Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

If you're like me and love the traditional Thanksgiving meal, than I'm sure you haven't been eating too healthy with this season. But in all honesty, I personally think not being a stickler around the holidays is more healthy than not. Healthy for the soul:). I'm a firm believer that being around the family table with the foods that you love is all part of the wonderful experience.

These pumpkin pancakes were one of the many things I was able to enjoy for Thanksgiving. My mother in law perfected them to taste like a gift from heaven. Not only does it make the house smell like a dream, but they taste just as good! They didn't spike my blood sugars (which is an extra treat) and pumpkin is actually quite healthy for you. ENJOY my friends!

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups flour
3 Tlb brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2-2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 Tlb vegetable oil
2 Tlb vinegar

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. (You may need to add more milk to make the batter pourable. Start with 1 1/2 cups and go from there.)

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

For an extra treat, sprinkle on some dark chocolate chips. You won't regret it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quinoa: The Magical Grain

Quinoa is not only Gluten free, but it's extremely high in protein (famous with the vegans), significantly high in Magnesium (helps with high blood pressure, headeaches/migraines, and heart conditions) and is, my favorite, high in Fiber!
Also, another random health benefit, Quinoa has been known to help mothers who are lactating. It has shown it's helped with enhancing the mothers milk. Very interesting.

Quinoa gets forgotten because oatmeal has proudly taken it's place with the low cost it offers. Which is understandable, because Oats are just as good for you. But for those of you who want that extra boost of health in the morning, I highly recommend getting in the habit of buying a bag of Quinoa!
I've fallen in love with it all over again after trying my cousins (thanks tracie!) recipe of this delicous side dish. My sugars didn't spike and it actually left me more fuller faster so I could barely finish the rest of my meal...which I loved!

Quinoa with Toasted Almonds and Cranberries
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 vegan vegetable bouilon cube (I used chicken)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick (I just sprinkled some cinnamon in)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Soak the quinoa 15 minutes in cold water. Stir the quinoa with your hand, pour off most of the water and drain through a fine mesh strainer.
Shake dry in the stainer. Heat a wide bottomed pan on medium heat and add the oil, stir and toast the sliced almonds until golden, then remove from pan.

Add the quinoa. Stir and toast until dry and turning color. Add boiling water, oxo, salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick, and dried cranberries.Bring back to boi, cover, turn the heat to simmer, cook for 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed, about another 10 minutesRemove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on.Fluff gently with a fork, sprinkle nuts on top and serve.