X: Xanthan gum in gluten-free pancakes #recipe #AtoZChallenge

Xanthan gum is a great ingredient to use in gluten-free food, with a few caveats. First, you only want to use a small amount or you’ll be subject to it’s laxative qualities. The good news is that you only need small amounts to use as a thickening agent. Second, it is sometimes derived using wheat. In most cases, the amount of residual gluten is so small as to be negligible. However, if you are very gluten sensitive, make sure you know the source of your xanthan gum.

While I don’t eat exclusively gluten free, we generally limit consumption in our household. I’ve found I actually prefer this pancake recipe to the gluten-filled variety I used to make.

Gluten-Free Pancakes

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 3 Tbsp. almond flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp. sugar (or a bit more if you want a sweeter pancake)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking poweder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups water

Sift together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until few lumps remain. Cook like any other pancake.

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O: Grapefruit oolong tea #AtoZChallenge

I started drinking tea about ten years ago. Over that time I’ve tasted a lot of different teas and learned about the various growing regions and seasons. Black tea is generally my go-to variety, particularly Yunnan golden, Keemun and Assam.

Every once and a while, I pick up an oolong. I tend to order from Adagio most often, and this last order I got a sample of a grapefruit oolong, which I finally tried this morning. I had doubts how well this combo would work, but it was actually quite tasty.

What’s your favorite cup of tea?

G: Graeter’s (or the joy of ice cream) #AtoZChallenge

It’s a pretty good bet that an ice cream maker is from Ohio when they have Buckeye-themed ice cream. πŸ™‚

I live in a city that’s full of good ice cream places. You might have heard of Jeni’s–it was one of Oprah’s favorite things. It started here in Central Ohio. I went many times to the original stand at the North Market. I do like Jeni’s, but I more often go to another regional favorite: Graeter’s. It started in Cincinnati, I believe, but you can still go to a local production spot and watch the ice cream being made.

It might sound boring, but I love vanilla ice cream, and Graeter’s just might have the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I refuse to look at the fat content!

Their peach ice cream in the summer and the eggnog ice cream in December are highlights of my year. They also make some damn fine milk chocolate. I never have to wonder what to get my stepmother for Christmas. πŸ™‚

Recently, their distribution has grown to supermarkets all over the country, but definitely check out a shop if you’re ever in my neck of the woods.

What are your favorite ice cream places?

B: Bananas as an obsession and in a #recipe #AtoZChallenge

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According to my mom, when I was a small child I couldn’t get enough bananas. I ate so many that I came to hate them instead of love them. I wouldn’t eat them for years. Not by themselves, not in Jell-o, not in a smoothie. It took well into adulthood for me to give them a try again. Shocker: I no longer hated bananas. They never did become my favorite food, but they have their uses. One is as a base recipe for two-ingredient cookies. Full disclosure: I’ve never made these with just two ingredients.

Two-Ingredient Cookies

  • Mix two smashed bananas (peeled, of course πŸ˜‰ )with one cup of quick-cook oatmeal.
  • Spoon onto greased cookies sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

Now for the fun part. Mix-ins take these from basic cookies to specialized goodness. Here are two of my favorite combos, but I encourage you to get creative.

Chocolate Chia

  • Chocolate Chia

    basic recipe

  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chia seed
  • 2 Tbsp. honey

Blueberry Delight

  • basic recipe
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of shaved white chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. honey