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Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes with Strawberry Jam

7 Feb

I made these pancakes last week on my snow day, when all of Austin basically shut down due to ice and snow.  They were a perfect antidote to the cold, along with a steaming cup of coffee.  This recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. I have been experimenting a bit with gluten-free baked goods.  The ingredients are almost the same as Isa’s recipe, though the instructions are not word for word.  They turned out quite well, and I’m excited to try more gluten-free recipes.  Any syrup or whatever you put on pancakes works of course, though I used some of the strawberry jam I made last May after picking pounds and pounds of them at a local pick-your-own farm.


1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup oat flour (recipe calls for 1/4 cup quinoa flour and 1/4 cup corn flour, but I had neither)

2 T tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, or cornstarch (I used arrowroot)

1 T ground flax

1 T baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup almond milk or other nondairy milk

1/2 cup water

2 T brown rice syrup or maple syrup

2 T safflower oil or other neutral oil, like canola

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Extra oil or cooking spray for the pan or griddle.


Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and whisk together.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.

While the batter sits, heat your skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Add a bit of oil or cooking spray to your pan (you may need to add additional oil or cooking spray between pancakes to prevent them from sticking).  Use approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Adjust the heat if the pancakes are taking a long time to brown (up) or if the outside gets too dark before the inside is cooked.  Serve with jam or fruit butter, honey, maple syrup, almond butter, or your favorite pancake topping.  Store any leftovers either in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them within a few days, or freeze them.


Green Juice

6 Feb

Since I got my juicer last fall, I drink a 16-oz. green juice about 4 or 5 days a week.  I change up the recipe daily, though some elements are always the same, such as the apple, lemon or lime, and cucumber.  I like to add a beet sometimes, though the green juice then becomes red juice!  You’d be surprised how good this juice is.  The key is the apple to add sweetness and the lemon to cut through the bitterness of some of the vegetables. For the last week I’ve been loosely following Kris Carr’s 21-Day Adventure Cleanse….I’ll post about that later.  I’ve fallen off the coffee wagon because it was cold and I REALLY wanted coffee, but have managed to implement most of the other elements of the diet.  You can read about it on Kris’s website and/or buy her book, Crazy Sexy Diet.

The amounts in the recipe are imprecise, because I’ve never measured anything.  This recipe should yield about 16-20 ounces of juice, enough for one person.


1/2 cucumber, peeled

1 stalk celery

1 carrot, top removed

3 leaves Romaine lettuce, or 2 or 3 handfuls of green leaf or red leaf lettuce

1 or 2 handfuls kale

1 or 2 handfuls spinach

About 1 cup green cabbage

1 lemon, halved and peeled

1 medium apple, quartered


Juice.  Drink.

Raspberry Chocolate Spelt Scones

1 Nov

This post is dedicated to my good friend Amy.  These scones are my attempt to recreate a wonderful raspberry chocolate spelt scone we used to buy every Saturday at the farmers market.  The scones, along with strong cups of Katz coffee, was our Saturday morning breakfast.  After Amy moved away about three years ago, the bakery that made these great scones stopped coming to the market.  I’ve been thinking about those scones a lot lately, as I’ve been waxing nostalgic.  While the scones I made are not a precise replica, I have to say they come pretty darn close.  Breakfast this week of strong coffee paired with these scones will be good for my soul.

This recipe is adapted from Erin McKenna’s Raspberry Scones.  I added the chocolate, changed the sweetener, used coconut oil instead of canola, and added more liquid.  I also wrote the instructions in my own words.  I found the recipe on several different recipe sites and blogs, but here is one link:


2 cups whole spelt flour

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup barley malt syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 -3/4 cup hot water (I increased this amount from the recipe–the dough was just too dry with the 1/4 cup the recipe called for)

2/3 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries, thawed and drained if frozen (you can thaw them in the microwave, or if you think about it ahead of time you can thaw them in the refrigerator)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the oil, barley malt syrup, and vanilla together.  Add to the spelt flour mixture.  The mixture will be dry.  Add the water, and mix completely.  Fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips, being careful not to overmix.  Mix only until the raspberries and chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Spoon out the batter onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using about 1/3 cup of batter per scone.  Place about 1-1 1/2 inches apart.  All the scones should fit on one sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.   Allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Double Buckwheat Muffins

13 Oct

I love buckwheat.  It may be an acquired taste for some, but it didn’t take me long to become a devotee.  Most buckwheat muffins or other baked goods recipes I’ve seen use a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour, though this muffin I made a few days ago contains not only buckwheat flour, but also cooked buckwheat.  I’ve seen recipes for muffins with cooked quinoa, so I thought buckwheat couldn’t be far behind, right?  These muffins make a very respectable breakfast food–very little sugar and completely whole grain, with cooked buckwheat, buckwheat flour, and whole wheat pastry flour.  I thought chocolate would make a nice flavor pairing with the buckwheat, so I added some good quality cocoa powder in addition to some grain-sweetened chocolate chips.  They turned out yummy!


1 cup toasted buckwheat (aka “kasha”)

2 cups water

Pinch salt

1 cup almond milk (I used almond milk because I had it on hand, but any nut milk, dairy milk, rice milk, etc. will do)

2 tsp ground flax

1/4 cup safflower oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)

1/2 cup barley malt syrup (honey or brown rice syrup would also work)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries


Bring the 2 cups of water and salt to a boil and add the buckwheat.  Turn down to medium low, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the grain is tender.  Set aside.  (This step can be done ahead.  You will have extra buckwheat you won’t need for the muffins–I ate mine as a breakfast cereal with dried fruit, almond milk, walnuts, and brown sugar.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and place muffin papers in a 12-cup muffin pan.  Alternatively, grease the muffin pan if you don’t have papers.  Mix the almond milk with the flax and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a medium or large bowl.  Then, mix the oil, barley malt, and vanilla with the almond milk/flax mixtures.  Mix the dry and wet mixtures together, adding the cooked buckwheat.  Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries until evenly distributed through the batter.  The batter will be thick.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean when you test a muffin.

Turkish Coffee and Gingerbread Waffles

19 Jan

I broke out my new waffle maker last Sunday to make my inaugural batch of waffles.  To go with them, I made some Turkish coffee.  At a dinner party I ended up with a cup full of Turkish coffee to make at home.  I’m not sure if I made it correctly, but I gave it a shot.  It tasted pretty good, so I think I did ok!  First, the coffee.

I used 1 T of the coffee for each cup of water, so 2 T of coffee and 2 cups of water.  I heated the coffee/water mixture over low heat, eventually bringing to a gentle boil.  Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and serve the coffee.  The sediment will collect at the bottom of the pan.

Now, for the waffles.  I used a recipe from Vegan Brunch for Gingerbread Waffles.  Here it is:


2 cups milk (I used soy milk, but you can use any milk here-dairy or not)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

3 T canola oil

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 T grated fresh ginger

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour, which worked beautifully)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Cooking spray

Preheat your waffle iron.  In a large bowl use a fork (I used a whisk) to vigorously mix together milk, vinegar, oil, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Mix until the molasses is mostly dissolved.  Mix in the ginger.

Add remaining dry ingredients and mix together until smooth.  Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and cook waffles according to manufacturer’s directions.  (My directions said to cook waffles until the light turns green…which mostly worked but sometimes they weren’t completely done, as evidenced by the fact they were sticking to the iron.)

I made waffles with about 1/2 cup of batter per waffle.  I found that the batter seemed a little thick, so I added some additional water until it seemed thin enough to spread around the waffle iron with a spatula.

The recipe says it will make four six-inch waffles, but I ended up with eight or nine.  They’re so tasty!  I ate them drizzled with some honey.

Banana-Date Scones

3 Jan

Scones are a love of mine.  They’re great with my morning coffee, and make a great afternoon snack.  Most scone recipes involve quite a lot of butter, but this recipe is an exception.  It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Veganomicon (page 224), and has very little oil in it.  I am not a vegan, but I do enjoy experimenting with vegan cooking.  Veganomicon has so many interesting and creative recipes, and has helped me expand my culinary horizons.

One of the things I also love about this recipe is that it gives me yet another way to use overripe bananas that never fail to make an appearance on my kitchen counter.  I buy bananas with the intention of eating them that way, but they always beat me to the punch and get too ripe.  Even a few spots make a banana unappealing to me.  I almost never waste them, though, and use them to make banana bread, muffins, scones, or pancakes.  I also love, love, LOVE dates and walnuts, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.  If you want a natural air freshener for your home, just bake something containing those spices.  I enjoy making a batch of scones and freezing them.  That way, I can pull them out one at a time and microwave them for breakfast.

I made some changes to the original recipe.  I used entirely white whole wheat flour, which you can usually substitute pretty well for white flour.  I also used soy milk instead of rice milk.  Other than that, I pretty closely followed the original recipe.


8 ounces of dates

1 T all-purpose flour

3-4 overripe, mashed bananas

2 T ground flax seed

1/3 cup soy milk or rice milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup brown rice syrup (in a pinch, you could also use 1/4 cup sugar)

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, or 1 cup white and 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Mash the bananas using a fork or a pastry blender.  Chop the dates (watch out for the pits), and mix in a small bowl with 1 T flour to prevent the dates from sticking together.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flax seed with the soy or rice milk.  Then, add in the mashed banana, canola oil, and the brown rice syrup.   Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix the flour mixture with the banana mixture.  Then, fold in the dates and walnuts.

Oil a 1/2 cup measuring cup.  Get out a large cookie sheet.  You can either spray or grease the cookie sheet to prevent sticking.  Scoop out dough using the measuring cup onto the cookie sheet, leaving around 3 inches between scones.

Bake the scones for about 30 minutes.  Because ovens differ, check on the scones after about 20 minutes.  They should be browned on the outside.

My Spin on Pumpkin Muffins

24 Nov

For a few years now, I’ve been using Ellie Krieger’s pumpkin muffin recipe, but usually adding or subtracting a thing or two.  Here is Ellie’s recipe on the Food Network website:

I changed up some of the ingredients and amounts.  In my version, I doubled the amount of pumpkin–mostly because I wasn’t sure I would use the rest of the pumpkin from the can!  Instead of one cup, or half a can, I used the whole thing.  It turns out that more pumpkin=moister muffins.  I also used alternative flours–half oat flour and half whole wheat white flour.  I didn’t use pumpkin seeds, and added chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Sometimes I also like to add walnuts, but I didn’t this time.  These muffins are entirely whole grain and have a lot of pumpkin, and very little oil.  These are very good with coffee, either for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  Yum!  Here is my version of Ellie Krieger’s Pumpkin Muffins:


1 cup oat flour

1 cup whole wheat white flour (using unbleached white flour or whole wheat pastry flour would also be fine)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons black strap molasses (you can use any molasses–black strap is stronger in flavor than others)

1/4 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1-16 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix–plain pumpkin with nothing added)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup soy milk

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan or line with muffin papers:

Next, mix the dry ingredients.

Set aside.  Next, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, molasses, canola oil, and the eggs.  You can use a wire whisk or an electric mixer, which is what I did.

Once these ingredients are mixed, add the pumpkin and the milk.  Whisk or mix using the mixer.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture along with the cranberries and chocolate chips.  Stir just until mixed–too much stirring and you end up with tough muffins.

Next, fill the muffin papers.

Bake for about 20 minutes.  Check the muffins by poking one with a knife or fork–if it comes out clean, the muffins are done.