Flourless Banana Pancakes – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Low Carbohydrate & Gluten Free

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Firstly, I apologise for not posting this last week as I said I would – one thing led to another and even though I had the recipe typed out, the photos weren’t edited and being my OCD-self there was no way I was posting photos without cropping them to the same dimensions and making a title image so the post would be the same as the others on here.

Flourless banana pancakes have been floating around Pinterest and all the low carb websites lately and this is my take on them. Many recipes I found said that, due to the lack of a binding agent, the pancakes had to be made no more than 5 cm (2 in) across or they wouldn’t flip and would turn into scrambled bananas – so I decided to add in some almond meal… still technically “flourless” (and lower in carbohydrates) but not purely egg and banana, especially considering I added some plain Greek yoghurt in there for good measure. The texture isn’t the same as normal pancakes – they aren’t as fluffy and are much softer than wheat or GF pancakes – so they might not be your cup of tea but I like them. There is a subtle banana and almond flavour with a hint of the vanilla extract and the yoghurt gives them a soft creaminess.

Notes:

  1. Almonds are considered low FODMAP in servings of 10, somewhere between 10 and 20 almonds they become high FODMAP – 1/4 cup of almond meal shouldn’t be more than 10 almonds, considering all the air that’s introduced to volume when it’s milled, but if you are worried then buckwheat flour is a suitable substitute for some or all of the almond meal.
  2. If you malabsorb lactose, make sure you use lactose free yoghurt.
  3. One banana to one egg might seem like a lot but the protein in egg whites is both good for us and helps to bind the mixture. I am also of the school that egg yolks are not evil.
  4. I am beginning to experiment with gum-free baking, which is why I have used ground chia seeds in this recipe instead. I am not sensitive to gums myself but there are many out there who are and I aim to please 🙂
  5. Yes, I know, they are only about 10-15 cm across so I technically I should have called them “pikelets” but I have already made the title image and I am not doing it again.

Flourless Banana Pancakes

Per person, you will require:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp. greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the wet ingredients in your blender or food processor – I like a blender because it makes pouring the batter a breeze – and whiz until smooth and combined. Then add in the dry ingredients and blend on a medium speed until they are fully incorporated. The batter is done. If you feel it needs to thicken up a little, let it sit for 5 minutes and the chia seeds will go to work.

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Seal your pan and reduce it to no more than a medium heat, as these brown very easily. Pour the batter into little blobs (approximately 1/2 cup in each but I don’t measure) and set the timer for 3 minutes. Bubbles should start to appear by this stage, and if the pancake slides around freely on the sealed pan surface then it is ready to flip. Don’t fiddle with the pancake, trying to loosen or move it, until it has formed a skin and is sturdy enough to move or you will just damage it. Once flipped, cook for another 3 minutes on the other side and place on a plate in the oven (on the warming setting) to keep them hot until they are ready to be eaten. The “3 minutes a side” rule is also just a guideline, depending on how hot your stove is, how well your pan transfers heat etc.

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Serve with a yoghurt of your choice and a fruit compote – I made a blueberry compote that I had preserved but any of my jam recipes would work as well, or your favourite store bought jam – or pure maple syrup.

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Greek Salad Frittata – Low FODMAPs, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Greek Salad Fritatta

Since going on a vegetarian (and then scaling back to a pescetarian) diet, I have had to up my egg intake. Of course, since then I have had to bring red meat back in but I’m still eating a lot of eggs. Among other nutrients, eggs are low in sugars and high in protein, iron, phosphorous, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12, among other things – they also contain cholesterol and both saturated and unsaturated fats, so depending on which side of this fence you sit on, this is either a good or a bad thing.

Considering I love eggs, I don’t have a problem with increasing the amount I’m eating – although I wish free range eggs were as easy to come by in Seattle as they are in Melbourne. I don’t think that “cage free” is quite the same thing, although I could be wrong.

Notes:

  1. Use either lactose free milk or water if you are avoiding lactose – I’m not, so I used 2% cow’s milk
  2. Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and olives are low in FODMAPs.
  3. Feta cheese is low in lactose.

Greek Salad Frittata

Serves 4

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk or water
  • 2 big pinches kosher salt
  • 1 handful of salad mix lettuce or spinach
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes/halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. halved olives – black works best, but green is also okay

Whisk the eggs, then add the liquid and salt and mix together until completely combined. Mix in all the other ingredients and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Seal your oven-safe pan and reduce the heat to medium before adding the mixture. Let it sit, without stirring, for approx. 5 minutes, which gives the base time to cook. Now, place the pan in the oven and cook for approx. 10-15 minutes; check it occasionally – the fritatta is cooked when the top is no longer runny. To give the top a little extra browning, switch your oven to the grill/broil setting and grill it for a minute or so, until it puffs up.

Slide it out onto a chopping board and slice into 4 quarters. Serve immediately or leave some for left overs as it tastes just as good cold. Om nom nom.

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Guess who wanted some? Don’t worry, he’s not still in the cone of shame – this particular fritatta was breakfast one Sunday over a month ago.

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Miniature Savoury Quiches – Low Fructose

What do you do when you have leftover pastry and eggs that need to be used?

Quiches!

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You can make these without the pastry as well, for a low-carbohydrate alternative. Just fill the patty pans a little more but be careful, they do rise!

These are great to make as entrees (appetisers) for dinners or make them on the weekend and have delicious, homemade lunches at work (or school or home!) during the week. Just make a salad to eat with it and people will be giving you filthy looks of jealousy. Or, as in our case last night, the dogs.

I also have a new vegetarian quiche recipe up that uses a different pastry recipe. Try them out!

Savoury Quiches

The following will make 24 miniature quiches.

  • One full batch of GF sour cream pastry
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or water (cow, unsweetened almond, soy milk)
  • 1/8 tspn. asafoetida
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tspn. black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Parmesan it’s up to you)
  • 3 tbsp oregano
  • 6-8 rashers GF bacon, diced
  • 1 cup diced vegetables of your choice (spinach, tomato, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms etc)

Dice bacon and vegetables of your choice. Seal your skillet and then fry the bacon and vegetables until the bacon has just turned crispy. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, milk, asafoetida, oregano, salt and pepper together. Drain the bacon and veggies from the oil and add into the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly.

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Cook the bacon and vegetables

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Mix the bacon and vegetables into the egg mixture

Make the pastry ahead of time according to the instructions on the linked page. It should produce 24 miniature quiches that are about 4-5 cm in diameter. Blind bake them for 15 minutes at 350 F/180 C before removing pie weights and filling the shells with the egg mixture and topping with cheese.

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Continue baking at the same temperature for a further 15 or so minutes, until the tops of the quiche filling has browned nicely and they no longer look runny.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes so the pastry can firm up before transferring them to a serving dish.

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Quiches with pastry and blanched greens – ignore the asparagus, I can eat a few stalks without reacting

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Pastry-less quiches for lunch the next day. Left-overs rock.

Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Custard – Fructose Friendly

I have very fond memories of the homemade custard that my Dad’s mum, “Mama,” made for Christmas every year when I was younger. Eventually she decided that she’d done enough Friend Family Christmases – the event now alternates between my parents’ house and Dad’s brother’s family’s house every Christmas Eve – and the custard has never been the same since. Store bought, no matter how good, is never as good as fresh, warm custard.

This recipe is very versatile. It can be used to make a great pouring custard or kept on the stove a little longer to thicken more and is a great filling for tart shells or eclairs.

This recipe makes enough to pour on dessert for around 6-8 people, or to fill 6 small tart shells.

Custard:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream/heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (a little more if you don’t have a vanilla bean)

To make the custard, heat milk slowly in a medium saucepan until it is just bubbling at the edges.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sugar and corn starch and mix well. Stir into hot milk all at once. Cook, stirring over a medium heat, until it boils. This takes time, don’t be impatient; and keep stirring or you will get lumpy custard.

Milk tends to foam when it boils and is easy to burn

Foam on the back of your spoon is a good indication of when to reduce the heat

Reduce the heat and simmer for one minute. Beat a small amount of the mixture into the egg yolks and then pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, over a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir vanilla in at the end. Again, don’t rush the process or your custard will be lumpy. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much custard you are making and how “medium” your stove heat really is. If you are making a pouring custard, you can leave it a little runny. However, if you want this custard to support any toppings it will need to be quite thick.

Thickened custard

If you are going to let the custard cool, place a sheet of waxed paper over the surface to prevent a skin from forming on the custard, or simply place the lid on the pot. Once the custard has cooled down to a lukewarm/room temperature, you can use it to fill tart shells or eclairs etc.

Pouring custard

If you are planning to use the custard for pouring, then make it as close to when you need to use it as possible and then leave it on a very low heat to keep it warm.

I have tried to reheat this custard before and it tends to become lumpy, even with a low heat… but maybe someone else would have better luck than me? If you have any tricks, I’d love to hear them.