Your family will love these apple and cinnamon flavoured pancakes for breakfast. Top them with maple syrup, coconut yoghurt, extra apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I've used local West Australian "Pink Lady" apples but any apple will work in this recipe. A breakfast high in protein and healthy fats will keep your family fuller for longer. To save time, you can cook your apples the night before.
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Heat a frypan on medium heat and add the chopped apple, coconut sugar, ghee and cinnamon. Stir to coat the apple and spread out in a single layer over the pan and cook for 5 minutes until just tender and a little syrup has formed over the apple pieces. Set aside to cool.
Add the almond meal, arrowroot, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and stir well to combine. Add the eggs, coconut milk and maple syrup to the dry ingredients and use a hand-held electric beater on medium speed to create a smooth batter (approximately 20 seconds).
Spoon the apple mixture into the batter and gently stir through.
Heat a large frypan over medium heat and coat with coconut oil. Scoop up 1/4 cup quantities of the mixture and pour into the pan. Cook for approximately 3 minutes until golden (reduce the heat if bottoms brown too quickly), then gently flip as the top batter will still be a bit wet (I find using 2 spatulas help when turning) and cook a further 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve warm with maple syrup, vanilla coconut yoghurt and some extra cooked apple on top. They are also delicious warm spread with ghee or grass-fed butter and a mixture of coconut sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. They can also be served cold as a snack and spread with butter if you tolerate a little dairy.
The pancakes can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. To serve, preheat oven to 160c (fan-forced) and place pancakes in a single layer on a lined tray and heat for 5 - 8 minutes. Top with your favourite toppings.
Apples can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried, they are low in kilojoules and are a good source of vitamin C, which makes them a good choice for a healthy snack. When using fresh sliced apple, the surface will go brown as oxygen from the air reacts with an enzyme in the apple flesh. This reaction can be stopped by cooking the apple or brushing with lemon juice, drying the apple slices will also kill the enzyme. Apples are high in fibre, including soluble fibre. Packed with numerous phytochemicals such as quercetin that is know to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Purchase organic if possible, apples should always be washed before eating, if they have been waxed it's best to peel them as it will prevent pesticide residues from being washed off.
Coconut palm sugar is produced from the sap of the flower bud of the coconut palm tree and is a natural food sweetener. I use it when a dry sweetener is required. It has the benefit of a low glycemic index (low GI 35 compared to sugar at 68) and nutritional content. Use in baked goods as an occasional treat but don't over indulge.
Ghee is clarified butter, it is pure butter fat that has had the milk solids removed. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brand is Organic Valley Purity Farms which I purchase online from iherb. It is also very easy to make yourself.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.
Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).
Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.
Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.