Whoever you are, I want the pizza you're consuming or thinking about getting. I want the scones you're baking, the bacon you're frying, the cheese you just bought, the gummy bears you got as your after-work treat.
In other words, I'm on a diet. I, Ellen, curator of the sugariest of blogs, am on a freakin diet.
No, I'm not concerned about thunder thighs, love handles, or any of that stuff. I'm on the Elimination Diet, a 3-week digestive cleanse in which you cut out all the good things ever and start incorporating them back in very slowly to see how they affect you. Just...google it. Everyone does it a little differently.
In my case, there's a very large lack of certain grains, citrus, tomatoes, gluten, dairy, sugar, red meat, and beans and stuff. First couple of weeks weren't so bad...but somehow, somehow this last stretch is seeming so long. I'm working with baked goods on a daily basis at my job (!!! yay employment) and making delicious wraps and sandwiches. I think it's actually killing my soul a little bit.
Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all that bad. But it just hasn't really improved my overall well being either. I don't feel cleansed. I feel out of whack and perpetually a little bit cranky.
So to all of you who are gluten and dairy free not by choice but by the chemistry of your body, I salute you. It's a tough, expensive lifestyle in this modern America that we live in.
Also, how does everything have added sugar? I'm looking at you, organics section. Preservative free you may be but dang son, where yo natural sweeteners at.
So while this has been illuminating, by this time next week I plan on eating all the things. And being very thankful that my body is generally okay with them. Everything in moderation, that's what I'm learnin.
I tried to put on my cape last week and not let this whole diet ruin my baking streak. So I fixed up this paleo carrot cake loaf thing that looked promising and photographed real pretty-like. But heyyyy I underbaked it big time. The middle was completely raw, and even the edible parts were just very..healthy. You just can't sub out butter and sugar like that and really get away with it. Gotta keep your expectations low and stick with things that don't require an ungodly amount of substitutions.
I also spent a good $20 on flour for that danged cake. I'm pretty sure the good people at Target think I'm a little crazy now. I literally spent a good hour or two raiding their food aisles after work two weeks in a row looking for something I could get away with eating/working with, coming away each time light or empty-handed and pretty dang crabby.
But pancakes! Pancakes I can work a little more with. They're almost like dessert if you don't really think about it. I've done a lot of almond flour stuff, but after the carrot cake disaster I wanted to use the coconut flour I was suddenly burdened with. I learned that coconut flour is lumpy, and will absorb all the moisture in everything ever. But if you douse a pancake in enough maple syrup and juicy apple topping, you hardly even know these are a somewhat funnily-textured dairy and gluten free health bomb.
Plus they're just ever so pretty.
So I'm not going to say these are great and maybe even better than the real deal, because at this point I'm really over all that stuff. But I will say that they are satisfying, spiced, warm, and really for-real very good for you. I wanted pancakes and, despite the lack of dairy and gluten, I got them. I'm pretty proud of that.
And shoutout to my awesomesauce mom for voluntarily doing this thing with me, she's a trooper <3
Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Pancakes with Apple Topping
Yield: 6 pancakes
Ingredients for the apple topping:
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- ¼-½ cup water, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup almond milk (or any milk you'd like)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (or oil of choice) (if using coconut oil melt to liquid form before using)
- 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (heaping, not level)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup raisins, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, optional
To make the topping, add the chopped apples and about 2 tablespoons of the water to a small pot and heat to medium. Cover the pot and bring it to a full boil, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates, add more, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until apples are softened (yet still slightly al dente). The time for this varies greatly depending on the type of apple you're using. A firmer apple could take 30 minutes, while something like Macintosh will get soggy very quickly and turn to applesauce if your'e not watching it.
Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir well. Set aside on low heat until ready to serve.
To make the pancakes, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla extract and oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and stir well until all of the clumps are out (coconut flour has a tendency to be chunky, so just keep mixing until a smooth batter forms.)
Heat a skillet or pancake griddle to medium-low heat. Add enough oil to coat the surface. Once the skillet is all the way hot, measure out about ¼ cup of the pancake batter and pour it on the skillet. Allow pancake to cook until sides are firmed up, and middle begins firming up too, about 6 to 8 minutes (no joke!). Carefully flip the pancake and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, until pancake is cooked all the way through. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve pancakes with apple topping and pure maple syrup.
Sources: adapted from The Roasted Root