Banana-Oat Pancakes

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Late last year, I had the chance to contribute to the Hipcamp Journal.

Hipcamp, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a comprehensive search platform for campsites across the country. They aim to connect people with the outdoors, and “to inspire the next generation of people who are passionate about exploring AND protecting our lands.”  A mission I can definitely stand with, but an incredible resource as well.

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For their site, I came up with a recipe for pancakes that are easy to prepare outdoors. Since I do not eat any dairy, wheat, or soy – you won’t find any of these ingredients in the recipe either. The base, which frequently is the case for gluten-free (and paleo) pancakes, is bananas. Bananas are one of my miracle foods. I buy them every time I go to the grocery store – frequently for pancakes or banana bread, or to eat with almond butter, freeze & blend in smoothies, or for this Banoffee Pie from My New Roots. The other ingredients are simple but wholesome – gluten-free oats to give texture, and almond meal for flavor and sustenance.

To find the recipe & full post, go to Hipcamp’s Journal here.

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espresso chocolate chip cookies

Happy new year! This January marks two years since I gave up eating gluten, and my baking life hasn’t really been the same since. There have been a few successes, most notably this cornmeal almond cake, some brownies, and a few other things here and there, but for the most part my forays into gluten-free baking have been far from successful. Sunken loaves of banana bread, and several dozen variations of cookies which began with a lot of hope and twelve spoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheet, yet somehow always became one thin, crumbly mess. I know there are gluten-free baking mixes out there, but I haven’t found one that works for me- either it contains dairy (off limits), has a grainy texture, or still leads to the aforementioned pancake cookie.

And then, about a month ago, one of my co-workers at Williams-Sonoma gave me the recipe for gluten-free cinnamon swirl raisin bread from The How Can it Be Gluten Free Cookbook (America’s Test Kitchen). The bread was a huge success – (I’m still enjoying slices from the freezer) – but what was equally exciting was the leftover gluten-free flour mix I had ready to go in the pantry. I’ve been baking quite a bit using that blend since then, and the cookies are finally turning out! The recipe below is adapted only to make these cookies gluten- and dairy-free, but otherwise comes straight from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance (soy-free), at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

3/8 cup cane sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. vanilla

142 g. America’s Test Kitchen gluten-free flour blend (you can find the recipe here)

1 tsp. salt

10g ground espresso / coffee

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and coffee. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the butter and two sugars. Beat with a hand mixer on high for 3 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for one minute. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat sheet, and drop by the Tablespoonful onto the sheets. You should get about 12 per sheet and 24 cookies total. Bake one sheet at a time for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are set. Let cool completely before removing the cookies from the sheet, and store at room temperature in an air-tight container. cookies_05

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