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Banana Yogurt Pancakes

Banana pancakes aren’t anything new or innovative. I imagine them to be in the same camp as your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe or the stir fry you make once a week. They are a classic and accepted addition to any breakfast menu. But, like with any template-type recipe, there are numerous ways to spice them up.

These pancakes use whole grain spelt flour, an old favorite of mine. I like it because it’s much more easily adaptable to recipes that use all-purpose or whole wheat flour (as opposed to other alternative flours), and it’s lower in gluten than regular wheat. My belly is happy to receive it. I also think it has a sweeter side than whole wheat; it isn’t as grainy and heavy, rather much lighter and more accommodating to assertive flavors. Any kind of fruit works well with spelt. 

I added some yogurt to the batter as well, in place of milk and other liquid ingredients. It makes them especially puffy and filling, and kind of gives you the feeling that you’ve shoved a complete breakfast into a pancake. Which is great, if you make these on a lazy Sunday morning as I did.



3 ripe bananas 2 eggs 2 T. maple syrup (if you like the batter sweeter, feel free to add more) 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt (or more, if the batter is too thick) 2 cups whole spelt flour 1/4 cup milled golden flaxseed 1 tsp. baking soda pinch of salt butter for the griddle sliced bananas, almonds, and cinnamon, for garnish

– In a blender, puree bananas, eggs, maple syrup and yogurt.

– In a large bowl, combine flour, flax, baking soda and salt.

– Preheat a large griddle or pan over medium flame. Rub with butter.

– Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and gently fold together, just until combined. Don’t overwork the batter, as spelt is delicate.

– Cook pancakes by 1/4 cup on preheated griddle, flipping when bubbles form on the surface and the edges are lightly golden. Cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.

– Top with sliced bananas, almonds, cinnamon and more maple syrup.


: :  H A P P Y   S U N D A Y  : :


Butternut Squash, Sage & Goat Cheese Omelet

On Sunday, I had some butternut squash leftover from a batch of muffins the week before, so I thought I’d toss it into my breakfast before it went bad. Butternut squash, like pumpkin, is one of my favorite Fall vegetables. I find it especially irresistible when paired with nutmeg and sage– it takes on both a sweet and savory, rich and smooth flavor that is comforting in the best way. Pureed, it is wonderful in breads, pancakes, soups, ravioli and muffins. Cubed and roasted, it can be tossed into pasta, any seasonal stir-fry, and omelets! 

I happened to have some fresh goat cheese on hand, as well as a new jar of ground sage, so those were the flavors of my Sunday morning egg feast. Omelets are pretty easy to make, and you don’t really need a recipe, but I’ve included one below so you can see what proportions I used. I left the eggs whole and cooked them just until the whites were set, because I like my yolks a little runny.


1/4 cup pureed butternut squash, or 1/2 cup cubed squash 1/4 tsp. ground sage freshly ground black pepper a bit of ground nutmeg 2 eggs goat cheese, to taste

– In a small skillet, cook butternut squash, sage, black pepper and nutmeg until tender. If using pureed squash, cook just until hot and the spices are fragrant.

– Crack eggs into a bowl, then gently pour into the skillet over the squash, being careful not to break the yolks. Sprinkle with more black pepper and top with chunks of goat cheese.

– Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until egg whites are almost set. Remove cover and broil on high for a few minutes, until top is cooked and cheese is starting to brown. Loosen omelet with a spatula, then slide onto a plate and enjoy! 


This month, I’m baking for power

In this month’s column, I introduce you to my world of baking without flour and sugar. What?! Blasphemy, you might be thinking. This is tricky terrain, no doubt about it. Don’t think that I haven’t had my fair share of bitter chocolate cupcakes and unsalvageable cookies by trying to make them more virtuous than they are by nature. This has surely been the case! 

However, I’ve slowly learned my way around the flour-free kitchen and I have some tricks to share. My reason for bending the baking rules? I love a good breakfast treat. Who doesn’t? But when the usual suspects are laden with refined grains and tons of sugar, they don’t help us out nutritionally – and that also means mentally, physically and spiritually, if you ask me.


Elana’s Pantry is my go-to resource for all things almond flour, closely followed by Caitlin of Roost. Both of these ladies make do wonderfully on a grain-free diet, and every single recipe is an inspiration. I’ve learned to really love the texture and flavor almond flour brings to baked goods and pancakes, but I’ve found in my own kitchen that it works best when used in combination with other flours. Therefore….


Flaxseed meal! Who would’ve thought? I first discovered the magic of flax in these pancakes, where the little pulverized nutritional powerhouses turned into fluffy, cakey goodness on a hot griddle. My guess is that because ground flax absorbs so much liquid and reacts especially well with beaten eggs, there’s almost no need for flour at all. Make sure to buy milled flaxseed, rather than just ground flaxseed – the finer consistency will give you more of a flour-like texture. I bought a small coffee grinder just for this purpose, and it makes the perfect flax for baking.


Don’t get me wrong – I love sugar. I just hate what it does to my body and mind. The solution? Dates! Dates are incredible. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber, and a carmely, toasty sweetness that reminds me of brown sugar and molasses. The best way to use them is soaked in warm water, pitted, chopped, and blended in with the liquid ingredients. You could also eat them with a smear of peanut butter. Delish!

These three tricks are what helped me create the following recipe for DATE & ORANGE POWER MUFFINS. You can forget ginormous cafe muffins and sugary pastries that leave you hungry an hour later, because just one of these muffins has a crazy amount of protein, healthy fat, fiber, vitamins, and deliciousness that will keep you satisfied in every sense of the word. Please make these, and don’t forget to head on over to the column for more fun tidbits!


1 cup almond flour 1/2 cup flaxseed meal 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. sea salt 6 dates, pitted and chopped 3 eggs 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or butter 1/4 cup orange juice 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) 1 Tbsp chia seeds

  • Preheat oven to 350’ and line 10-12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix almond flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda and sea salt.
  • In a blender, mix dates, eggs, oil and orange juice on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds.
  • Divide batter among muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Serve, or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 




This month, I’m keeping cool

In this month’s column, we talk about heat. And what to do about it. Turning on the oven and stove isn’t so inviting when just standing around makes you sweat, but when hunger strikes, what’s there to do?

It can be tempting to find shelter in the air-conditioned confines of your favorite restaurant, or pull a container of frozen yogurt from the freezer and call it a day. But when nutrition is top priority, as it is around my house, neither of these options fully satisfies. 

Which is why I wanted to create a menu that involves very little cooking, if at all, and can be served no matter what the temperature. Enjoy it inside, eat it by the pool, or even pack it for a picnic if a shady patch of grass is within reach. Minimal work, maximum nutrition.

See here for the article and other recipes. Below, quite possibly the best dessert I’ve made in a while.

Raspberry Oat Squares :: Makes 9

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water 3 pints fresh raspberries, rinsed 2 Tbsp. raw or Turbinado sugar 3 cups rolled oats 1/2 cup pecans pinch of sea salt 4 Tbsp. maple syrup 3 Tbsp. olive oil or melted coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375’. Stir water into ground flaxseeds and set aside.
  2. Place raspberries on a cutting board and sprinkle with raw sugar. Gently mash with a fork , leaving some pieces of fruit bigger than others. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add 2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup pecans, and sea salt. Pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Add 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. oil, and the flaxseed-water mixture. Pulse again to combine, until mixture forms a lightly moist dough. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Press dough evenly into an un-greased 8×8 pan. Pour raspberry mixture evenly over the top. 
  5. In a medium bowl, toss 1 cup rolled oats with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup and 2 Tbsp. oil. Once evenly coated, sprinkle mixture over the raspberries in the baking dish. 
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until top is toasted and raspberries are bubbling. Allow to cool completely, or else raspberries will not set. Once at room temperature, slice into squares and serve.

Peaches, berries and summer fare

It’s our last morning of a week-long retreat in the mountains of Lake Tahoe. As I type, sitting in front of a wide, sun-lit window, I am gazing out over the calm, glassy lake and marveling in the stillness of nature. 

I have had plenty of time to cook and bake this week. Somehow, whenever I’m on “vacation,” I am not only hungrier but I crave sweet treats much more often. I am definitely not one to ever skip dessert, but since my family is so active I wanted to make something that wouldn’t weigh us down. 

This had me grabbing peaches and berries by the armful. Fruit makes such a wonderful dessert. Inherently sweet, and you don’t need much to dress it up. I used the fruit all week long in so many ways!

Juicy peaches and blackberries made a quick cobbler. A great topping is the one here, or you could simply toss some oats with maple syrup and butter (or coconut oil) and sprinkle over.

Baked oatmeal always tastes so indulgent for breakfast. Like cold pie on the day after Thanksgiving. This one, based on the recipe here, used peaches, blueberries and almonds.

Plump and delicate raspberries were the stars of these unbelievable bars. The crust is based on the one I use for Pecan Pie Squares, only with maple syrup instead of brown sugar. With only a handful of ingredients necessary to throw them together, along with their ability to be served warm, at room temperature, or cold, I’ll be making these all summer long. 

Stay tuned for recipes in the coming posts. With the holiday weekend upon us, these next few days are sure to find me feasting some more. I’m anxious to know: What summer fare will grace your tables?