Monday, June 11, 2012

Banana Almond Pancakes

My kids love pancakes, but grain-free pancake recipes can kind of be hit or miss with us.  I came up with this recipe this morning, and it was delicious.  A little bit of a banana bread taste.  I topped it with honey, but I think they were almost good enough to just eat plain.  I actually don't really measure when I'm coming up with recipes, so I'm guessing a little bit on how much I used of some things.

2 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 small ripe bananas
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

  1. Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Break off the bananas in smallish pieces into your mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup almond butter.  Blend with a hand mixer (or whatever you've got, a whisk probably won't work, though).
  3. Add almond flour and baking soda and blend again until everything's combined and you have a good pancake batter consistency.
  4. Cook. :)
This made enough to feed me and my three kids, keeping in mind that my older son can eat pancakes like nobody's business.  I think it made 24 pancakes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"I'm Too Tired to Cook'

I'll be honest, there are some days when I really miss being able to say, "I'm not up to cooking tonight, let's order a pizza", or "I've had a really long day, let's just go out for dinner."  Now that we have cut out grains, dairy, and any processed foods, I pretty much prepare three meals a day, seven days a week.  It gets really tiring, especially on days when I truly am not up to cooking. 

So what's a person to do when they've committed to healthy eating, and want to have a bit of a break?  Here are my top five ideas for those times:
  1. Utilize your crock pot.  Yes, this is a little bit harder.  There are some days when you don't know you'll be tired or have had a hard day.  This is not for those days.  However, there are days when you know you're going to be super busy.  You know that by the end of the day, all you'll want to do is lie down on the couch and rest.  This is what a crock pot is for.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy.  In the morning, throw in a roast or some meat.  Sprinkle on some seasoning.  Throw in some baby carrots or already cut up veggies (if you want to).  This takes a couple of minutes, and then by dinnertime, you've got an already cooked meal.   
  2. Breakfast for dinner.  There's not a whole lot of cooking that is easier than some breakfast foods.  Eggs are super easy and quick.  Scrambled, fried, hard-boiled.  It's not fancy, but it'll get the job done.  Make sure you always have some veggies on hand (we like baby carrots and grape tomatoes), and you've got yourself a meal.
  3. Rotisserie chicken.  Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  Read ingredients and try to get one without unnecessary additives, sugar, or other yucky stuff.  The less ingredients, the better. 
  4. Teach your kids to cook.  My kids are always asking to help me cook.  They love it.  Help them learn to prepare simple meals, and you won't be the only cook in the house.  Your two year old is not going to be able to replace you in the kitchen, but your older kids can.  You might be surprised at what they can do, especially if you have them help you often so they know what they're doing.     
  5. Use your grill.  I've found that even when I'm not in the mood to cook, throwing some meat on the grill really isn't that hard.  And, if my husband is home, he will usually man the grill.   
All of these ideas assume that you have good, healthy food on hand in your house already.  Keep your freezer stocked with good, quality meat.  We like to get ours from local farmers, so it's grass-fed, locally raised, humanely treated meat.  You can buy a half or quarter cow and a half pig for reasonable prices and it tastes a lot better too.  If you don't have a big freezer, find a friend to go in on the meat with you.  Look here for where to buy good meat.

Also, keep already prepared, easy to grab veggies on hand.  Baby carrots are cheap and easy.  Celery is also cheap and can be chopped ahead of time.  I like to have veggies that I don't have to cook.  Ones I can just grab and add to whatever protein we have for dinner.  This really helps when you want a quick meal with minimal preparation.  I also like to make homemade guacamole and keep some in the fridge, which is great to add some healthy fat and gives you something to dip raw veggies in.  Don't skimp on good fats--your body needs them!