Friday, May 26, 2017

Gluten free flourless plantain pancakes

As I've mentioned before, my grandchildren have fairly severe food allergies. We have them on the boat with us for the summer, so finding food that they can eat is challenging. Since I hear from many of you that you are facing gluten and allergy issues, I'll be posting some of the recipes that we have found usable and, quite frankly, delicious.

One of my grandkids is allergic to wheat, one to dairy, and all of them are sensitive to colors, preservatives, and additives of all kinds. They also all suffer from the gut issues that the GAPS diet addresses. This means that the rice flour recipes that we were using last time they were here are off the table so this summer has been even more challenging. They are also not able to tolerate the high starch content of the popular gluten free products. The loss of the flours really hit hard since the rice flour chocolate chip pancakes were their favorite.

Enter the wonderfully adaptable plantain.

Plantains are so infinitely versatile when you are cooking and baking for the gluten intolerant and allergy-prone eaters. When green, they are higher in starch and make a wonderful pancake that is almost impossible to tell from a flour one, as well as some tasty pumpkin muffins. When yellow, but with no brown spots, they make a thinner but much sweeter pancake and when fully ripe with many brown spots they are great for smoothies and puddings.  I'll be listing some new recipes as we experiment, but since plantains are so readily available in the tropics, these are a great staple for cruisers.

So without further ado, here is the plantain pancake with or without chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

2 large green plantain
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbl coconut oil
1/8 tp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
optional Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chocolate Chips







Directions:

Peel green plantains with a potato peeler. Cut into large chunks and place in blender.Add eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, salt, soda and cinnamon.Mix well till smooth.

Heat griddle to medium and grease with high heat oil like sunflower. Coconut oil works, but not as well, especially if the plantains are yellow. Pour the batter on the griddle in 1/4 cup increments. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.





Watch griddle carefully because these take a little lower heat than normal pancakes. As you go through the batches you have to continually turn the heat lower. Also, the greener the plantain, the higher the heat can be. The yellower, the lower.














Enjoy with dairy free butter and maple syrup.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Delectable and Utterly Fabulous Cheez-Its

Sorry it's been so long since I posted here, but we've been cruising the Abacos and the weather has been less than stellar which means I'm not in a very creative mood when it comes to the galley. Soon we'll be back in the States and I'll have much more time to get back into post-it mode.

Since we're talking about cruising the Abacos, this is the place where food is hard to come by and, more specifically, snack food is almost non-existent or it costs a week's paycheck to buy. We've been over here six weeks now and all of the chips and crackers we brought are gone. A trip to Maxwell's in Marsh Harbour revealed that the price of chips ($9.58 for a bag of Doritos) hadn't changed significantly. Even the huge jar of popcorn is gone (our cheap chip backup), so I had to come up with some snack foods. I've tried various crackers before without much success (my husband is a real Ritz snob), but I almost always have flour and butter and various other makings of crackers on board. So I took a deep breath and decided to try one more time. I Googled Cheez-It recipe and the folks at browneyedbaker.com came up with a homemade cheez-its recipe. The last time I tried a homemade Ritz recipe it didn't turn out well so this time I decided on half a recipe to check it out first. I wish I had made the full recipe...and the shocking thing is that there are only four - yes four - ingredients. No chemicals, no FD&C yellow or orange, no preservatives because I promise you that these will never last long enough to need preservatives. They almost didn't last long enough to cool completely. So enjoy - but be prepared because you'll never want the store bought kind again.

Ingredients:

8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, yellow or white
1/4 c unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 c all purpose flour
2-3 Tbl ice water

Directions:


Shred the cheddar with a micro plane or other fine shredder into a medium bowl.












Add the butter and the salt. Mix with a hand mixer (or by hand) until blended.












Add flour and mix until it looks like small pebbles.












Add water a tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball but is not sticky to the touch. Knead 5-6 times just till smooth and cohesive. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for one hour.










Divide dough in quarters and roll out on parchment paper until very thin. It should not be more than 1/8" thick and thinner if possible. Cut edges square with a pastry wheel if you have one, or use a long knife. Cut rectangle into cheez-it sized squares approximately one inch square. Poke center with the dull end of a bamboo skewer. Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes depending on your oven.





Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and break apart. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Note: Baking times will differ depending on how thin you roll the dough. Watch these carefully as they will burn quickly. The thinner they are, the crispier they are.