Paleo Five-Minute Muffins

These protein-rich muffins are a delicious way to start the day. They are dense, but oh so good! This recipe came to me through a colleague and friend. She made significant changes in her diet to address some health problems and now we get to swap our favorite healthy recipes. This one is a keeper! The natural sweetness of the bananas goes a long way, so just a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of vanilla are enough to make these sweet enough for me. I typically add some slivered almonds on top before I bake them, which is more for aesthetics than flavor.

simple ingredients. I used peanut butter this time, but my favorite is cashew

Such simple ingredients! I used peanut butter this time, but my favorite is cashew butter.

Nut butter, honey, and bananas are an almost unbeatable combination. My favorite nut butter for this recipe is cashew because it is creamy and rich. I use flax eggs as the binder, which means the muffins don’t rise much but still taste great. The apple cider vinegar and baking soda help add some airiness to the texture as well. I was a little bit skeptical of making batter in a blender, but with a batter this sticky, it’s definitely the simplest way to go. Unless you grease the pan with butter, these are also dairy-free.

can you sense the stickiness of the batter?

Can you sense the stickiness of the batter?

The mini-muffins make an excellent contribution to brunch and the full-sized muffins are hearty enough to count as breakfast (if you pair it with a cup of coffee, of course.) Enjoy!

DSCN2009

Paleo Five-Minute Muffins via Tessa: The Domestic Diva

Pamela’s Pancakes!

Who doesn’t love pancakes? If it’s you, you’re missing out, because they’re delicious. Pancakes are the easy answer to the gffriendly person who wants some sweet carbs for breakfast. Sometimes we all need an excuse to eat syrup.

DSCN1654

With that in mind, Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix does a great job on pancakes. Of course you can make your own, and anything between buckwheat and corn flour can make a tasty version, but Pamela’s knows what it’s doing in this department and I think you should trust it.

You may think you know everything you need to know to make a good pancake. Well there are a few things that separate the good from the great.

Cinnamon

This is not optional. It sounds optional, but once you’ve tasted your pancakes with cinnamon you will never go back. I’m liberal with the cinnamon, adding it directly to the mix and then sprinkling some on top of the batter once it hits the pan.

cinnamon topped 'cakes

cinnamon topped ‘cakes

Color

You’re looking for a warm brown, and there two keys to achieving it. The first is using butter in your pan. Sorry, but nothing browns like butter. Second, stop cooking pancakes on medium high! Medium to medium low is as hot as you go. Pour the batter into the pan and wait for it to bubble. Only then can you flip it. If it starts to fall apart then it’s not ready to be flipped. If it’s already too dark, your pan is too hot. I’m a fan of flipping three times—once to brown both sides and once more on each side just to be sure it’s cooked through and browned nicely.

some might call this cinnamon brown

some might call this cinnamon brown

Airiness

This is also known as the fluffy pancake. Remember those bubbles we were talking about earlier? You want those in your pancake. The trick is not to press down on the pancake when it’s in the pan. If you’re not sure it’s cooked through, keep the heat low enough that you can keep flipping the cake without burning it. If you keep it moving you can cook the inside without burning the outside.

see the little holes?

see the little holes?

Syrup

We’re talking real maple, no substitutes. Too many people think Grade A is the best, which is a scam. Grade B has more richness and flavor. It’s maple for maple-lovers. Try it!

You have many more options for making your pancake recipe special. Diced apple? Sure! Chocolate chips? Why not? If you love it, try it in a pancake and see how it goes. And with that I say farewell and happy breakfast.

happy pile of pancakes for brunch

happy pile of pancakes for brunch

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats with Almond Butter and Honey

Since I avoid gluten and eggs, I’m often asked what I can have for breakfast. This recipe is one of my morning favorites. I’m not going to claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. All I know is that I feel best if I eat a small breakfast about half an hour after I get up. I have a habit of rushing, so my breakfast used to be a Van’s gluten free toaster waffle, devoured absentmindedly on my way to the dog park. Sometime during the past year I gave myself permission to sit down for breakfast. It’s not leisurely, maybe fifteen minutes at most, but it helps me start my day feeling grounded.

my breakfast essential

my breakfast essential

A friend of mine told me about this recipe for oatmeal made in a slow cooker. (Thanks, Deborah!) It takes me three minutes to prepare before I go to bed, then the slow cooker works its magic and it’s hot and perfectly cooked in the morning. Slow cooked oatmeal while you sleep—does it get any better?

steel-cut oats at night and the next morning

steel-cut oats at night and the next morning

DSCN1163

A few notes on the ingredients: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel-Cut Oats are perfect for this recipe. Oats don’t contain gluten inherently, but they are almost always cross-contaminated because they are cut with the same machines that process wheat. For this recipe, steel-cut is also essential—oat flakes will turn to mush overnight. Maranatha Organic Creamy Almond Butter and a flavorful local honey are the perfect finishing touches. Maple syrup is the ideal substitute for honey if you would like to make this recipe vegan. I try to limit my dairy intake, so I substitute Pacific Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk for the milk in this recipe. I prefer the unsweetened because I don’t like having cane syrup added to my almond milk.

This recipe makes more than enough for my partner and me to enjoy a bowlful. If you have unconventional additions to your morning oatmeal, please share in the comments. I’m always looking for new ideas to spruce up my old favorites. I hope this starts your day off right!

DSCN1166

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats with Almond Butter and Honey via Food52.com