Tag Archives: cinnamon

Fruit And Nut Stuffed Baked Apples

Fruit And Nut Stuffed Baked Apples

Fruit And Nut Stuffed Baked Apples

Last night the people in the apartment downstairs had a party.

They weren’t overly loud as such, but the volume level was certainly high enough to remind us that they have abominable taste in music, and for us to be painfully aware that for most of the evening all the guests seemed to be arguing with one another.

This dessert might have been the root cause of their grumpiness.

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Banana pancakes – the breakfast of the gods

banana pancakes

banana pancakes

As I recently tweeted, “…if there truly is  a Divine Plan, then banana pancakes will figure prominently…”

I will stand by and defend that rather bold statement until the end of all things. They are beyond “good”. They re-define “tasty”, and raise a humble breakfast from a post-sleep re-fuelling session into an experience to be cherished. I was going to eat a grapefruit afterwards, but how could a mere citrus fruit follow…these…? It would be like asking The Backstreet Boys to go on stage after The Beatles….

I was a little concerned about making them though – many on You Tube  had reported that their efforts turned out more like banana flavoured scrambled eggs than pancakes, or just tasted over eggy, or were more crepe-like than pan-cakey.

I watched many videos, read many recipes, and made many notes. I wanted these right, and by the Great Shaman I do believe I nailed it.

So, to the sound of a heavenly drum-roll….


 

Serves 1. Be prepared to fight people off – any force you may need to use is entirely justified.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ground cinnamon to taste
  • about 2 tbsp of almond flour
  • about a quarter-teaspoon baking powder
  • coconut oil
  • Blueberries to serve

Method

  • Mash your banana well in a bowl using a fork, until you have a smooth consistency, although a few small lumps won’t hurt.
  • Crack in your egg, and whisk it in to the banana until everything is nicely combined and you have a smooth batter.
  • Add some ground cinnamon, but not too much. You don’t want to overpower the banana.
  • Now, the potentially tricky bit. I thought my batter was  a little loose, so started to add almond flour, a little at a time. The idea was to have a batter that was still pourable, but not overly runny, in effect one that “moves” like a pancake batter made from wheat flour. In the end, I used about 2 tablespoons of almond flour. Obviously, the amount of almond flour you will require will vary according to the size of both your egg and your banana. 
  • Add the baking powder. Stir well. 
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add about 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to the pan.
  • Spoon in about a quarter-cup of batter. I don’t normally “do” cups, but in this case my research seemed to suggest that this was the “magic” volume for successful pancakes, so I stuck with it. 
  • Let the first side cook. Watch for bubbles forming on the top side of the pancake, and the edge starting to colour, and a smell of cinnamon. The underside should be nicely coloured – not burnt, and these will burn if you have poor heat control or don’t pay attention.
  • Flip. Carefully.
  • Cook the other side. Remove to a plate, and cover with a paper towel to keep warm.
  • You may need to clean your pan between pancakes to remove bits of residue which will subsequently burn if left in.
  • Fry the rest of the batter. Serve, scattering the blueberries in a casual yet artful fashion over your work.
  • Eat, repeatedly staring at your plate in disbelief and wonderment.

 

The only minor improvement to these darlings I can possibly even begin to contemplate is an idea of subtle genius that I noted from one of the many You Tube videos I trawled through.

Someone, and I shall endeavour to find out who so that I can give them a well-deserved shout-out, suggested taking a frozen berry mix, and gently cooking it down until you have a sauce, and drizzling this over the pancakes. Definitely one for next time, and believe you me, mes braves, as sure as hens lay eggs and bananas grow on trees, there will be a next time, and soon.

You still here? What are you waiting for – Christmas? Go and make some of these – NOW!

To quote the great Douglas Adams – “Your mouth will love you for the rest of its life…”

Quite my cup of tea

Chai masala, Indian spiced tea

Chai masala, Indian spiced tea

If you’re not drinking alcohol as part of your Paleo diet (and we DO know that we really SHOULDN’T be, don’t we, kids..?), then the question arises – what exactly do you drink with food “X”?

In the case of Indian / Pakistani cuisine, one answer to that question is “chai masala“, or Indian spiced tea. The spices added to a base of Assam or Ceylon black teas really compliment the strong flavours of a typically extravagantly spiced Indian or Pakistani meal.

Usually this type of tea is prepared with plenty of cow’s milk and lots of sugar. I find that almond milk works just as well if not better, and the sugar is quite surplus to requirements – I simply omit it.

To prepare a chai masala you will need…

  • Ceylon or Assam tea
  • About a thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • About 10 cloves
  • About 10 green cardamoms, lightly crushed
  • 1 good sized cinnamon stick, or a similarly sized piece or pieces of cassia bark

Firstly, prepare your tea water. Measure out a tea-pot’s worth into a saucepan. Add the cardamom, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Bring up to a low simmer, and then continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.

For the best results, I use a tea-pot with a filter insert. Measure out a suitable amount of the base Assam or Ceylon tea for the size of your tea pot into the filter insert.

Once the water has been simmerng for 10 minutes, and has become infused with all the flavours of the ginger and the dry spices, use it to steep the tea leaves as you usually would.

As far as steeping times go, I typically tend to give this particular tea a bit longer to let the tea take on all the flavours in the steeping water, but no more than 5 minutes. Then simply remove the filter, and serve with a splash of almond milk.

This is where using a filter insert tea-pot reaps dividends. If you have no other way to remove the leaves from the water once the tea is ready, it will become over astringent and taste quite bitter.

As I say above, feel free to add a sweetener (a Paleo friendly one, of course!) if you wish, but I like the taste just as it is. Not only does chai masala work slpendidly with Indian food, it also stands up very nicely as a stand-alone drink.