mom was in town and Susie and I had eaten them all within 24 hours. They must be good, because when I made the next batch, even Drew (who says he doesn’t like blueberry muffins) ate TWO!

Blueberry Lemon Walnut Muffins
makes 12 muffins, adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:
-6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (OR 6 Tbsp salted butter & decrease salt to 1/8 tsp)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-3/4 cup sour cream
-zest of one lemon or orange (at least 1 tsp)
-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I just squeeze some in)
-1 1/2 cups flour (I use GF all purpose mix)
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt (OR 1/8 tsp if using salted butter)
-1 cup blueberries (use fresh, or ones you’ve frozen from fresh, don’t buy frozen)
-1 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In electric stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, beat, then beat in sour cream, zest, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Mixture should be creamy and slightly fluffy (I use one of the highest settings on my mixer).
3. Stir together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a separate bowl.
4. Turn mixer setting down to just a stir and slowly mix in dry ingredients (in about 1/4 cup-fuls) just until combined.
5. Gently fold in blueberries and walnuts.
6. Batter will be thick (almost like a cookie dough). Scoop into prepared muffin tin cups.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown and when a tester comes out clean.
8. Remove from muffin tin to a wire rack to cool.
9. Serve warm with a pat full of melting salted butter.

Enjoy!

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Everything Cookies

October 4, 2015

In high school, I used to make these everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies all the time. My original recipe makes quite a lot (I’ve downsized it here), so I would make them and my sisters, Drew, whoever was at my parent’s house or Drew’s parents house, would eat them all up. The cooler temps the last few days have me all nostalgic. Fall always reminds me of when Drew and I first started dating (8 years ago this month!), and in turn reminds me of home and high school. I was flipping through my old handwritten cookbook the other day and came across these again. This very well may be the first time I’ve made these since high school! Definitely the first time I’ve made them since I’ve been gluten-free. This is an easy recipe to make GF since it takes so little flour to begin with!

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Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Cookies
makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:
-1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 cup flour (I use my GF all purpose flour + a little bit of xanthan gum)
-1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-6 oz chocolate chips (I use half milk chocolate, half semi-sweet)
-3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
-3/4 cup shredded coconut

Directions:
1. In a stand mixer (or large bowl) cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
2. Beat in egg, then vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
4. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet.
5. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut.
6. Roll or scoop dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for around 12 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. Don’t overbake.
8. Let cool on cookie sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

P.S. My original recipe (if you want double what’s above): 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour, 2 1/2 cups oats, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 12 oz chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, 1 1/2 cups coconut.

Cornbread Muffins

June 29, 2015

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Growing up, cornbread was a daily staple at my grandparent’s house. We had it often enough at our house too, only usually in muffin form. My grandparents made drier, unsweet cornbread (that my Papaw often experimented with and threw in whole kernels of corn or jalapenos) and my Mom always made hers sweet (and a little more cake-like) with Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. After going gluten-free, I thought cornbread would be a quick and easy replacement for bread with meals. However, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix is not gluten free. I’ve made many different GF cornbreads, all good, but none the same as that muffin mix. That is, until I came across this recipe by Smitten Kitchen. These are seriously the best, homemade cornbread muffins — gluten-free or not.

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Homemade Cornbread Muffins (gluten-free)

makes 12 muffins, recipe from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients:
-2 cups yellow cornmeal (divided)
-1 cup flour (I use my gluten-free all purpose flour + 1 tsp or so of xanthan gum)
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
-1 1/4 cups whole milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
-1 cup sour cream
-8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-3 to 5 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cornbread)
-2 large eggs

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease 12-cup standard muffin tin.
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and remaining 1/2 cup cornmeal. Cook cornmeal/milk mixture over medium high heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened to a batter-like consistency.
4. Stir melted butter, sugar, and sour cream into cooked cornmeal. When mixture is cool enough to not cook the eggs, whisk in eggs and stir until combined.
5. Fold in flour mixture until thoroughly combined (batter will be thick).
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (will mound slightly above the rim).
7. Bake until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 13 to 17 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.
8. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and let cool 5 minutes longer. Serve warm with butter and/or honey.

Enjoy!