Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pecan Pancakes... GF and Paleo!

This pancake recipe is delicious, easy and makes a healthy, impressive Valentines Day brunch. They are the perfect grain-free, sugar free, dairy free breakfast solution for those following a Paleo Diet or for anyone looking to reduce their wheat consumption. These delicate pancakes are kid friendly and freezer friendly. The batter is made in a food processor for a quick clean up and an easy special meal.
The batter is thin and will burn easily

Although gluten free and Paleo, I reserve this recipe for special occasions or as a treat. Since giving up refined sugar I find them very sweet with the addition of a banana and honey. Topping them with fruit and/or organic maple syrup definitely moves this into the 'treat' category, so not served often. 

The batter is quite thin and does not produce 'bubbles' on top when ready to turn over, like a grain pancake. They also burn quite easily, so I toggle the heat up and down while cooking and keep an eye on them.To remove lectins and make the nuts digestible, activate your pecans and store in the freezer for future use. Go to my Post on "How to Activate Nuts... and Why" for the details and instructions.

To freeze; cool the cooked pancakes on a wire cooling rack. Layer parchment paper between each one if you want to remove only a few at a time. Pack into a freezer bag marked with contents and date.

I love these served with warm, organic maple syrup and garden strawberries, either fresh or defrosted as in the photo below. A side serving of 'Coconut Milk Yogurt' (watch for the recipe in a future post) made in the Instant Pot rounds out a very special breaky indeed!

PECAN PANCAKES  Yield: 4 servings 
1½ cups activated pecans 
Cool completely on a wire rack
3 large eggs
1 banana, mashed (optional)
    —if not using banana, increase pecans to 2 cups 
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
¼ teaspoon salt 
Coconut oil
Maple syrup, pecans and berries, for serving 

Finely grind pecans in a food processor to a flour-like texture. To the ground pecans, add eggs, mashed banana (if using), honey, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Pulse until all ingredients are well incorporated. 
Serve with fruit, pecans, maple syrup and Coconut Milk Yogurt

Lightly coat a medium skillet with coconut oil. Place skillet over medium-low heat. Ladle a slight ¼ cup batter into pan for each pancake. ** These burn easily, toggle the temperature between low-medium and check often ** 
 Cook until crispy on the edges and flip. Hold cooked pancakes in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve the pancakes with maple syrup, whole pecans, berries and 'Coconut Milk Yogurt' on the side.

Until next time ... Bon Appétit
If you try this recipe please let me know your thoughts as a comment below. Thank you!
Photos by Sally Rae
Recipe adapted from 'Fabulous Food The Costco Way'

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January Harvest and Sauerkraut Hack

I haven't grown cabbage for about 5 years, with my new Paleo Diet and the need for probiotics I decided to plant LOTS of cabbage in my 2018 garden. I got some healthy bedding plants of a good size from Pat at Corlan Vineyard and Farm. The Danish Ballhead is an heirloom variety first introduced in 1887. When I was a youngster helping my Uncle on the Edmonton City Market, I still remember the Ukrainian grandmas wanting only Danish Ballhead. They make excellent sauerkraut! They are supposed to be winter hardy, not sure what happened with mine, maybe they were too mature by the fall. The first 3 Danish Ballhead I used for kraut in the fall were beautiful, huge, heavy, crunchy, blemish free. They made incredible kraut in my initial experiment of 'Garlic and Dill Pickle Sauerkraut' in November.
Unknown variety, Danish Ballhead and Red Russian Kale
I left 2 heads in the garden, the last Danish Ballhead in the photo was picked January 3rd, 2019. Late last year we had heavy frost, so I mulched maple leaves around and over the cabbage heads. The 2 unknown variety (Lennox Organic-See Jan. 28th comment below) on the left are incredible as seen in the photo. The Danish Ballhead was quite slimy and frost damaged so had to be peeled down quite a bit but was still a good size.

I digress, back to my experiment with 'Garlic and Dill Pickle Sauerkraut'. Actually, it is a hack on a recipe I have tried from Farmhouse Culture. 
Pound and massage with Celtic sea salt
My complaints about purchasing their brand are... it is quite expensive and the kraut itself, although organic, flavorful with the addition of garlic, dill weed and slices of fermented dill pickles is soft, not crunchy... and I want to use my garden cabbage. Fast forward to this month, January 2019 and a few pictures of my progress on the second version.

Following the instructions in my 'E~Z Pickler Fermenting Kit', the cabbage is cleaned and cored. Several leaves are kept whole and cut in circles to fit on top of the cabbage once packed in the jars. I used a food processor to finely shred the cabbage. Layer shredded cabbage in a sturdy bowl and sprinkle with required amount of Celtic sea salt. Pound and massage the cabbage to release juice that will form the fermenting brine.
Weight & cover to form brine

Top the pounded cabbage with a plate and a heavy weight, I use a gallon jar filled with water. Cover with a towel for several hours or overnight to form a brine. DO NOT proceed until the brine is formed.

By the next day the brine should completely cover the cabbage. Remove the towel, weight and plate. Mix in any additional ingredients. In this case, for my Garlic and Dill Pickle hack; to 16 cups of cabbage, I added 1-1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh, organic garlic and 1 cup packed minced, fresh organic dill weed. Pack cabbage mixture lightly into sterilized, cooled jars. Pour over brine. Arrange reserved leaf on top and seal with air tight fermenting lid.
Ferment at proper temperature

The jars in bowls, to accommodate overflow, were moved to the basement with a consistent temperature of 19C for 10 days.
On Day 11 the final ingredient was added... a quart of thinly sliced, 'Fermented Dill Pickles' from my 2018 garden. The cabbage and dill brine were added and mixed. Then the dill and cabbage mixture was packed into new, sterilized, cooled, quart and pint sealers. The reserved cabbage leaf placed on top again. Lids and seals were closed until just snug, not too tight.
Sally Rae's 'Garlic and Dill Pickle Sauerkraut' Hack

The jars of kraut are now ready for the fridge where they will continue to ferment at a slower rate. I will taste test the result few weeks ... if I can wait that long!

On another note, it's time to look through and order your seeds for 2019. Don't forget a few of my favorites from William Dam Seeds; Cassia Organic Zucchini, Corentine Cucumbers for Dill Pickles,
and Sunshine Squash.

Till next time ... Bon Appétit!
'E~Z Pickler' by Sally Rae
Photos by Sally Rae
'Garlic and Dill Pickle Sauerkraut' Hack Recipe by Sally Rae