Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Banana Pancakes

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was posted prior to Marty's transition to a gluten-free diet. It will be re-written soon to fit into the gluten-free model of this blog!

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl:

1 c all-purpose flour
1 t aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Combine moist ingredients in a second bowl:

2 T agave nectar
1 c almond milk
1 T canola oil
2 T ground flax seed + 3 T warm water


2 just-ripe bananas, sliced thin (or try raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
1/4 c vegan chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 c maple syrup, warmed
vegan butter, like non-soy Earth Balance

Place a flat griddle or pan on stove top over medium heat; allow pan to heat through.

Combine dry and moist ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Making the first pancake by itself is important; it's a strange little trick I've learned that the first pancake is almost always a mess and unusable. Place about a teaspoon of vegan butter substitute in center of pan (do not use oil, it will make the pancakes saturate and become heavy); place 1/4 cup batter over the melted vegan butter and immediately lay 4-5 slices of banana into the poured pancake. Let the pancake sit and cook until the batter is visibly
cooked almost through; there should be lots of bubbles that form and only a small amount of moist batter left at the top of the pancake. Time to flip; lift the pancake with spatula, add a dab of vegan butter to the pan and place the pancake on the melted butter. Cook on the second side for about 1-2 minutes. If your pancake burns, lower the heat. Heat should sit where the pancakes turn a deep brown.

Now repeat this process, placing 3-5 pancakes in the pad/griddle at a time.

Serve with a dab of vegan butter, warmed maple syrup,
and fresh fruit if you like.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove animal products from our diet!

*contains gluten, soy-free

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vegan Cashew Cranberry Granola Bars

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside:

3 cups old fashion rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/4 - 1 cup dried cranberries, depending on desired sweetness (or any dried fruit)
1 cup finely chopped cashews (or any choice nut)
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds
1 T flax meal
1 T chia seed, ground
1 T sesame seed
2 T shredded coconut

Bring to a smooth consistency in saucepan over low heat:

1 cup milk of choice (try coconut, almond, or hemp)
1 T olive, coconut or grape seed oil
1/2 cup cashew butter (or corresponding nut butter for choice nut)
2 T  to 1/2 c maple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
Add warm liquids to dry ingredients and mix well. Press firmly (prevents crumbling) into a well-oiled 9x9 pan.

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes if in a metal pan, or 25 minutes if using a glass pan. Bars should be turning a light golden brown around the edges.

Here is the key to bars that won't crumble...YOU MUST LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY before cutting and storing. These freeze very well, I usually make up 2-3 batches with different nut/fruit combinations and store them in the freezer and make a wonderful on the go snack. They are good thawed or try them frozen with a smear of fresh peanut butter for a dessert-like treat. Some of the combinations I like are cashew-mango, almond-ginger (I use crystalized ginger), almond-vanilla-cherry (add 1 t vanilla to wet mixture), and peanut butter and jelly (I add 1/4 c. finely chopped pumpkin seeds and leave out the maple syrup and when you are ready to put them in the pan, press 1/2 the mixture into the bottom of the pan, add a layer of jelly/jam and then top with the remaining mixture and bake).

Storage Note: Best to store these in the freezer if planning to keep them more than a few days. They will stay fresh at room temperature for about 3 days, but are best eaten right away or frozen. Adding Vit E as a preservative may prolong freshness.

Remember, use local and organic foods as much as possible. This is just as important as our choice to remove/reduce animal products from our diet!

*gluten-free and soy-free