No Whey Pancakes!

Sooo I’ve began a love affair with ricotta cheese. Not just any ricotta cheese, but home made ricotta. I’m new to it and never knew how easy or delicious it could be! I just always thought it was that gross spongy stuff you added to lasagna to give it its density. Turns out, it’s amazeballs. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it. Here’s the post to help you out.

Ok ok ok… why all this talk of ricotta cheese on a pancake post?! Well, there’s a WHEY you can make pancakes with a cheese bi-product. Hehehe, get it? The whey! When you make even a little ricotta, you get a lot of all natural, no fat, high protein liquid whey! I just save it in a jar and use it in smoothies and pancakes etc. And you can’t even tell. Here’s the pancake recipe I use:

Dry Ingredients:

2.5 c flour of choice* (I’m always playing around with my flours, but I’m a huge nerd that way. I typically grind up a mixture of whole wheat, steel cut oat, flax, almond and chia in my Vitamix, but you can use any flour)

1tsp baking soda

*except coconut flour… that would be one DENSE pancake

** Feel free to also add protein powders here. I don’t for these pancakes because I use the whey in the liquid base!

 

Wet Ingredients:

3 medjool dates, pureed with about 2 tsp warm water and

¼ c Coconut oil (I just LOVE the way coconut oil tastes, but you could use any oil)

½ banana (optional, for a little added sweetness)

2 eggs

½ c Cottage Cheese*

1 tsp ACV

3/4c Liquid Whey

*Could also sub greek yogurt, but I like the way the cottage cheese reacts with the baking soda and ACV and makes them a little bit fluffier

Blend/mix all the dry ingredients.

Blend the first two ingredients until pasty. Add the rest and blend until well incorporated. Pour wet into dry. Fold until all the batter is well mixed.

Spray and heat a large skillet. I use Trader Joes sprayable coconut oil. When pan is hot, use a 1/4c to pour batter onto skillet. Flip after about 30sec-1min.

 

These were so tasty my kids didn’t even eat these with syrup. Just hot off the plate, just about as fast as I could make them for a while. I topped mine with figs and Coconut Cult yogurt and HAD to go back for seconds. I absolutely could NOT help myself.

They’re also really tasty topped with an egg!

Wait for it…

It’s a hearty, but delicious pancake. Gives you energy for family hikes like these:

And shenanigans like these:

Salted Caramel Cashew Butter Cups

A million times better than a Reeses Cup. I promise. And a million times richer. I stumbled across this recipe from a blog called Hungry Haley and followed it exactly for the cashew butter, but modified the chocolate part with my own chocolate concoction recipe. It takes just as long as melting a chocolate bar, and I usually prefer eating those on the go or hiking anyway!

I mean, if I’m going to cook and be in the kitchen anyway, might as well melt and mix a few more things together, you know?

 

Ok. Enough banter. You want to make these already.

 

Salted Cashew Butter (from Hungry Haley)

1c Cashews, soaked over night

dash pink Himalaya salt

3 medjool dates

1 tsp vanilla

 

Drain water from cashews and combine ingredients in a food processor until a peanut butter type consistency is achieved.

Chocolate:

2/3c organic Cacao Powder

2/3c Coconut Oil

1/3 c Honey

1 tsp vanilla

*collagen Peptides

(optional add-ins include a dash of pink Himalaya salt, turmeric, chili powder/chilis, peppermint oil etc)

*optional add in- I used Vital Proteins, but there are others

 

Melt the coconut oil over med/low heat. Add in your cacao powder, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour into molds.

For these cups, I used silicon cupcake molds. I poured a thin layer on the bottom, froze it for about 5 min, added the cashew butter, froze again for about 5-10min and topped it with more chocolate and froze them again. OMG-g-g-g-g were they good. So chewy. So chocolatey. So rich. So creamy.

Ricotta me this

I know, cheesy title. HAHAHA. Ok, I’m done, I promise

 

But for reals. Have you ever made home made ricotta?! I am new to it and it is a GAME CHANGER.

 

It’s super easy, really versatile and even the by-products have their uses! I use the liquid whey that’s left behind in my pancakes and my kids gobble them up like crazy. They have no clue. And neither would I if you didn’t tell me.

 

And you can make the traditional savory ricotta you typically find in baked pastas like lasagna or a baked ziti or what have you. All you need is:

½ Gal whole milk (preferably whole, preferably not UHT pasteurized

1/3 C Lemon Juice (about 1-2 lemons)

OR 1/3 C distilled white vinegar

1 tsp salt

 

1. Warm the milk to about 200*F. Warm the milk SLOWLY. It’s important- you don’t want to boil the milk and you don’t want it to burn. If you don’t have a thermometer, 200*F is when it starts to get kind of foamy at the top.

2. Remove the milk from the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice. I LOVE it with lemon juice… it adds a bit of tangy freshness, but isn’t overwhelming. Stir it really gently then let it sit for about 10 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon scoop out the big curds and then just line a strainer with cheesecloth and put it over a half gallon glass ball jar. Then just dump the warm milk/curd/liquid whey mixture over it and let the strainer drain for around10-40 minutes. Then just transfer the ricotta in the cheese cloth to a container or use it immediately when its nice and warm. Mmmmm warm non-melty cheese just really hits the spot sometimes.

 

OH!- and SAVE THE WHEY! Some people drink it, but I just save it and use it in smoothies or pancakes etc. Here are some ideas: pancakes,

You can also make a slightly sweeter ricotta using the juice of an orange instead of a lemon! Same amounts, it’s just slightly sweeter. I eat this for breakfast a lot and add fruits, jams, or make delicious parfaits with yogurt and frut. SO SO SO good. Or you can eat it warm and add a warm fruit compote or FIGS or sautéed or grilled peaches. OMG I’m drooling already. What are you waiting for?!  If I were you, I’d go and make some! I know I am.

Browdgies


What else do you call a dense chocolatey morsel that's half fudge/half brownie?! I couldn't think of anything so Browdgie it is! They definitely started off trying to be just a brownie though 😬😬. C'est la vie

Ok. So for these,
Preheat oven to 375
Then, you will need:
1/2 baked butternut squash, cooled (probably around 2full cups)
2 eggs
1/4c honey
1/2c milk of choice (I've used whole, raw, unpasteurized and coconut)
3/4c 100% organic cacao powder
2tbsp coconut manna (could also use grassfed butter, coconut oil or could omit altogether)
1/4c oat flour

Optional add-ins that I used:
2 scoops chocolate protein of choice
1 tbsp chlorella
1tsp psyllium husk
1 scoop collagen Peptides
1 scoop beef gelatin

Blend first 5 ingredients until well incorporated. Add oat flour and any add ins.
*Note: seeds/nuts will NOT make good add ins for these. The texture really doesn't lend itself to that. Try these out and you'll see what I mean
**Note 2: if not using chocolate protein add in, add 1/4c more cacao and 1/4c more honey

Pour into a brownie dish (8X8 square pan). Bake at 375 for 45 min. Allow to cool. Once cool you can eat them, but definitely store these in the fridge! These are definitely better COLD! Trust me.

Ringing in 3 with a Tea (party)

I know this is primarily a Health and Fitness type blog buuuuut it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to LOL.

And this was just way too much fun NOT to write about. Plus I’ve had fantasies about a little girl Tea party since, well as long as I can remember. And I’ve been dreaming about it since I found out I was pregnant with our sweet Lils 🤗

I don’t really know where to start so I’ll start with what I did first- and that was buying all.the.THINGS! I went to one of those antique/small business booth shops and found my teacups/tea pots. I wanted a little whimsy and a little elegance, so here’s what I came up with. I spent about $114 total, but I admittedly went a little overboard, bought a few things impulsively and I do plan to use them all again. And the little tea set was Lily’s gift 😃.

I just couldn’t pass up this tea pot and matching plate. Or these plates for the sandwiches. 

They were just so fun and completely fulfilled the whimsical requirement!

The tiny teacups below I bought as a set of 8. I wanted the teacups to be cute, but more on the elegant side and I just loved these.


I bought a few other teapots/creamers and things, but those were more impulse buys because I was so excited 🤣.

But seriously, all of this was less than it costs to rent one of those big bouncy things you see at kids parties everywhere!

Anyhoo… Next I focused on the petit fours because I knew those would take the most time and I wanted to make sure I got them right!! I made 3 varieties: white chocolate, butterscotch and pink vanilla. 

Oh and look- there’s another teapot there too🤣. 

For the Petit Fours I just made 2 pound cakes. Froze them. Then cut them into little squares and poured/dipped them into a pourable fondant icing made of 4c powdered sugar, 1/4c water and corn syrup and 1c melted white chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Once I was confident in my ability to make those, I focused on the favors. I really really wanted a unique tea favor and decided on mini mismatched tea cups and saucers each girl could take home. I figured it would be a nice piece of memorabilia and something they could all play with again on future play dates!!

Once all those things were done, it was time to focus on the decorating! Not going to lie, this is my MILs gift and she did most of it, but I wanted to model it after the High Tea we had been to together in Victoria. 

It was so simple and elegant. I loved the tiered approach for the petit fours and little sandwiches and the little sugar cubes were a MUST!! I just thought they were so cute! Everything else we just kind of winged according to what sounded/tasted tea-ish; which ended up being lady fingers, pastry creams and some croissants. Oh! And we had to start with Strawberries and Cream! 

Oh! And the Lady Fingers ended up looking really cute on the plates too 🤗

I mean, can you tell I just had no fun doing this and putting this together…

It was a bit of effort, but it really wasn’t too bad. I would say you definitely need an idea in mind and it’s helpful to prioritize and focus on each thing individually, but it really was a complete blast! Don’t know if it qualifies as a “High Tea” experience, but our little princesses had fun. 

Turmeric Latte Pancakes

Ok people. I seriously cannot stop making these. And I also cannot stop with my current turmeric obsession and experimentation. Why am I just now discovering this spice?! 


And they’re really not that yellow, so your kids wont scoff!


Also, I know I went a little flour crazy with this recipe, but it’s because I’m a big nerd, have them all on hand and I really like the flavor combos. If I could pick 2, use the pat flour and almond flour and never mind the rest. The almond flour adds amazing flavor! You could just use oat flour too, but I really think the almond flour reaaaallllyy bumps it up a notch!

I make an enourmous batch of these and use them for everything. Breakfasts. Snacks. Lunch. I love slapping some PB on top. Then plain Greek yogurt. Then some berries or sweet potato-depending in how I’m feeling. Delish either way!

Ok. Here we go:

Ingredients:

1.5c oat flour

1c almond flour

1/4c rice bran (tocos)

1/4c wheat germ

1/4c coconut flour

1tbsp psyllium husk powder (good for digestion, but don’t over do it!!!)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/4c organic evaporated cane juice

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

2tsp turmeric

2tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

3/4c cottage cheese

2 farm fresh eggs

1.5c milk of choice

1tbsp vanilla

2tbsp honey 

Directions. Heat pan over med heat. Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside in a bowl. Blend remaining wet ingredients thoroughly. Make a little well in the dry ingredients and pour half the wet ingredients in. Mix until well incorporated. Add more wet. Mix again. Add the last of the wet and mix until all ingredients have been incorporated. Then I use a 1/4c to scoop out the batter and pour into the griddle. Then it’s time to flippity flip those flap jacks!! I personally prefer these with yogurt, berries, butternut squash and/or a liiiiiitle but butter over syrup. But that’s just me! Shoot, my daughter just eats the batter plain, so c’est las vie. And to each his own. And whatever other colloquial phrases come to mind 🤣.

Roasted Sweet Tater Salad

So I have never liked Potato Salad. Like ever. Don’t know what it is. I’ve tried loads: German, American, with mustard, without mustard. I was no expert because, well, I didn’t like it! But I’ve done my best, tried lots of kinds and gave it a fair chance.

But there I found myself one day, with the assignment of “potato salad” staring me in the face to bring to a potluck lunch. But this time, I thought dangit- I’m going to make a potato salad that I like!

So I started off by roasting some sweet taters because I know I love those. Then just kept adding things and flavors that I liked- avocado for healthy fats and richness, peppers for lightness crunch and mild sweetness, herbs de Provence, goat cheese for more richness and tang… and BAM! Came up with a nutrient dense potato salad that I LOVED. 


Came home with an empty dish too, which always makes me smile.

Anyhoo- here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

4 sweet taters, 2white 2 regular, cubed

2tbsp avocado oil (I used Primal Kitchens)

1tbsp Herbs de Provence + dash S&P

1/4c avocado oil (also Primal Kitchens)

1 avocado, cubed and splashed with lime juice S&P

1/3 c diced colored peppers

1/8 c goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Shake sweet taters in avo oil, S, P and herbs. Place on 2 baking sheets and roast for 35 min. Remove from oven and allow them to cool to warm or room temp. Transfer gently to a bowl and add avo mayo, for healthy non canolaoily fats! Gently mix, trying not to break up the sweet taters. Add sweet peppers and toss gently again. You can add your avocado here, but that tends to get busted up a lot easier, so if you’re not going for presentation- go for it! If you want it to look pretty, add it on top with the goat cheese 😃😃

Tocos-Zucchini Bread Muffins

Tocos; or rice bran solubles. My latest discovery. Great for your skin 


1/2c tocos or rice bran solubles (I used Bobs Redmill)

1+1/2c whole wheat flour or 1+1/2c following flour mixture (whole wheat flour, oat fiber, almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk, arrowroot)

1/4c organic cane sugar 

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon

1 whole zucchini, chopped 

1 whole roasted carrot

1c milk

2 eggs

1/2c applesauce

1/4c honey 

2tbsp grass fed butter


Preheat oven to 400*. Line muffin tin with muffin liners. Mix dry (first 6) ingredients together until well incorporated. Blend wet (remaining 7) ingredients. Pour wet into dry and fold until well incorporated (draw a line down the center and fold over until all batter is mixed). Pour into a 12 muffin pan. Bake for 25-30min

Four or 400 ingredient Chocolate

Four or 400 ingredient chocolate- you decide! This base recipe is just coconut oil, cacao powder, honey and a little vanilla. Heat it all up in a pot, pour it and cool it. Voila. Little chocolate melties that are SO yummy. So yummy and so versatile. You can dip stuff in it, fill it, top it… I myself have done almond butter cups, coconut cups, topped it with various nuts, made almond butter sammies (shown here), dipped bananas in there… I don’t think I can name all the ways!! Not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed 🤔

Ingredients:

2/3 c coconut oil

2/3 c cacao powder

3tbsp honey

1tsp vanilla

Heat coconut oil until melted. Add remaining ingredients and stir until they are all incorporated. Pour into your cooking vessel and put them into the fridge/freezer until hard. Top with whatever you like!

Caramelized Onion Roasted Brussel Sprout Goat Cheese Pizza

So dense. So hearty. So healthy. So simple. Sometimes mine even magically turn into tacos!

Start by sautéing some onions in a little avocado oil spray. Add bits of water s needed to caramelize:

Re-heat some perfectly roasted brussel sprouts from dinner the night before.

While all that’s going on, reheat a low carb tortilla of choice in a fry pan with some avocado oil spray. Once it’s crispy, pile on the goods. And sprinkle with lots. 

And lots

Of goat cheese!

Ingredients:

1/3-1/2 onion (whatever you have lying around)

About 3/4c roasted brussel sprouts

1 low carb tortilla

Goat cheese to taste.

Caramelize your onions. Heat up your Brussels (or enjoy cold!). Crisp up your tortilla. Pile the goods on. Sprinkle with goat cheese.