Happy Friday! Fall is in the air and I am enjoying the crisp, cool mornings here in Denver. Chris and I enjoyed chilly mornings in Montana too this past weekend. I love when you have to throw on a sweatshirt in the morning – not only does it help wake me up but I also look forward to a warm breakfast! Yep, most things revolve around food for me 🙂
We had a very quick but long trip to Montana but it’s was nice to get away and have some down time. I actually didn’t take many photos as we were on the road for 3 out of the 4 days…so the majority of our trip looked mostly like this:
What you can’t see is me singing to my iPod, munching on protein nut butter balls and frequent napping or driving 🙂 Kassi (our only child and dog) did her fair share of napping herself but she likes to face backward in the car, which makes me a little carsick…
We drove through the night last Friday getting into Big Sky around 7:30 am on Saturday. Switching off driving overnight doesn’t allow for much sleep, so we spent Saturday recovering from the drive, napping, picking up food at the local deli and reading. Mom and Dad, yes you read that correctly…I read a book and it wasn’t a cookbook 🙂
You see, I’m not usually an avid reader but after Chris raved about the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I proceeded to pick up the book and was unable to put it down. For those unfamiliar, the non-fiction book recounts the incredible, heart-wrenching survival story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini during the Second World War. I was captivated from page one…and I finished all 473 pages in a week and a half. What a beautifully written but hard-to-fathom recount of Louis’ experience – the title says it all Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. If this subject matter peaks your interest, I highly recommend you read this book.
On Sunday, we jumped in the car again and headed to Butte to visit my brother-in-law, Travis, at Montana Tech. We saw the campus and his freshman dorm, which is a really nice suite with their individual rooms and kitchen! After picking up Trav, we drove an hour to beautiful Helena and had a nice lunch at the funky Staggering Ox…check out these sandwiches and their trademarked and unique bread wrap! We (meaning I) were all trying to figure out they made a “koozie-shaped” bread while maintaining a soft bread texture…I was infatuated with the concept. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a gluten free bread option so I couldn’t partake. Instead, I ordered the fajita chicken salad and shared a bowl of their house chili with Chris, both were delicious 🙂
We looked around the city for the rest of the afternoon and then headed back to Big Sky after dropping Travis back off in Butte. We were greeted by a gorgeous sunset upon our return 🙂
Monday was our day to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Kassi, Chris and I hiked/walked to Ousel Falls in the morning…don’t mind our sleepy eyes 🙂 Later in the afternoon, we took the Ranger up some trails, to the hardware store and ran by the grocery store for the fixin’s to make turkey chili with almond butter for our final evening in Montana.
After our long drive back on Tuesday, it was back to reality and playing catch-up at work. I am completely fine being at home; it means I am back in my own kitchen whipping up dishes and blogging dishes like these yummy grain-free pancakes I had this morning 🙂
I was going to save this recipe for Sunday but it was about time that I shared a pumpkin recipe with you! After all, it’s one of my favorite ingredients no matter what time of year. Pumpkin is packed with nutrition too – Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and a load of antioxidants like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. I’ve made pumpkin versions of my oat-cottage cheese pancakes but I was in the mood to experiment and try a new dairy-free and grain-free version.
I’ve had a few missteps with coconut flour-only pancakes before. For me they always turn out visually appealing, yet the texture and taste leave something to be desired (personal opinion only, some people love the texture). When I came across the Spunky Coconut’s recipe for grain-free waffles using cooked beans, I knew I had to try them. I attempted a tweaked version of the waffles but they kept sticking to my well greased waffle iron so I decided to revisit a variation of the recipe in pancake form…with delicious results!
Don’t be deterred by the addition of beans, they are high in protein, undetectable, and create a moist texture in the cakes plus you can enjoy pancakes without the crash of carb overload 🙂 I used leftover chickpeas that I’d soaked and cooked for another batch of incredibly creamy hummus but the canned version is fine too, just make sure you rinse and drain them well.
Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from Spunky Coconut’s Grain-Free Waffles)
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
3 Tbsp pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or sub almond flour or other nut meal and decrease the milk)
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas or white beans (if using canned, drain & rinse well)
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 – 2 Tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave could be subbed)
pinch of powdered stevia or 5-6 drops (or more sweetener if preferred)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form (or melted butter or ghee but wouldn’t be dairy free)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves and dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Or drizzle with maple syrup, honey or agave and/or more pumpkin puree
1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease with coconut oil (or butter/ghee but would not be dairy free).
2. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. I liked these thick and fluffy but for thinner pancakes, add more milk.
3. Add several spoonfuls of batter to the pan and spread with the back of the spoon to 3-4 inches each, cooking three pancakes at a time. Cook until ready to flip (mine took about 2-3 minutes depending on thickness). Flip over until cooked through.
4. Top with homemade coconut butter, chopped nuts and almond-pumpkin seed butter (or maple syrup/honey/agave) and serve!
Notes: If you’re making three pancakes at a time and want to keep them warm, preheat a ceramic dish in your oven (I use my toaster oven) to 200F at the same time you start pre-heating your pan. As you make the pancakes, open the oven and put the pancakes in the dish. This way the pancakes stay warm until your ready to eat. If you are using a regular oven instead of a toaster oven, cover the dish with a lid.
Makes approximately 8 (3-inch) pancakes, recipe could easily be doubled or tripled