Yesterday I was introduced to a beautiful, new-to-me blog The First Mess. I scrolled through post after post and recipe after recipe, mentally bookmarking every single one! There are food blogs galore and many of them filled with interesting options but this is the very first one that has appealed to me so strongly. I do believe I will have to approach it in the Julie and Julia fashion (minus the craziness) - a recipe a day until I have conquered the lot! Seriously, every single recipe begs me to make it.
Accordingly, first thing this morning I rolled out of our lazy-Saturday-morning-bed knowing exactly what breakfast would be. These breakfast cakes are a little more involved than many of their kin but oh my! with every bite your mind sings "worth every moment" - not that they take all that many moments, just a few more than ... buttermilk pancakes or what have you. More than healthy, more than delicious - these are perfect. The crunch of the quinoa, the mellowness of the almond, the fragrance of the coconut, the caramelled bananas... mmmwha!! I made a couple of very minimal changes to the recipe as written on The First Mess - basically tweaked the method because I am lazy. Not having tried Laura's method and thus having no true basis for comparison, I may not be in a position to make this claim but I would venture that the shortcuts were not made to the detriment of the cakes. I also opted to throw in an egg because I firmly believe that eggs are good for you. If you wanted to make these gluten-free simply swap the spelt flour for your favourite all-purpose gf mix.
David's take? I quote: (After the first bite and through a full mouth) "these are yummy!" and a few minutes later "top of my list for pancakes". Take that seriously folks - he is somewhat of a connoisseur. For what it is worth, I totally agree. Definite make agains.
And if you are not yet a fan of The First Mess I can promise you a lovely visit if you go. From the pics to the food. Perfect.
coconut, almond, banana & quinoa breakfast cakes
(from The First Mess)
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, divided + extra for pan
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup black quinoa
1 cup milk of your choice (I used almond)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cup almond flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced
cacao nibs, maple syrup, strawberries, and greek yogurt for serving
First cook the quinoa: in a small saucepan melt 1/2 Tbsp of the coconut oil. When it is liquid and fragrant add the cinnamon, give that a quick stir and then stir in the quinoa with a pinch of sea salt. Let that toast up a bit and then add a scant cup of water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes. If there is any water left in the pan drain it off and let the quinoa cool.
Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside for 5 minutes or so to curdle. Then add the egg and vanilla and whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, coconut sugar, sea salt, and almond flour.
Add the remaining 2 Tbsp coconut oil to the cooling quinoa. Since the coconut oil melts at such a low temperature it will easily melt into the quinoa. Stir it all together and scrape the lot into the flour mixture. Add the milk, egg, vanilla mixture to that and gently fold everything together until it is evenly mixed.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and brush with coconut oil. Drop the batter by 1/4 cup-fuls onto the hot pan. (If the batter is thick you may need to spread it a bit with the bottom of the scoop) Press 3 or 4 banana slices into the top of the batter. Flip when bubbles form on the top and the bottom is browned.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, a handful of sliced strawberries, a sprinkle of cacao nibs, and a dribble (or a pour) of maple syrup. Really, truly perfect.
The changes I made were:
-add the cacao nibs after baking the cakes because adding heat to raw cacao seems a bit ridiculous to me.
-melt the coconut oil into the quinoa and use almond flour instead of using almond meal that is blended together with the coconut oil. One less dirty appliance and one less step.
-add the egg and vanilla to the curdled milk
-strawberries. Because I love berries and pancakes. And because they are just one more layer of good for you.