Gluten-free Sweet Potato Pancakes

pancakes made from sweet potatoes, eggs, and a few spices

pancakes made from sweet potatoes, eggs, and a few spices

This is a recipe that was inspired when a friend of mine informed me that you could make gluten-free pancakes from a mashed banana and a few eggs.  Well, being on an extremely low sugar diet, I cannot eat bananas, so I thought I would try it with sweet potatoes.  The result was delicious and only required a few key ingredients.

102_20153-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, 2-3 eggs, a dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, coconut oil for cooking, a handful of berries for the sauce and a bit of homemade plain yogurt to top it all off.

102_2019First, cook the sweet potatoes. You can bake them in the oven or pop the in the microwave.  Just don’t over cook them. I use a handy little potato bag a friend gave me for Christmas.

102_2022Once the potatoes are done take them out and filet them to let them cool for a bit so you won’t burn your hand in the next step.  While they are still a little warm, carefully peel the potato skin off.  It should come off like paper or birch bark.

102_2024Next, mash up your potatoes and add a few eggs.  I have found that the more egg you use, the easier it will be to flip the pancakes in the pan.

102_2027Now add you spices and a generous pinch of salt.  Because this recipe does not use any sugar, the salt will bring out more of the natural sweetness of the sweet potato.  For spices I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following; allspice, nutmeg, ground cloves, or cinnamon.

102_2003

Now comes the tricky part! Get out a skillet and use 2-3 Tbs. of oil.  Heat the oil before dishing out the pancake “batter.”  Smaller pancakes are easier to flip. Don’t try to get fancy!  I often re-coat the pan with more oil between each batch of pancakes.

102_2004Almost forgot about the “syrup”!  Take a handful of berries (with the sweet potato I prefer black berries and blue berries) and 1-2 Tbs. of water in a small sauce pan.  Cover and put it over high heat and watch the berries pop with all their lovely juices!  Once the berries are slightly mush-like (you can help this along by “mushing” them yourself) uncover the sauce pan and cook for 1 min. so that the sauce thickens.

102_2034Put it all on a plate with a dollop of homemade, whole-milk yogurt on top and you got yourself a healthy, yummy breakfast full of fiber, vitamins, calcium and probiotics!

 

SWEET POTATO PANCAKES (serves 2)

3-4 medium sized Sweet Potatoes

2-3 Eggs

Dash of Nutmeg, Allspice, and Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Salt

2-3 Tbs. Coconut Oil (or other preferred vegetable oil)

1) Cook and peel sweet potatoes

2) Mash potatoes and mix in 2-3 eggs, spices, and salt

3) Heat Oil in pan and spoon out pancake batter, no larger than 3 in. in diameter.  Once the bottom edges begin to appear golden, flip the pancakes and repeat with the other side. (If using coconut oil, more oil may need to be added)

 

BERRY SAUCE

1 Handful of Blue Berries and Black Berries

2 Tbs. Water

1) wash berries

2) place berries in small sauce pan with water.

3) cover and bring to a boil, mashing berries once or twice in the process

4) lower temperature and cook for one minute to thicken

 

** Serve sauce over pancakes with a dollop of plain, whole milk yogurt.

 

 

Advertisements

Why This Blog Isn’t Just Food

102_2010

So I thought I should explain why this blog is seemingly so eclectic. I am an artist, not just in the sense of creativity and imagination, but in the fact that I actually hold a Bachelors in Fine Arts. In starting a new chapter in Life, I have realized that art is not just in the pieces of “artwork” that is created but in the daily life experiments, trials, and concerns.  My artwork has begun to reach far beyond a canvas or clay.  My life’s art is in my kitchen, in my marriage, in my studying history and observing the world, it’s in my writings or poetry, it’s in the stuff I make for everyday life, and in the way that I enjoy life as a whole.  This blog is about how the living life as an art form changes the way we think, act, and behold the world around us.  This summer has been a fun voyage of discovering books, old movies, recipes, gardening, and travel, and I intend to capture all of it right here.  Consider it an “Eat, Pray, Love”– Journal all about life, food, entertainment, and how they all go together.

Abbot and Costello

Poster from Abbott and Costello’s Most Famous Film

 

Abbot and Costello are one of my favorite comic dynamos from the “pre-pervert” comedy era.  (Some other favorites are the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and of course the ultimate, Lucile Ball.)  They are best known for their unique and hilarious bit “Who’s On First” which was inspired by early burlesque shows.

I recently re-watched what is hailed as their best movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)  It turned out to be their first of several Monster Movies that Abbot and Costello did together.  Monster movies were some of the big block busters in the late 40’s and early 50’s, much like our super hero movies today.  What made this movie unique was that it was not only a “horror” (laughable compared to our horror movies of today, but back then, quite scary) but also a comedy film.  It’s filled with great little gags and stunts, and Lou Costello’s facial expressions couldn’t be better.  Of course, you probably saw most of these gag stunts if you watched “Loony Tunes” as a kid, however my personal favorites are all the nice little punchlines that sneak in.

My personal favorite;

Abbot: “Oh, this is all a load of bunk!”

Costello,  pointing to Dracula’s coffin: “That’s what I’m tryin’ to tell ya– that’s. his. bunk!”

 

Another great line in the movie;

Werewolf: “You don’t understand! Tonight when the moon is full, I’ll turn into a wolf”

Costello: “You and 20 million other guys!”

 

What was also amazing about this film, it was one of the first times the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein all came together for once crazy movie. And in my personal opinion it all fit together much better that in the most recent movie with all three monsters, “Van Helsing” (2004) which even though it was not a comedy had me laughing on the floor with it’s ridiculous writing.  The only way to make a good movie with so many monsters in one film is to make it a comedy.

 

Some interesting facts about the film? Lou and Costello were so used to acting for a live audience that they got bored acting for a camera, so Universal Studios hired their very own personal “set clown” to keep the comedy action alive.  There were even pie fights off stage.  The actors who played the three monsters were very well known for their parts too; Bela Lugosi (a Hungarian actor) played Dracula and other vampire characters many times in his career, Lon Chaney Jr. who was always called up to play the wolfman, and Glen Strange who played Frankenstein monster a few times after the previous Frankenstein retired.   Audiences who came to see this film were in for a similar treat as when you went bouncing into the theater to see “The Avengers” a few summers ago.

This movie was certainly a block buster, but to be fair maybe ranks 3-4 stars in my book.  If you love old movies, but haven’t yet seen Abbott and Costello, you’ll love it.  If you are familiar with Abbott and Costello however, you already know that they tend to use the same physical comedy bits over and over with no remorse.   Of course, in an era after the Great Depresion,World  War I & II, and lots of uncertainty, the public loved seeing these jokes over and over again just like a little kid who knows they can depend on the punchline every time.

 

 

Bread with Just the Basics and Hearty Benedict Eggs

This post is for all of you self diagnosed lactose and gluten-free-ers out there.  I am just like you, I had some major health problems mostly to do with an irregular digestive system.  So I went gluten and lactose free and it helped a ton.  One little problem though, I love milk and I love bread. 😦  While I will save my story of going from lactose free to only drinking whole milk for another day, I thought we’d talk about bread.

So crazy enough, I never went completely gluten-free.  I still allowed myself to have white bread now and then seeing as how whole wheat was the one that always got to me.  But eventually I started buying bread fresh from the bakery department and noticed that my system reacted much better to fresh bread than from bread with tons of preservatives.  I started buying the simplest bread with the least complicated ingredients…. it was about $4 for a loaf less than half the size of a normal loaf of bread.  The last time I was at the store looking for this amazing bread I looked at the ingredients; “Flour, Salt, and Well Water” and back at the price tag.  I thought “Shoot! If it’s really that simple I can make this at home!” So I bought a couple of bread pans, some yeast, and some unbleached flour.  I used a basic  “No-knead” bread recipe and got some tips on how to make it into a sandwich loaf.

Homemade Bread As you can see my loaf is a little lopsided and burnt, but hey, this was my first time ever making my own bread at home.  Cut me some slack. 😉  Even though the crust was pretty tough (a characteristic of “No-knead” bread anyway)  the bread itself was soft and doughy and delicious.

Eggs Benadict Avacado   For lunch we made the best Eggs Benedict I have ever had with nice thick, hearty chunks of our homemade bread.  Yummy!

HEARTY BENEDICT EGGS  (serves 2)

2 thick slices of Homemade Bread

1/2 of an Avocado

Tomato

1 tsp. Lemon Juice (optional)

2 Eggs

2-3 Tbs. White Vinegar

1 small cup of bowl

Salt and Pepper to Taste

First, Prepare your toast, other wise you will have nothing to put your nice hot poached eggs on top of.  Toast the bread just to the point of having a little dry and crispy on top.

Then take the avocado half the split it between the two pieces of toast, smashing the avocado like a backed potato and then spreading like butter over the thick toast. Slice the tomato and place them over the avocado smothered toast.

At this point I sometimes grind some salt over the whole thing and sprinkle the lemon juice on top.  This will give more flavor, but also can leave the bread a little soggy by the time you are done making the eggs.  But if you like bread soaked in lemon and egg yolk  it’s quite tasty.

Now for the tricky part; poaching the eggs.  Don’t worry it’s easier than you think.  

Get a medium-sized sauce pan and fill it a little over halfway with water and set it over medium-high heat.  Add the 2-3 Tbs. of vinegar and stir once to get it mixed through. While the water is heating up, crack an egg into your small cup or bowl.  It will be easier to pour the egg into the middle of the swirling pot than to crack it over the boiling water. When you begin to see little bubbles forming all over the bottom of the pot use the handle of your spoon and begin to create a whirl pool in the middle of the boiling pot.  (using the handle instead of the spoon head will create a more consistent “current”) Once you’ve got a good swirl going, carefully pour your egg into the pot.  Allow the egg to sit and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Then used a slotted spoon to carefully life the egg out and drain the water from the white. (You can also do this by setting the spoon down on top of a paper towel with the egg still in the spoon) When the egg is drained place it on top of your toast concoction and top it all off with a little salt and pepper.  Repeat for the second egg and enjoy!

For more tips on how to poach an egg click here.

Breakfast Thoughts and Chia Seeds

Morning Tea and Chia Pudding with Ruby Plumbs on top

Morning Tea and Chia Pudding with Ruby Plumbs on top

 

So, as my first blog post, I suppose I should explain that I have recently decided to cut loads of sugar (mostly over processed, but lots of natural fructose as well) out of my diet.  I feel way better than I have in years.  I have more energy, I am not constantly running on coffee fumes, and my digestive system has been functioning much better than it used to.  Most of my blog posts will probably have to do with this big life changing decision, because it has been a fun process of discovery that I would love to share with whoever will listen.  I should also probably mention that many of the recipes (and the reason I quit sugar) come from the book I Quit Sugar by Sara Wilson.

But there are also plenty of other things I have been doing in the kitchen, like baking my own bread for sandwiches, making my own pickles, and even homemade yogurt and cream cheese.  I find this fascinating because no woman has done these things in my family since my Great Grandmother, and yet they are so easy and so inexpensive compared to buying it preservative free at a health food store.

 

BUT on to the Chia Pudding!  We went out and bought Chia seeds for the first time last night, made the pudding and ate it this morning.  It’s really tasty, like tapioca pudding…. but a little funny…. like eating frog eggs. lol

CHIA PUDDING

1/2 cup Chia seed

1 1/2 cups Milk  (cashew milk, almond milk, or regular whole milk)

1/4 cup frozen berries  (optional; I used fresh plumbs even tho it’s a no-sugar diet “no-no”)

1 tsp. Stevia  

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder 

Pinch of Salt

Combine all ingredients the night before (or a few hours before) to allow chia seeds to soak up liquid and become pudding-like.  Enjoy for breakfast in the morning!

 

This summer has been a time of discovery in recipes, books, old movies, gardening and new ways of life.  I am really excited to share, not just food and recipes but all of the little life hacks, fun findings, and inspirational ideas life has to offer. Till next time!