Almond Meal and Banana Muffins

Flourless Almond Banana Muffins

I was looking for a muffin recipe with a little more stick-to-your-ribsyness, a little less white flour and found this one on Pinterest, thanks to Amanda of Running with Spoons. The muffins are made with a little oatmeal (I used GF), almond meal, almond butter, and bananas.

One slight issue: the recipe is for 9 muffins, and I really wanted 12. So I added a little more this and that to extend the batter. An extra banana, an extra egg, a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt, a little extra almond butter and almond meal. I also added 1/2 tsp baking powder in the hopes that I could get a little higher rise. Plus a little splash of water when my blender was having trouble mixing everything up. I didn’t have the ground flax seed on hand, but I’m sure that would be a nice addition.

3 out of 4 of us really liked these muffins. They are kind of a cross between banana bread and snicker doodles, with a very tender, moist texture. Taster number 4 found them a little too “banana-y” but then, they ARE banana muffins and I DID add an extra banana. I wonder about using applesauce instead for some of the banana. Hmmmm…

These were very easy, and I felt happy about getting some protein and fiber in while still serving something yummy.

The muffins did rise nicely when they were in the oven, but once they started to cool, the tops deflated. They’re not dense or heavy in any way, though, so in the end their relative flatness didn’t bother me.

These are a definite repeat, though I may continue tinkering with the ingredients. For more of my cooking and eating adventures (including lots of gluten free stuff), click here.

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Flourless Oatmeal and Dried Cherry Bars

Gluten Free Oatmeal Bar

So these came from Budget Bytes. They are the “Apricot-Walnut Bars,” but I used pecans and dried cherries since that was what I had on hand. They’re super easy, there’s very little added sugar, and I was able to use gluten-free oats—-triple win! My seven-year-old (who has gluten troubles) loves them, which is no small compliment. Recipe here.

You use mashed banana for sweetness and stick-together-ness, which means the bars taste a little like banana bread–yum! We eat them for snacks and sometimes for breakfast.

American friends, how was Thanksgiving? We enjoyed time with extended family down at the beach. Beforehand, the hubs and I got to spend a few days in Mexico (thanks, mom and dad for kid-watching!). The trip was great, but we got stuck an extra day, which was not the most fun. Fortunately we had lots of folks covering for us back home with the kiddos—-I’m eternally grateful.

Christmas is now descending upon me, and I feel only half-ready and half-remembering what it was I meant to do to prepare. I’m going to try to post some round-ups of favorite gifts to give. recipes, and simple crafts, so stay tuned. As usual, I’m spending most of my kids-in-school time working on my novel. Is it getting anywhere? I sincerely hope so!

For more posts on cooking and eating, click here.

Gluten-Free Crepes

Gluten Free Crepe

My friend Jamie first introduced homemade crepes to me when we used to do Thanksgiving together in Boston. Oh, those were fun times! We’d make crepes in the morning and just cook, cook, cook all day and listen to “Alice’s Restaurant,” that classic Thanksgiving tale.

Before that crepes had seemed so mysterious and fancy, but really, once you do them a couple of times, they’re no more difficult than pancakes. You just have to get the knack of how thick the batter should be (not very) and when to flip them (when the first inch or two of the edges are dry). Turns out it’s super easy to make gluten-free crepes, and they’re quite a bit faster than waffles.

Once again I used Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking with great results. A similar recipe is here on their blog (I didn’t use cinnamon). The one thing I would say is that the batter was a little bit thick, so I had to add a little more milk (I think I used almond milk). You want the batter to be just a bit thinner than regular pancake batter. The photo above is of the very first crepe, before I thinned the batter, so the shape is kinda crazy. But normally the crepes look and taste the same as regular ones. They were a big hit with the family.

Lately I’ve been making blueberry syrup with a big handful of frozen berries and just a tablespoon or so of maple syrup. I put them together in a microwaveable container, heat for a little bit (30 seconds?) and voila!

I’ve been slogging away at my novel, revising and adding new material. Also reading One Summer by Bill Bryson, a history of the summer of 1927. Very interesting. Crazy times!

Also, Wes Anderson’s new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is now on my must-see list. Not sure if it’s related, but I’ve been dreaming about weird European hotels lately. Hmmmm…

Coming soon: pics of a recently finished sewing project. Hope you’re having a good week!

Gluten-Free Waffles

Gluten Free Waffle

We’ve made gluten-free waffles before with our gf oat and buckwheat pancake batter, but these waffles are more traditional and fluffy. My daughter and mother-in-law were the first to try out this recipe, and everyone agreed they were delicious, gluten eaters or no.

Once again, the recipe comes from our go-to GF cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. You make your own flour blend and then use it for various recipes. Waffle recipe here.

In other news, we have a snow day here. Enough snow to make the roads dangerous, but not quite enough to really play in it. The kids are making do, with gusto. Meanwhile I’m having trouble concentrating on what I should be doing. Keep checking my to-do list. I should mention that our daughter made the waffles again today, and it was surely a nice mid-week treat. Hope you are warm and cozy—-or at least, bundled appropriately and having fun.

For more of my cooking and eating adventures (many of which are gluten-free), click here. I’m about to add a new gluten-free tab so you can see all those in one place. Enjoy!

Flourless Oatmeal and Buckwheat Waffles

Flourless Oatmeal-Buckwheat Waffle

Yep, this is just the same pancake batter (Ben’s Friday Pancakes from Feeding the Whole Family) made into waffles. No changes at all except cooking method. They turned out really well. Great texture and flavor. Gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. Yum!

In other news, I’m still plugging away at the character exercises on my novel. On a whim, I decided to organize all the documents related to this novel. Over a hundred documents! Seems like it should be finished by now, but there’s so much more to do.

Flourless Oatmeal and Buckwheat Pancakes

Flourless Gluten-Free Pancakes

These are another new favorite at our house.

They’re “Ben’s Friday Pancakes” from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. Recipe here. Great book, by the way.

I’ve been doing the (mostly) wheat-free thing for a couple of months now (long story, mostly related to my energy levels).

Three things that are great about these pancakes:

1) They’re full of flavor, with a great nuttiness from the whole grains and an almost lemony zing from the fresh nutmeg.

2) After eating them, I actually stay full, and I don’t get the awful sugar rush/ crash like with regular pancakes. Even though I still eat them with syrup.

3) The kids truly love them.

You do have to plan a bit ahead for these, because the grains require overnight soaking. For the milk, I use a combo of plain yogurt and water. You can also make them dairy-free by using a non-dairy milk. I think they’re gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. Buckwheat is not actually wheat or even a true grain.

You’d think the whole grains would make the pancakes heavy as hockey pucks, but although they’re substantial, they’re surprisingly fluffy.

Be sure to mix up the liquid and grains before setting them in the fridge overnight. Sometimes our blender struggles a bit with the mixture. It helps if you let the mixture come to room temp (at least somewhat), and stir the mixture again before blending.

The batter cooks a little more slowly than traditional pancake batter, so we turn the temp down a little so they don’t burn.

Also, I always double the recipe. The leftover pancakes heat up nicely the next day in the toaster oven, for breakfast or for a nice snack with jam and butter. Yum!