Easter breakfast – scrumptious fluffy pancakes with fruit

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This Easter is the first with our wonderful little girl who is now 10 months old. I have fond memories of Easter from my own childhood. Growing up in my family in Denmark we would give each other chocolate Easter egg baskets and get to open them Good Friday. In the afternoon we would colour and decorate boiled eggs and my parents would hide them on grand parents farm and in their garden. One of my best memories was chasing around in the garden, racing though the spring daffodils with our cousins trying to find the most eggs.

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We don’t quite have daffodils here in New Zealand for Easter as it’s autumn but I can’t wait for our little girl to be old enough to chase around the garden looking for eggs. For now, I spoiled my wonderful husband and daughter with some fluffy pancakes and hid a naughty chocolate egg in my hubby’s pancake (melted) and served with fruit this morning. Delicious AND sugar/gluten/dairy-free. If you want the recipe, click here.

Happy Easter everyone!

If you would like to see more articles and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Crunchy granola clusters

I made over one of my first recipes here – granola – now featuring crunchy sweet delightful clusters! It’s so good that I had to kick my man out of the kitchen as he was eating it faster than it was taking to cool down 😉

Crunchy granola clusters

VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients

4 cups of whole rolled oats (gluten-free) (or, a new favourite of mine is using half puffed rice and half puffed millet)

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup walnuts

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup buckwheat

7 tbsp oil (I use coconut oil, you can, however, leave this out completely, it just doesn’t cluster as much – you could always increase the syrup a bit)

3-8 tbsp (brown) rice syrup (or glucose syrup) – I used 3 which made some clusters but not all and I liked the sweetness. If you want all of it to cluster and want it sweeter add in more syrup. Make sure that the rice syrup is pure, the mixes contain fructose. I get mine at the Bulk Food Savings in Auckland (in the car park behind Wendy’s) but you can get this in most specialty stores. Please share where you have found yours.

Variations

It really doesn’t matter too much which seeds and nuts you use, pick your favorites or whatever you have  in your cupboards, I just found the combo above to be my favorite.

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Directions

Pre-heat oven to 160C. Chop the almonds and walnuts into chunky pieces. Pour all the nuts, oats and seeds into a bowl.

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Pour over a third of the syrup, mix, add another third, mix, add the remainder, mix. Then spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 6-10 minutes approximately (depends on your oven and how small you chopped the nuts and how roasted you like it).

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If you fan bake you can put in two sheets at the time and do two rounds. Keep the granola on the baking sheet and cool down at room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Danish pancakes (crepes) with blueberry compote

We were away away last weekend and I felt like making something a little different for breakfast. I combined a traditional Danish pancake (which is dinner plate sized and as thin as a crepe – most other nationalities would probably call it crepe) with my 5 minute fluffy mini pancakes, served with blueberry compote and I got this lovely creation:

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VEGETARIAN – DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Enough fr 2 very hungry people or 4 small-regular breakfast sizes (the amount of pancakes depends on the size and thickness you decide to go for).

8 tbsp buckwheat flour

2 eggs (or for a vegan version you can either substitute for a flaxseed egg or add another banana and 1/8-1/4 tsp Xanthan gum)

2 bananas

1 + 1/2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (or smooth if you prefer)

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water

3 cups blueberries + extra for decoration if you want

4-5 tbsp dextrose (can be left out depending on how sweet/ripe your berries are and how sweet you like it)

1 tbsp chia seeds

Variations:

You can of course use any sweet filling, it doesn’t have to be blueberries, it could be strawberries, raspberries etc. You could also just simply spread chocolate (e.g. chocolate peanut butter spread or ‘Nutella‘) on the pancakes and roll them up with a sprinkle of dextrose on top. Or, my favorite as a child – filled with vanilla ice cream and served with chocolate sauce on top (more of a dessert than a breakfast then though lol).

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 60C (160F), this is for keeping your pancakes warm later (don’t go much above this temperature as the pancakes will otherwise dry out).

Place 75% of the blueberries and all the dextrose in a pot with a lid at high heat until it’s boiling, then turn down the heat to low-medium until the berries are starting to fall apart (a couple of minutes).

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Give it a little stir so the berries come apart (you want this to happen so that the mixture becomes thicker – otherwise it will be very watery because you are using blueberries), then add the remaining blueberries (keep some for decoration) and simmer for another minute to heat. Depending on how watery your end result is (blueberries vary a lot in their water content) and how much you want the berries to stay whole, you can add more or less chia seeds – they soak up liquids and grow soft so that you hardly notice them and make the mixture thicker.

Whilst the blueberries are simmering away (or make that first, then set aside to reheat later) mash your bananas, add your peanut butter, eggs and dextrose. Stir vigorously until well combined. Then add your water and combine well.

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Put a bit of cooking oil on the pan and heat to medium. Now pour on a portion of the pancake mix, tilt the pan a little if needed to distribute and turn when bubbles have appeared and have popped (as in the photo below left). Your pancake will be beautifully brown (as in the photo below right). If you don’t want it quite so brown, flip the pancake when the bubble appear but haven’t burst yet.

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Start stacking the pancakes on a plate and keep in the oven whilst you make the rest of them, otherwise they will get cold really quickly. When you have finished cooking all the pancakes, re-heat the compote if needed. Then unfold a pancake, fill with blueberry compote and fold (or roll if you can without breaking the pancake, that is the traditional way of doing it).

If you want to get a bit fancy you can make decorative patterns with dextrose or cocoa powder. You don’t even need a stencil, I just folded a piece of paper towel, cut a heart shape (see two photos below left) and put it on top of the pancakes and sprinkle with dextrose on top, then remove the paper heart. You can also do the reverse, just use the other part that you cut out from (see photo below far right) and you will just have a powdered heart instead (or whatever else shape you go for).

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Now eat the pancakes straight away before they get cold. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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How to cook the perfect poached, scrambled, boiled, fried egg

Main 1 (blog)

Boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs… there are so many ways to have eggs just by themselves. They are not only delicious but also a great source of protein, fats, nutrients, vitamins and minerals (and unlike dairy, they contain no lactose if you are allergic or intolerant). I have showed below how to cook basic eggs in 4 different ways, there are of course so many more ways to use eggs in other ways for breakfast. What’s your favorite  way of eating or cooking eggs?

Worth knowing about eggs before you set off

The reasons why some people using the same method, but getting different outcomes, are often due to the actual eggs and not the process (although you obviously need to master that too). For example, if a different size of egg is used the cooking time might be slightly different. All eggs I cook with below are large eggs (size 7 = approx 65 grams). If you cook with a smaller size you need to adapt (i.e. take off 30-60 seconds from the cooking time).  I never store my eggs in the fridge as I always need them room temperature to cook and they are fine in my pantry (if you live in a really hot place you may want to do this but then just make sure you take them out 30 minutes before you need them so they are not to cold and therefore may crack). Fresh eggs are best for poaching – if the egg is old, it will spill out everywhere when poaching. Old eggs are best for hard-boiling as they peel easily (they deteriorate as they get older and the egg’s attachment to the shell weakens), unlike fresh eggs – and so forth. Not every egg is equal 😉

Poached eggs

Fill a medium sized pot with three quarters of water (enough to cover an upright egg with at least an inch or two of water on top, otherwise it becomes flat/oval rather than round – but you may prefer it like that). Add a big splash (up to 100ml) of vinegar (this keeps the egg from spreading out – any vinegar can be used, just keep in mind that it may absorb a tiny little bit of the flavor). Heat the water to a gentle boil (keep it boiling throughout). When it’s boiling, take it off the heat and make a whirlpool in the middle of the pot by stirring quickly in circular motions. Then crack an egg and release the contents in the middle (or if you want more control, crack it in a small bowl first, then slide it in). Put it back on the heat straight away.

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Set a timer for exactly 3 minutes and 30 seconds and watch the timer like a hawk so that you can be at the pot when it goes off. If you are sitting in the couch or in another room, set it for 3 minutes. Before you get to the kitchen and get the egg out of the water you will have likely used 30 seconds.

Place the egg on a folded paper towel or a piece of bread for a couple of seconds to soak up the excess water. Serve straight away! (if you don’t the egg will keep cooking and get cold). Or, if you want to prepare a larger amount of poached eggs for guests – pop them straight into icy water and store them in the water until guests arrive. Then heat back up your water to a light boil, lower in your eggs and heat for 30-60 seconds and they are ready!

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Boiled eggs

I love my soft boiled eggs and I like them with very runny yolks but with all the egg white cooked though. All you have to do is fill a pot with enough water to completely cover the eggs and heat the water to a gentle boil. Take you pot off the heat for a moment and lower your eggs to the bottom slowly (count to 3!) so they don’t crack but not too slowly if you need more eggs in, then it might affect the cooking time. Set a timer for 6 minutes (or 5 minutes 30 seconds if you are in another room waiting – they need to cook for 6 minutes exactly – faffing about may mean it cooks for too long.

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As soon as the timer goes off transfer the eggs to icy water straight away (or keep cold water running over the eggs) to make sure the eggs don’t keep cooking in their shell (a trick I learned from my mother). Keep them there for approx 30-60 seconds, dry and serve!

For a medium egg, add another 30- 60 seconds of cooking time. For hard-boiled eggs, cook for 8 minutes.

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Fried eggs

Until recently, I was a bit rubbish at frying eggs, the bottom was too hard and chewy and the white on top wasn’t cooked all the way through. My problem? The heat was too high! To cook a sunny side up egg – the heat needs to be low-medium to give the whites time to cook all the way though. First you add oil to a non-stick frying pan and then crack your egg(s) and cook until all the white are cooked through (touch the surface to see if it’s slimy: not done yet, or if it sticks to your finger: ready). Serve straight away!

For over-easy, over-medium or over-hard eggs – flip the egg in one fluid motion by flipping the pan (non-stick important) or using a spatula and cook for a few seconds (easy), 20 seconds (medium) or 45 seconds (hard). You have to flip in one motion and reasonably fast or the yolk will break from the pull and gravity. If you cook it this way, the yolk will be runny and all the whites will cook all the way through but be soft and your teeth will go through like butter – no chewy bottoms here!

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Scrambled eggs

Start by heating up a frying pan at low-medium heat. Crack your eggs in a small bowl (3 eggs per person is usually a good amount). Then whisk like your life depended on it! The secret of beautifully light and soft scrambled eggs is air (and cooking at low temperatures). Make sure you don’t only go in circular motions, get in the middle and under the egg to get as much air as possible into it.

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It should look like the picture below left when you are done. Then slide it on to the pre-heated pan. Wait for a little while until the egg start to set at the bottom.

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Now use a spatula to push the egg from the sides into the middle whilst tipping the pan a bit so the runny parts go straight to the pan to cook.

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Keep pushing the egg until all the egg has cooked but is still wobbly, light and a little bit mushy. If you overcook it, it will be hard and not as tasty (unless you like it that way). When you have your desired consistency, use the spatula to slide all the egg on top of your favorite bread or eat just by itself drizzled with a bit of salt and pepper. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Baked eggs bacon overload

This week I had baked eggs for the first time (at the lovely Richmond Rd Cafe in Grey Lynn – just a shout out for some of the best customer service I have had in a long time, they are super accommodating to any dietary requests, remember previous orders and requests you have had and always go the extra mile) and it tasted awesome! So I came up with a creation incorporating similar elements. Yummy breakfast if you need to spoil someone (including yourself) with something a little bit different than regular bacon and eggs 🙂

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes two little ramekins – enough for 2 people (or one very hungry person). To make enough for 4, double the recipe.

1/2  of a 425g tin of chickpeas (drained and washed)

1/2 of a 300g tin of tomato paste or puree

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8-1/4 tsp hot chilli powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

3 tbsp water

4 eggs

2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach

250g streaky bacon (I get the Freedom Farms SPCA approved brand)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) and grease two little ramekins (I used ones which were 10cm wide, 6cm deep / 4 inches wide, 2.3 inches deep – keep in mind that if you use a different size the cooking time will change).

Cut up the onion into small chunks and pop in a small pot on high heat. When the onions are starting to turn glossy (and I like to cook mine till they get a nice brown surface as it gives it more taste), add the tomato paste, chickpeas, water and spices. Give it a good stir and pop a lid on it for 10 minutes in order for the flavors to develop (or longer if you want the chickpeas to turn mushy).

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Now divide the chickpea mix into the two ramekins, spoon out two holes for the eggs and pop them in.

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These will turn out with the eggs almost cooked all the way through. If you would like the egg yolk to be soft and runny, make a hollow in the middle, separate the egg yolk and put it in first, then the egg whites on top.

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Cook for approximately 20 minutes or as long as it takes for the egg whites to cook (as soon as you see no uncooked egg whites, take it out the oven or it will cook all the way through). Whilst they are cooking, make the bacon (fry to a crisp on a dry pan, then place on a plate with kitchen towel to soak up the extra fat – better finish the bacon before the rest and then keep warm in the oven than let anything go cold). Plate it all up and it is ready to eat. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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5 minute fluffy mini pancakes

Main (blog) 2

I love pancakes in every form and shape and have tried a lot of gluten-free recipes. They have all been okay but have been a bit on the dry side. These are nice, moist (sorry, can’t think of another word) and super fluffy. They are delicious on their own but for a treat I top it with jam, apple sauce or strawberry compote with fresh fruit. This recipe serves 2 regular people for breakfast if you add fruit and an egg on the side.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

2 bananas, mashed (I mush mine while still inside the peel to save time)

2 eggs (or you could try to add another banana or “flax seed egg” to make it vegan)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

4 tbsp buckwheat flour

1 handful of blueberries (excellent too if you have blueberries which got a bit old and wrinkled, NOBODY will know)

TIP: Top it with raw boysenberry jam, apple-sauce (either shop both natural, no added sugar, or home-made), fresh fruit, a little glucose syrup or strawberry compote.

Heat up a pan to medium to high heat. Combine all the ingredients and spoon onto the pan. Turn when the mixture starts to bubble slightly, take off the pan 10 seconds later. Done!

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This is what I served for my husband and baby today (Good Friday):

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If you would like to see more gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

Crunchy granola

Since I cleared the house of most products with wheat and gluten in it, I thought I would try to find a new replacement for breakfast that my man might enjoy as well and I came up with this granola which we both find delicious (we mixed it 50-50 with cornflakes this morning and almond milk poured over… Yum!).

I basically put in my favorite nuts and seeds, but this recipe could be made with anything, use around 50-50 oats to nuts/seeds. Just make sure you get certified gluten-free oats if you are allergic.

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Ingredients

2 cups of whole rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp dextrose (glucose) powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pre-heat oven to 160C (320F -don’t go above this temperature if you add dextrose as it has a lower melting point than table sugar). Chop the almonds and walnuts into pieces. Pour all the nuts, oats, seeds and dextrose into a bowl and combine. You could use honey instead of dextrose, just keep in mind that it has fructose in it (which I try to avoid).
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Melt the coconut oil and pour over the mix and stir. Then add the vanilla essence and stir again. Then spread the mix on two baking sheet and pop in the oven for 15 minutes.
Take the granola out of the oven and cool before putting in an airtight container to store.
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