Do you have a love for pancakes that remains unfulfilled because of dietary restrictions? Re-embrace this classic breakfast comfort food by making flourless pancakes. They’re moist, sweet and simple.
Even better, they’re packed with protein and low in calories – so you don’t have to limit yourself to one or two. Eat them plain or top them with your favorite syrup, fruit or yogurt. They’re grain free, so they fit into paleo and gluten free diets. The bananas make this recipe sweet, so this is most appropriate for the post-workout window if you’re trying to lose body fat. Don’t worry about that if you’re trying to build muscle or if you plan on feeding this to a growing kiddo!
The Finer Points
These cook up best if you make smaller pancakes and use cooking spray. I also find it’s important to use a spatula with a fine edge, like this pancake spatula. Spatulas with thick edges can’t get under the thin pancake and end up tearing it apart.
Have a batter disaster? Just scramble the batter and call it sweet scrambled eggs.
- 1 Banana, Medium to Large and Ripe - Riper bananas yield sweeter pancakes.
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Cooking spray, or 1 tablespoon of butter or cooking oil.
- Add the peeled banana to a blender or food processor with the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth with little bubbles.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to low heat.
- Add the cooking oil to the pan and coat it well.
- Pour the batter into the pan, ⅛ cup at a time.
- Cook the pancakes on low to medium heat until bubbles just begin to form throughout the pancake. Be careful not to overcook them or they'll stick to the pan - it may only take a few seconds.
- Use a spatula to flip the pancakes. Let them cook for just a moment on the other side.
- Remove from the pan and enjoy!
Are you dairy free? Paleo? Try this – it’s a dairy and sugar free paleo hot chocolate, without using any artificial sweeteners or chemical junk!
It uses canned coconut milk instead of regular milk. The medjool dates add a nice caramel flavor to the cocoa. They’re also naturally sweet! I think a lot of the flavor depends on the Cocoa powder you use. My favorites are Ghirardelli’s Cocoa Powder and Hershey’s Special Dark CoCoa Powder.
*Note: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder has a disclaimer on the container saying that their special dark blend does not contain as many antioxidants as the regular blend.
This is a whole food recipe. I think you will enjoy your paleo hot chocolate!
As a side note, nothing says you HAVE to add the dates to this. My 3 year old will drink his completely unsweetened and still thinks it’s a special treat. Likewise, my husband has a taste for savory things and loves having it without the dates! I’d say no sugar means that’s REALLY paleo!
It’s also really good cold – it’s paleo chocolate milk!
Paleo Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 3 tablespoons canned coconut milk (make sure you shake it first so the cream is mixed evenly throughout the coconut milk - you may even want to blend it briefly, first)
- ¾ cup water
- 3 soft pitted Medjool dates
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Put all the ingredients in a blender (Vitamix!!) and puree until very smooth. If you have a Vitamix, then turn slowly turn to Variable 10, then High and leave it on until the liquid is hot.
- If not, transfer it to a pot and heat it until it's just warm.
Just when you think you’ve tried everything, another strange food shows up in the grocery store. This time it was sun chokes, the bulbous root of the sunflower. Also called Jerusalem artichokes, I used them to make roasted sun chokes. These little babies are wholesome and cook up beautifully. They have a nutty flavor without any bitterness. Use them like you would use sweet potatoes and potatoes.
Sunchokes are surprisingly high in Iron, with one serving having 15% of your daily value. You can find them at certain grocery stores. I found mine at Kroger, pictured below.
I love roasting because I like to keep it simple when I try a new food. Simple means I can taste the true flavor of it.
Vikalinka also has a great recipe for Roast Chicken with Lemons and Sunflower chokes. The Nourish Evolutionhas a recipe for Caramelized Sunchokes with Meyer Lemon & Zest – I’m not a fan of the added sugar, but it’s worth looking at!
Roasted Sun Chokes
- 1 Package of Sunchokes
- Spray Olive Oil or "Homemade" Olive Oil Spray (ie a Misto)
- Himalayan Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Scrub and rinse the sunchokes. They've been sitting in the dirt for their whole lives, so get them good and clean!!
- Make slices ¼" thick.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Line sheet with sliced sunchokes. Lightly spray again.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven until tender and starting to turn golden brown. Cooking times vary depending upon the oven. Mine cooked for ~18 minutes in a counter top toaster oven.
So, how did I decide to make frozen bananas on a stick? True story: Picky toddlers will eat anything you put on a stick. Well, at least mine will. Sometimes it’s just switching up the presentation. And I needed to make a particular sad, fussy boy happy.
Another True Story: Teething is a terrible thing. It’s always been bad. But the “I” Teeth really suck. My son has never been so miserable and drooly. I have spent hours looking for magic cures and teething tips.
Banana pops. AKA frozen bananas on a stick. They are easy (yay for mom), a great shape for little teeth to gnaw on AND the stick keeps little hands from getting too cold (mine is very sensitive to holding cold things).
These are also a great way to cool off during hot summer months!
Making Frozen Bananas on a Stick
All you’ll need are bananas and popsicle sticks. I like to cut my banana into thirds and put each third on a popsicle stick. Then, I lay them on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper in the freezer, or stand them upright in a tall glass with the banana outside the glass (the banana will freeze to whatever it’s touching). You can even try dipping them in melted coconut oil or plain yogurt, then rolling them in chopped nuts, wheat germ or other favorite toppings. I’ve even heard of folks dipping them in melted dark chocolate! That sounds like a luxurious treat, too.
Depending on the ability level of the eater, the bananas may need to thaw and soften a bit before serving. Gnawing may not be easy for some tiny teeth.
Frozen bananas on a stick – a nutritious treat, great way to cool off during the hot summer months and a tasty teething remedy! Try it out and let me know what you think.
I love this Green Bean and Feta Salad! Labor Day weekend of last year brought my husband and I to the city of Avalon on Catalina Island, a beautiful island community about 26 miles off the Southern California coast. I came away from the weekend completely relaxed, having enjoyed hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, dolphins, seals and this green bean & feta salad!
I had this salad during lunch at the Metropole Cafe in Avalon and immediately fell in love! I’ve never been a big fan of green beans – I would pick them off of my plate as a kid and only have rarely eaten them as an adult. This salad, however, was hearty and zesty. I wanted to recreate the Metropole green bean & feta salad at home.
Enjoy my version of the Metropole Green Bean & Feta Salad
Green Bean and Feta Salad Recipe
- 12 Oz Fresh Green Beans, cut to bite-appropriate pieces and trimmed as necessary.
- 2-4 Medium Stalks of Chives (aka Green Onion), cut on the diagonal into thin slices [I used 3 stalks]
- ½ Cup Plain Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest (zest the lemon first and then squeeze the juice)
- 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- To Taste or ¾ tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
- To Taste or ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- Bring a small pot of water to boil, large enough to blanch your beans. Prepare the dressing as the water boils.
- Drop the beans into the boiling pot of water and allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes. Your beans should remain crisp and green, not soggy and grey.
- Strain the green beans, rinse with cold water until cool and blot dry with a towel or whirl in a salad spinner. I found that I needed to put the beans in the refrigerator for ~5 minutes to cool them completely.
- Combine the green beans, green onions and dressing. Mix until the beans are evenly coated.
- Add the feta cheese crumbles to your mixture. Mix until the feta cheese is evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately or chill until you are ready to serve.
- NOTE: I think that this salad is best at room temperature or slightly chilled, so consider removing the salad from the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving it.
Other Suggestions to improve this Green Bean and Feta Salad:
– Add chopped cherry or grape tomatoes.
– Substitute green onions/chives for thinly sliced rings of red onion.
– My husband decided to add raw chopped spinach to his and really enjoyed it.
One of my favorite warm, hearty meals for winter time is a lean Turkey Chili recipe that I got years ago from Patty, a personal trainer and manager at Equinox Fitness. Her turkey chili recipe was famous far and wide for it’s health AND flavor. My big secret is it’s also good cold, making it a great dish for summer time.
People with limited grocery shopping options will prefer to stick to the traditional lean ground turkey. Personally, I prefer free range and wild caught meats like venison, ostrich and buffalo. They are naturally lower in fat and are higher quality meats. My favorite hot sauce is Tapatio, with Valentina being a close second.
- - 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- - 1 Cup Chopped Sweet Onions
- - 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- - ¼ Cup Chopped Yellow Bell Peppers
- - 1 Pound Lean Ground Turkey
- - 1 (28-ounce) can crushed organic tomatoes, undrained
- - 1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- - 1 tablespoon chili powder
- - 1 tablespoon sugar
- - 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- - ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- - 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- - 1.5 Teaspoons Sea Salt
- - 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- - ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.
- Add ground turkey and cook until browned.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
This is a new favorite for my family and I – my toddler loves it, too. We use it for dipping vegetables, in wraps or sandwiches and by the spoonful. I’ve seen organic white bean hummus sold for as much as $7 per container in stores – make it yourself and save!
White beans are packed full of protein and slow-digesting carbohydrates, which are both part of a balanced diet. Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds healthy fats, too!
- 2 Cups White Beans, Rinsed (Cannellini or Great Northern Beans will both do)
- 1 Head Garlic, roasted in the oven until soft
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Water, Plus Extra to Make it Thinner for Your Blender/Tastes
- Juice of One Small Lemon
- ½ Teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ Cup Tahini / Substitute Roasted Sesame Seeds if you have a very good blender.
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until creamy. You may need to add more water, depending how moist your beans were to start - otherwise, the hummus can be too thick and stop the blender from working effectively.
- Other suggestions to mix it up - Add
- /2 cup fresh Basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh, chopped Rosemary or thyme.
- Serving Suggestions:
- Spread on Toast or Sandwiches. I like it with tuna and ezekiel bread, to make a hummus-and-tuna-melt!
- Serve with vegetables for dipping.
- Eat with a spoon!