Free From Foodie – Gluten free blueberry pancakes
Fact of the week – Research shows that coeliac disease affects 1% people in the UK. (Source – Coeliac UK)
So the Great British Bake Off is back in full swing….how ironic as I can’t eat gluten that I find it compulsive viewing! Yes the showstoppers are amazing and who knew a tuille could have the nation on the edge of their seats…but what I really love is the passion, the creativity…and in these days of processed everything, the sheer pleasure of creating delicious treats from scratch.
I love food but it’s really since I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease three years ago that I’ve become truly passionate about what I eat. While gluten based meals were never the mainstay of my diet I loved artisan breads, comforting pasta dishes and the guilty pleasure of indulgent cakes. Suddenly faced with changing my choices overnight, supermarket ‘Free From’ aisles beckoned and with shelves brimming with ‘goodies’ it wasn’t difficult to find gluten free treats to alleviate any sense of deprivation.…but the more I began to really look at the products the more I was frustrated by so many unrecognisable ingredients, call me old fashioned but I’ve always preferred to eat things I can pronounce.
To be fair there are some better products out there these days but in most a small sugar mountain compensates for the removal of gluten. As a bit of a nutrition geek that just doesn’t do it for me….I want the taste but not so much of the addictive white stuff…and certainly not the copious e-numbers, additives and filler flours more suited to wallpaper paste.
So, for the last three years I’ve been on a quest to feed myself “deliciously” well! From poring over recipe books and blogs, to researching healing foods, to studying Nutritional Therapy, it’s fair to say it’s been an interesting journey…..and I’m now hooked on the challenge of creating nourishing meals and treats, real food that is a pleasure to cook and eat.
As guest blogger for the next 3 months I’m going to be giving the Ethical Kitchen a bit of a nutritious makeover! I’ll be sharing some of my favourite gluten free recipes, many of them also dairy and sugar free. I like to use natural, nutritious ingredients, fair trade and organic where possible, from my favourite brands like Suma, Biona and Traidcraft. So, on to the food…
A frequent question I hear from people going gluten free for the first time is what do I eat for breakfast? Whilst I can suggest a repertoire of healthy, filling options, sometimes a rainy weekend calls for something more indulgent and comforting. With autumn on the way, memories of living in New York come to mind; lazy Sunday mornings spent languishing over the papers and a pile of warm blueberry pancakes were a special treat and I really wanted to recreate that experience ….but with the extra challenge that every bite would be as nutritious as it is delicious!
So my first recipe is my version of those memorable ‘American style’ pancakes. Refined flours and sugars are replaced with the natural goodness of coconut and bananas, protein rich eggs, fabulous flax and juicy, nutrient packed blueberries. I like to serve them with extra berries and a dollop of creamy sheep’s milk yoghurt. Kids love these with a little honey too!
Blueberry pancakes (makes 6 small pancakes)
- 2 small or 1 large fair trade banana (ripe)
- 2 heaped tbs Suma unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 2 large free range eggs
- 2 tbs fresh organic blueberries (or other fresh berries if you prefer)
- 1 level tbs ground flaxseed (optional but thickens the batter and is a true superfood!)
- 1-2 tsp of Suma organic cinnamon (still good without it but again it’s good for you so why not!)
- A little Biona virgin coconut oil for cooking
- Mash the banana(s) in a bowl and beat in the eggs, coconut, flax and cinnamon. Stir in the blueberries
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan until medium hot
- Spoon 1 tbs of the batter into the pan to form each small pancake (approx 10cm x 1cm), making 2 or 3 at a time is easier to control. My sister makes these using an oiled egg poaching ring to keep the shape and get a thicker pancake but I like to go free form!
- Cook for approximately 1½-2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Enjoy and feel good about feeding yourself well!
Flavour options are endless with these pancakes….other favourites are lemon zest combined with Traidcraft’s plump Chilean flame raisins, vanilla with orange… or for a deliciously chocolatey dessert fair trade cocoa and fresh raspberries. These are also delicious as a cold snack on the go
Nicky Robinson combines her work in fair trade with other life-long passions for natural good food and positive healthy living. Her own experiences with Coeliac Disease have led to her study for an MSc in Nutritional Therapy and special interest in nutritious and delicious gluten free cooking