Thursday, May 23, 2013
I really need to start eating better.
Case in point, we have not only surpassed the 100 day mark, I'm pretty sure we've recently passed 90 days until the wedding. This past long weekend, we also managed to eat through an entire Japanese cheesecake. (Both events were not related).
I say "we" but you all know better. Trevor had a slice, maybe two. I couldn't help it though. I discovered a fantastic new bakery on Spadina Avenue, (near China Town) and the cheesecakes were on sale for $3.50. Having paid double this price the last time I had Japanese cheesecake, I couldn't pass it up. This was Friday and the cheesecake was non-existent by Sunday night.
So when Monday morning rolled around, I was feeling the sluggish affects of a cheesecake hangover. I stumbled bleary-eyed into the kitchen and the first thing I saw resting on the counter was my big bag of quinoa. Normally I would have made my usual breakfast quinoa, but since it was the last day of my long weekend, I wanted to make something special. Enter guilt-free chocolate chip banana quinoa pancakes!
These pancakes were a fantastic cure for my cheesecake-fused hangover. Fluffy and moist from the bananas, wholesome and nutty from the quinoa, and the perfect amount of chocolate chips to satisfy my constant sweet tooth. Trevor even gave me a thumbs up before quickly devouring his portion.
Take that, cheesecake!
Chocolate Chip Banana Quinoa Pancakes
(adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)
1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg whites
1 individual sized vanilla yogurt (100g)
2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl whisk together quinoa, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together egg whites, yogurt, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Make a well in the flour mixture and add egg mixture. Stir until just combined.
Gently fold in mashed bananas and mini chocolate chips.
Being to preheat your pan or skillet to medium heat. Apply butter or non-stick cooking spray if required.
Ladle out 1/4 cup of batter onto the heated pan and flip when the pancake has bubbles on the surface. Cook until the other side is brown.
Remove from heat and serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
Makes 8 quinoa pancakes.
Like baking with quinoa? Here are two of my other favourite quinoa recipes:
Apple Blueberry Walnut Breakfast Quinoa
Quinoa Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Do you ever have days where you just want to stay home and eat chocolate?
I feel like I've been having those kind of days a lot lately, especially on the weekends. Sometimes I crave a good stay home day where I get to lounge around in my pjs and catch up my reading. Or my tv shows. Or even my blog reading. I swear, I'm so behind on my favourite baking blogs. What's the cool thing to make these days? I need to know because I feel like summer is approaching and I'm running out of days where I can use my oven.
Now that summer is approaching and with the weather warming up, I'm being brought back to the mindset of finishing school for another year and looking forward to the summer ahead. It's been 10 years since I graduated from high school and 5 years since I graduated from university, so I find it kind of funny that this time of year always brings out this kind of nostalgia.
The warm weather also brings me back memories of camping with my family. We had a fifth-wheel trailer and I remember during the summer we took it around British Columbia and later Southern Ontario. One of my favourite memories of camping was spending the evening by the fire-pit cooking s'mores. The chocolate bar of choice was always Hershey Milk Chocolate and teenager me always thought it was stingy to only use one square since the melted chocolate would barely cover the entire graham cracker. Now that I'm a responsible adult, I find it perfectly acceptable to use more.
I hesitated to call these true graham crackers because the result is more of a soft cookie than a crunchy graham cracker. I rolled the dough as thin as I could manage without losing my mind (and without tearing the dough cut-outs) and it still ended up a little thicker than I expected. The photos also make them look very crumbly, but these guys were fresh out of the oven that morning when I was taking my photos. After hanging out overnight in a sealed container, I found that they hardened up a bit more and became a bit crisper.
Chocolate Espresso Graham Crackers
(adapted from Homemade Graham Crackers at Baking Bites)
2 1/2 cups soft whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1/2 cup cold butter/margarine, cut into cubes
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold water
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together soft whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and espresso powder until there are no clumps.
Using a pastry cutter and cut in the cold butter/margarine until it resembles fine crumbs in the flour mixture.
Add honey, molasses, vanilla extract and cold water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the soft dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill the dough for a couple hours (one hour at the most).
Preheat oven to 350*F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or baking liners.
Remove chilled dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Cut out in your desired shapes and place on baking sheet. Before placing in the oven, poke holes in the cookies to let them breathe and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wired rack.
Makes approximately 30 chocolate graham crackers.
Looking for some other chocolatey and coffee treats? Here are a few of my favourites:
Chocolate Mocha Snickerdoodles
No Bake Banana Chocolate Cookies with Espresso and Walnuts
Chocolate Espresso Banana Nut Muffins
Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies