Flourless Flax Seed Pancakes

My buddy Mary W. did it again! Mary emailed me a link to a recipe she found on Recipezaar for Flourless Flax Seed Pancakes, very intriguing as they are naturally gluten-free and super healthy (with the heavy cream substitution)!

So, in order to make these, I needed a few ingredients. I went to my local Whole Foods (remember, Mike does most of the grocery shopping in our house because I will literally spend hours at the store reading labels, looking for new GF food finds and I inevitably always run into some lost looking and bewildered soul in the gluten-free section, which gets me all excited, like a kid in the toy store!).  Heidi gets to talk gluten-free! I have actually made some great new friends this way! :-)

Anyhoo, this trip to Whole Foods was really no different (3 hours!) with the exception that I found myself in a little bit of trouble with management. Apparently, they frown upon someone going into the store taking photos of all their products! Okay, I understand that. It actually ended up being a really great experience though after I made my purpose clear (I was not taking photos for the competitors). The manager was actually intrigued and thought it was a good idea to share what I was learning about foods, etc., (and not just gluten-free foods) with others that want to make changes in their diets but really aren’t sure what or how to do it (like me!). Then she gave me permission to keep taking pictures (I would love to buy everything I find and take my photos at home, but I have a grocery budget too!) :-)

The recipe calls for heavy cream and Mary needed a dairy-free version of that for her family. After experimenting at home last week, trying to make a homemade version of heavy cream out of rice milk (which is what Luke drinks) and Earth Balance. I quickly realized that was NOT going to work, so I went looking for something else that would be suitable. Since the heavy cream in the recipe wasn’t going to be whipped, I thought, “why do I need heavy cream anyway?” Wouldn’t that just pretty much cancel out the healthy attributes of the flax seed pancakes?

So, I bought some So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer (very good by the way). I could barely detect the flavor of coconut, which is a good thing for me. I can only take so much coconut flavor, and even then, it is usually accompanied with chocolate and caramel. (I am referring specifically to the vintage Girl Scouts “Caramel deLites” cookies of my Brownie days back in the early 80’s. What are they called now? “Samoas?”  Seeing that I have not been able to buy or eat them in 5 years, I am a bit out of the loop!).

Next up, the recipe calls for protein powder. I go through phases with protein powder and I have been out of it for quite some time now. The last time I was using protein powder was when Luke was about 14 months old, and he was drinking Hemp Milk (long story). I was impressed with what I learned about Hemp, so I started to use it too, by putting Hemp protein powder in my smoothies. So I thought I would use Vanilla Spice Hemp Protein Powder by Living Harvest in the pancakes.

The Vanilla Spice is AWESOME!

After the recipe I will go into these products a little bit more.

Flourless Flax Seed Pancakes

1/8 cup Whole Flax Seed or 1/4 cup Ground Flax Seed (If you buy the whole flax seed, you will need to grind it in a coffee grinder first. If you buy the ground flax seed, (which is what I used), just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the freezer).

1/4 cup Protein Powder, any flavor (I used Vanilla Spice Hemp Protein Powder)

3 Eggs (I am sure Egg Replacer would work fine as a substitute)

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 cup Overflowing Heavy Cream (I used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer, which saves on a ton of bad fat!)

1 dash Vanilla (I used 1/8 tsp. Vanilla)

1 pinch Salt (I literally did a pinch)

1/2 tsp. Sugar Substitute (I used 1 tsp. Agave Nectar)

  • Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder, making approximately 1/4 cup of meal.
  • Add baking powder, protein powder, salt and sweetener to the flax meal.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla and the heavy cream (or creamer). Pour into the meal mixture and blend thoroughly with a fork or whisk.
  • Heat griddle to medium heat; melt butter or coconut oil (I used Spectrum shortening, which is non-hydrogenated), and drop batter by 1/4 cups full.
  • Turn when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, cooking for just a minute more.
  • Serve with your favorite syrup. (I made my own syrup, see below)

Absolutely DELICIOUS! Sam and Luke ate 3 each and could not tell they were any different from our standard GF pancakes using Pamela's Baking & Pancake mix. This mom is feeling s.m.a.r.t.

Agave Nectar “Maple” Syrup

Agave Nectar

Maple Extract (I used Mapleine Imitation Maple Flavor because I tried this on a whim and it was at the grocery store. I am trying to get off all the imitation stuff, so I am going to order some organic Pure Maple Extract from Nature’s Flavors).

  • This is not really a “recipe” so I am just going to tell you what I did. I did this by taste alone so I have no measurements for you.
  • I simply poured some Agave Nectar in a bowl and added the Maple Extract until it tasted like maple syrup. Since I had finished the bottle of Agave Nectar, I just poured my “syrup” back in the bottle for storage. While pure maple syrup is probably the way to go since it is all natural (no extract), I am always trying to watch my sugar intake. I have been using the Sugar-Free Maple Flavored Syrup by Maple Grove Farms, but now that I am looking at those ingredients through a different lens, I want to find a better alternative.

Just some food for thought…

Oye! What IS all that stuff??

This is where Agave Nectar began to enter the picture for me. I still do not know a great deal about it but I have totally bought into the hype of it being a Low-Glycemic natural sweetener. I have just been cooking with it thus far but now I want to know more. Maybe I will work on that this week. Anyway, back in December I found a 2-pack of Agave Nectar for about $7.00 (can’t remember exactly), but I was really excited because Agave Nectar at other stores can be a bit pricey if you are really cooking with it and not just using it to sweeten up a beverage.

TWO (23.5-oz.) bottle of Agave Nectar at Costco for under $8.00

ONE (23.5-oz) bottle of Agave Nectar at Sunflower Market for about $7.00

Does anyone else use Agave Nectar? If so, what do you think about it?

Some more “stuff:”

What is a Medium Chain Fatty Acid? Very interesting about:

“Patients that have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, utilization, or storage.”

Useful information for a newly diagnosed Celiac!

1 Tbs. of Coconut Creamer is 10 calories and 0 grams of fat.

Here is a fun comparison!

1 Tbs. Heavy Cream is 60 calories and 6 grams of fat (with 3.5 grams being saturate fat)! Gross.

I think the So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer will be a new staple in our house! :-)

Some more info on the Hemp Protein Powder:

Just in case you are wondering if this is why I am so goofy at times:

NO, I am not "stoned!" :-D I am just a natural goofball.

What is Maca? Very interesting about the possible benefits for men (especially if you are dealing with an infertility issue due to celiac! I am not implying anything here…I know nothing about Maca or infertility issues due to celiac disease. I just used this as a reason to bring up the infertility issues that can be related to undiagnosed/untreated celiac disease. As with all things, talk to your doctor.)

Great source of fiber for those of us on a gluten-free diet!

Check out the Magnesium!

Lots of Amino Acids, Not sure what they do exactly but I can see this as an upcoming project of mine!

When Luke was drinking Hemp milk, I go really into it, using hemp milk, hemp seeds, hemp oil, hemp butter, you name it. When the economy tanked last year, we had to find a more affordable alternative because Luke drinks A LOT of “milk”! I remember hearing from other parents of children with food allergies, that hemp is a great “allergy-friendly” alternative. I am not sure of the accuracy of that information, but it might be worth looking into if you are dealing with numerous food allergies. I found this blog with a post on hemp: Funky Food — Feeding Kids Allergic To Food.

Didn’t realize you would be getting such a mouth full by clicking on a recipe link, eh? Yeah, I didn’t realize I would spend 6 hours trying to write a recipe blog post either. ;-)

I am off to see Avatar in XD for the second time (such a GREAT movie!) then to PF Changs for some gluten-free Lettuce Wraps, yummy. Breaking my own “rule” to not eat out for 2 consecutive days in a row… but the movie is not over until 6pm. Sometimes it happens.

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Sam has been wanting some chewy granola bars similar to the store-bought Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars that his friends eat. I found the following recipe on a website called Make and Takes. Very cool website by the way!

In case you are new to my blog, I should explain what I do for recipes. I do not come up with recipes on my own. I am a recipe “recycler” if you will. :-D I always link to the original recipe as well as publish it on my blog in the original form with my “gluten-free tweaks” or other ideas I have for making something adaptable to other dietary restrictions. All of my own thoughts and substitutions are in red.

2 1/2 cups Oats (I used Certified Gluten Free Oats*)

1/2 cups Rice Krispies (I used Erewhon Gluten-Free Crispy Rice Cereal, *Kellogg’s Rice Krispies are not gluten-free.*)

1/4 cups Coconut (I omitted because we are not that big on coconut)

1/2 cups M&M Mini’s (I used Mini Chocolate Chips, or you could use dairy-free chocolate chips too!)

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup Butter, softened (I used Smart Balance but you can also use Earth Balance which is non-dairy. Earth Balance also makes a soy-free buttery spread!)

1/4 cup Honey

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan (I pressed mine into a 9″ x 13″ cookie sheet lined with parchment paper). Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes (I cooked mine for 15 minutes in a convection oven). Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan.

Combine all of the ingredients

Mix well

Press into your desired pan

After Baking

Cut into bars

I like to wrap mine individually in wax paper, makes a nice "container" for fast breakfasts on the go!

*In case you are newly diagnosed with celiac disease and have not yet read up on adding gluten-free oats into your diet, click here to read the Celiac Sprue Association’s information on oats. if you do decide to add oats to your diet (it would be wise to consult with your doctor on this too because it is advised that your celiac disease is stabilized BEFORE adding oats back into your diet), make sure they are certified gluten-free oats. My personal approach to GF oats are to limit how much we eat. We do not eat them every day and we consume small amounts at a time.

Gluten Free Oats:

Gluten Free Oats

Gifts of Nature

Bob’s Red Mill

Cream Hill Estates

A Review of Gluten Free Energy Bars: Boomi Bars and Prana Bars by Divine Foods

Gluten Free Dad, here.  Since my skills in the kitchen pretty much end with “turn the oven on to 425,” I’ve been handed some product reviews to complete.  I approach this with some trepidation, because I remember what most gluten-free substitutes tasted like 5 years ago.  Things have come along way since then, and I have enjoyed almost everything we’ve been sent thus far.  So here we go.

This is the first of a series of reviews on gluten-free “energy” bars. Or as we like to call them in our family, “breakfast in Dad’s car when he oversleeps.” Perhaps a better descriptive word would be “Celiac Safe” energy bars since using the words gluten-free can imply, to a non-celiac like me, that some ingredient has been removed from this product to make it gluten free. I do not see any substitute ingredients on the labels of these bars, so I assume they are naturally gluten free, but are also made in a dedicated facility.

We’ll start with Divine Foods.  We received a complimentary package of assorted flavors from the company for review on this blog.  This is the first time we have tried this product.  If you are looking for an old-fashioned crunchy granola bar (the kind you have to chew 187 times before you can swallow), this is NOT the bar for you!

There are three types of bars from Divine Foods: the PranaBar Supercharger “energy” bar, the PranaBar Nutrition bar, and the BoomiBar.  All ingredients are raw except for the nuts and seeds, which according to the label need slow cooking to help digestion.  I appreciate this consideration on their part, because I need all the digestive help I can get this time of year (how much chocolate can a man actually eat in one day?…let’s see!!!).

The regular nutrition bars and the Supercharger bars are flexible but firm.  I can’t describe them as “chewy” either.  They are dense but not in a bad way, just really well packed together (lots of seeds, too).  Though not too sticky, you will probably need to rinse your hands after eating because they will leave a little sticky residue on your fingers, but this was not a big deal to anyone in my family.

The flavors seem well thought out and match the labeling.  How many times have you grabbed something that was supposed to taste like “x” and ended up tasting like…anything other than “x”?  Of course, no one in our family has ever had a goldenberry or goji, so you’re on your own with those (we liked them)!  I think Huckleberry would be a cool flavor: I have no idea what they would taste like, but it would look totally funky on a label…heck, I’d buy one just for that!  Anyway…

We LOVED the Apricot Pumpkin. It was something like an Apricot fruit leather with lots of yummy pumpkin seeds!

They do not skimp on the nuts and seeds! The Pear Ginseng was another favorite.

"I bend but I don't break"...no car crumbs...WOO HOO!!

The BoomiBars seem to have a little more substance to them.  They are still flexible, but most of them have larger chunks of nuts (pistachio, almond, etc.).  So if you want more girth, the BoomiBars are probably the way to go.  They don’t seem quite as sweet as the PranaBars, but that could just be my opinion.  Again, the flavor matches the label on the bar, but the nuts really steal the show with the BoomiBars.  These were my favorite…the flavors seem more balanced to me (a little sweet, a little salt).

BoomiBar boomin' with nuts!!

Overall, these are very good and convenient products.  Since none of us are gym-rats, I can’t really give you guidance on any “pep-up” they provide.  But everyone in our family enjoys the taste and texture (especially that they are not dry like an old-fashioned granola bar), and the size and weight are just right given how dense they are.  There are MANY flavors to choose from, which is good.

As I mentioned, I feel comfortable giving these to the boys as a quick breakfast when we are running late (admit it, you’ve had those mornings too ;-)).  We also keep a few in each car for those in-between trips (school pick-up at 2:45, next activity at 4:00).  It’s not like we can run through a McDonald’s drive-thru!

You can order these directly from Divine Foods and each type of bar comes in a variety pack order.  Once you factor shipping, you’re looking at about $2.00 per bar on average.  They are also available at your local healthy-type grocery store, so if you just want to pick up a couple before you order bulk, try a couple of each.

This Boomi Bar, the Cashew Protein Plus, was Heidi, Sam and Luke's favorite. While made of cashews, there are no whole nuts in this bar.

Heidi told Luke that this was a beige brownie (Blondie) and he couldn't eat it fast enough, but of course, he is 2. We have found that if we can just get our picky eater to try something, he usually likes it, we just have to get past that first hurdle and that is where the distorted truth telling comes into play! :-)

We will definitely be ordering some of these. We live about 45 minutes from Albuquerque so we are on the road quite a bit and these are perfect, especially for the little messy monsters...no crumbs!

Homemade “Nutri-Grain” Bars

I used to love Nutri-Grain bars, pre-celiac. I miss having something easy to grab for breakfast in the morning, that I actually like. I have tried all the GF cereal bars and while they are okay, they are not the same. I found this recipe and WOW! They taste just like I remember Nutri-Grain bars tasting! For the preserves, I used the last of my homemade raspberry preserves, but I think these would be great with any flavor jam or preserves…maybe even apple or pumpkin butter! Kellogg’s doesn’t offer this many options! ;-)

Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

3/4 cup butter (I used Smart Balance)

2 1/2 cups Oats (I used Gluten-Free Oats)

12 ounces Preserves or Jam

1 Tbs. Water

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Melt butter or butter substitute.
  • Combine cake mix (just the powdered mix), and the oats in a large bowl; stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Measure half of this mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Press into pan to cover the bottom.
  • Combine preserves and water; spoon over crumb mixture in pan and spread evenly.
  • Cover with remaining crumb mixture.
  • Pat firmly to make top even.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until top is lightly browned.
  • Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Nutrigrain3

Nutrigrain4

Nutrigrain5

YUMMO!!!!

“Mommy McGriddle” Breakfast Sandwich

As a followup to my post yesterday on the Ian’s Wafflewich…I have a great little breakfast sandwich that my family loves. It’s a GF spin on the McDonald’s McGriddles Breakfast Sandwiches.

Use your favorite GF Pancake Mix (we always use Pamela’s Pancake and Baking mix at our house) to make your pancakes. Tip: I like to quadruple the batch each time I make pancakes, then, after they cool down to room temperature, I freeze them for quick access on any given moment, it’s kind of like buying the frozen GF pancakes at Trader Joes, just cheaper.

I also buy frozen scrambled egg patties (by Timber Ridge Farms* from my local Super Walmart) and sausage patties and just keep them on hand. When one of the boys wants a “mommy mcgriddle,” I pull out all of the ingredients, throw them in the microwave, add a little maple syrup to the inside of each pancake and there you have it! They are also very easy to transport, I wrap them in Kabnet Wax Deli Wrap paper for an authentic look.

* I just received ( 8/3/09) an official email from Select Foods re: the gluten free status of their scrambled egg patties:
Hi Heidi,
Thank you for contacting Select Food Products, we always enjoy hearing from
our customers. In reference to your question, yes, the Timber Ridge Farms
Scrambled Egg Patties can be eaten by someone on a gluten-free diet.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me any time.
Thank you,
Rosanne Finlay
3145 Fernbrook Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55447
763-550-1426 Office 763-550-1427 Fax
http://www.selectfoodproductsinc.com/

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