Spiced Apple Pancakes

Spiced Apple Pancakes

Spiced Apple Pancakes

What better way to celebrate my birthday than to share pancakes with you. An awesome Debi-friendly cake would be nice, but pancakes are always better!

I have made a habit of taking my birthday off from work and doing things for myself that I normally neglect. Pancakes for breakfast, massage, movie, shopping, or whatever else I haven’t done and I feel the need to do. Pancakes for breakfast are a definite must on my birthday. Last year, I did something pancake-like and experimented with Jonathan’s (The Canary FIles) gluten-free, vegan crepes. It was part Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger, part spoil myself. They were awesome. I need to make them again, but I want pancakes. I might make these again for my birthday since I have restocked our fruit bin with organic apples. Or I might just experiment with pancakes I have in my head.

Besides, if I make pancakes for breakfast I won’t be sad if I don’t have dessert at dinner.

These pancakes are spiced with garam masala. If you don’t have it, you might be able to find a recipe online and make it from some ground spices if you have them in your pantry. I don’t peel the apples for the pancakes. The apples in the pancake and the topping have the skin on. Just make sure you wash them well to get the wax off. Also, letting the batter sit will help it thicken. You can use it right away, but you’ll have super thin pancakes to start with and you will have to wait for the pancake to look completely dry before flipping them. You’ll have a pan full of disaster if thin pancakes aren’t dry.

Spiced Apple Pancakes – makes about 8 pancakes

2/3 cup teff flour

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dairy-free milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 apple, grated


1 apple, chopped

1 tablespoon soy-free Earth Balanace

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

pinch salt

In a small mixing bowl, combine teff, tapioca, garam masala, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together milk, maple syrup, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well. Add grated apple and mix well. Set aside for about 10 minutes, at least. Heat pan/griddle over medium heat. Coat pan with oil or fat of your choice. Drop by 1/4 cups. Flip once the pancakes have bubbled and the edges are dry. (See above for instructions on what to do if your pancakes are thin). Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add Earth Balance and let it melt. Stir in maple syrup, garam masala, and salt. Add apples and cook until tender. To serve, top your pancakes with the apple topping then drizzle with pure maple syrup.

Review: Coracao Confections

Almost too pretty to open. Almost.

Almost too pretty to open. Almost.

It’s not often I will do a product review anymore. I rarely buy packaged goods and ordering treats is…well…a treat. And what a treat I discovered with Coracao Confections. The company is based in Emeryville, California and they source their raw cacao from farmers using sustainable practices. Their confections are free from gluten, dairy, soy, corn, artificial additives, and refined sugar.

I ordered the 22-piece Deluxe Box and a Raspberry Blondie Bar. Ice packs were included in the box because I chose ground shipping (it’s the cheapest and takes about a week). Despite the heat, the chocolates arrived without anything melted. I kept the box on the coffee table and they kept well at room temperature.

The Deluxe Box I received was filled with Almond Coconut Dream, Raw Fudge Truffle, Raspberry Fudge Truffle, Mayan Spice Truffle, Espresso Ganache Truffle, Tangerine Bee-Pollen Truffle, Peppermint Patty, Hazelnut Mousse Truffle, Chai Truffle, Caramel Cups, Rawmond Butter Cup, Live Almond Heart, and a Baby Bar. I was amazed by the creamy texture of the truffles and balance of flavors used so ingredients didn’t overpower each other. My favorites were the Rawmond Butter  and the Chai Truffle. I’m not a caramel lover and I found myself enjoying the Caramel Cups.  The Mayan Spice Truffle was the big surprise for me. Every other chocolate I’ve tried with cayenne was a disaster. Usually the cayenne is front and center and I feel like I just ate straight cayenne powder. Coracao Confections does it right. The cayenne is subtle and balanced well by the raw cacao. It had a surprising after kick for me that I enjoyed.

As we say back home, broke da mouth!

As we say back home, broke da mouth!

I adored the Baby Bar. I ate it all in one sitting, which isn’t hard to do because as the name indicates it is small. It was better than the name brand I keep in my pantry for chocolate fixes and use in baking. Again, the key to it is the balance of ingredients as well as the lack of extraneous ingredients.

The Raspberry Blondie was a little too sweet for me with all the shredded coconut. It did remind me of Raspberry Zingers if they were dipped and drizzled in chocolate. That alone was worth it. If I decide to order it again it will be to eat one bite, one day at a time. And maybe with a side of coffee to help me manage the sweetness.

Take away all my food allergies and put a box of Coracao Confections and a box of Godiva Truffles in front of me, I’ll take the former every time.

Ginger Spread

Homemade Ginger Spread

I had last weekend off.  This is a rare occurrence.  I was not scheduled for Saturday and for some reason I asked for Sunday off.  I have no clue why I asked for it off or if I was supposed to go somewhere.  If I was, oh well.

Chaz decided he wanted to go Jungle Jim’s on Saturday.  It is well established that we should never go to Jungle Jim’s together.  I end up stocking up on Tinkyada brown rice pastas.  Since we only use pasta every other week and we only go to Jungle Jim’s every few months, it’s usually necessary.   I found some good French wines I wanted to try along with some green mango (to soak in gluten-free shoyu – soy sauce for you Mainlanders) and green papaya (Chicken Papaya anyone?), and I looked for So Delicious dairy-free Greek yogurts.  I can’t even remember what Chaz got.  Bad wife?  No, I was on a mission after he told me where we were going.

Chaz found a jar of Ginger Spread while I was contemplating nut butters and deciding I just need to make my own.  If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I posted a picture of it and sent it to Twitter and my personal Facebook.  The spread is “for serious ginger lovers.”  I’m a serious ginger lover.  The majority of the Filipino dishes/soups I grew up loving contain ginger.  Just one slice of ginger can put something over the top.  Then there is the use of mostly just ginger when I get sick.  I boil it in water and let it steep.  I’ll then use that to make green tea or just drink it like that.  Ginger is my best friend in the kitchen some days.  I like to add it to juices and smoothies.  One of our fellow Aikidoka and friends opened up a restaurant (Yang-Kee Noodle) with some partners when we were in Louisville and still active in Aikido (and I was still pre-diagnosis).  They ran some tastings before opening to refine the recipes and we were lucky enough to be invited to one.  My favorite was the Ginger Chicken.  It was so full of ginger my mouth was on fire and I loved it.  I may not like the heat of hot peppers a lot, but I do love the fire of ginger, Chinese hot mustard, and wasabi.   They wound up reducing the amount of ginger in the final recipe because most of their customers would not be accustomed to that much ginger.  It was still good, just not as good as that first time to me.  I stopped eating there once I was gluten-free, but we always try to stop by when we are in town to see if our friend is working to say hi.

We looked all over that jar of Ginger Spread three to four times before we found the ingredient list.  Small print on the lid.  Seriously.  Ingredient lists should be more prominent.  I thought I was going crazy while I was looking for it.  I decided I could make it easily (and for cheaper) once I saw the ingredients.

My first attempt at making this involved grating the ginger on my ginger grater.  The result was good, but stringy.  The second attempt is my favorite.

Ginger Spread

5/8 cup ginger juice (I ran one entire giant root through my juicer)

1/4 cup raw local honey (or sweetener of your choice)

Place juice and honey in a small saucepan over low heat.  Vent a cover over the saucepan and allow to come to a boil.  Do not stir until the spread starts to thicken.  If you stir too soon, you will end up with clumps.  Take the pan off the heat once the spread is thick and reduced slightly.  Allow it to cool.

Now that you have Ginger Spread, what do you use it on or in?  I’ve been using it in my whole juices and just throwing some into the Vitamix along with the fruits and vegetables.  I also forgot to add ginger to something I made the other night.  How could I forget, right?  I know, I was kicking myself, too.  So, I used some of the spread.  It wasn’t the same, but it was a good sub in a pinch.  After taking the above picture and then pouring the spread into a container I was tempted to just pour some vodka or spiced rum in that martini glass.  I refrained, but I have no doubt that just a little of the spread would make a great addition to a cocktail.  I think it would make a great sauce for cocktail shrimp or Raw Veggie Spring Rolls.

Chocolate Ginger Chia Pudding

I decided it would also make a great addition to chia pudding.  I was inspired by my friend Johnna and her Chia Pudding in a Jar.  I’ve only made my chia pudding in a jar since she posted that recipe.  It’s just so flipping easy to do.  You could make this in a bowl or something and just make sure you stir it up every once in a while as it sets.  It’s not as fun as shaking the bejeebers out of a mason jar though.

Chocolate Ginger Chia Pudding

1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

6 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

2 – 4 teaspoons Ginger Spread

sweetener of choice (optional)

Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake vigorously.  Give the jar a shake every time you open the fridge for something.  It will be set in about 4 hours.