Pancake Day!

Today is Shrove Tuesday - or Pancake day in the UK.  I remember us having pancakes at home when I was a kid every Shrove Tuesday. The idea about Shrove Tuesday and pancakes was to use up perishables like eggs and milk before lent began - a time of fasting.  My mum would make pancakes and put lemon juice and sugar on them.  It was always fun to watch her - or try myself, to flip them.


Then we had the Dad making pancakes day one time…can't remember if that was Shrove Tuesday or another day, but sadly, he mistakenly used salt instead of the sugar :-(  Poor Dad.  He was so annoyed with himself. Lovely wafer thin pancakes dredged in salt and lemon!!!


I love pancakes - but in the US pancakes aren't pancakes!  Here you have to talk about crepes if you are meaning pancakes.  In the US, pancakes are small and thick and you don't put anything inside them because you can't fold them so there is no inside!

With this in mind, you may be surprised to see an American pancake recipe here, instead of a crepe!  But it all started with a banana.



We had this banana that just looked so pretty. It's little brown spots were just perfect.  I normally like more of an unripe banana but this one caught my eye and just looked so attractive that I told my hubby I would have it for breakfast the next day and he could start on the new less ripe ones.

And so I woke up to my pretty banana and decided to make banana pancakes!  No flour. No eggs or milk getting used up either…!!


Here's the recipe: Makes 8 (US) pancakes

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water
1 banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process the cashews in a food processor. (If you want smooth pancakes, process until well ground. I actually like the texture so I just pulsed it a few times.) Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine.

As you will see from the photos, I cooked my pancakes on the simmering plate of the Aga (my cooker) on a non-stick sheet so I didn't need any oil. If you don't have an Aga - you'll need a little coconut oil in a frying pan and then add the batter…cook for a couple of minutes and then flip and continue cooking.


Yes - very vague directions but you've probably cooked more American pancakes than I have!!!

They are sweet from the banana so I didn't drizzle anything on them and added nothing to them. They were just yummy banana pancakes! Perfect for pancake day :-D  They aren't as firm as American pancakes made with flour but I think you'll like their taste.

Vegan, gluten free, no added oil for us Aga owners, no added sugar, grain free, Paleo,……….  AKA yummy squidgy banana pancakes!

Here are the nutrition facts for 4 pancakes (half of the recipe)
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Homemade Nutella - Hazelnut cocoa spread

Hot on the heels of the latest news this week about 5 tons of Nutella being stolen in Germany - a heist worth $20,710, I made my own last week...but now I think it may not be safe in the kitchen cupboard....Maybe I need to open a safety deposit box to protect it.....

If you give this a go - which you should, as it is so delicious - be sure to keep it in a safe place!!!!!!!

And I hope blogging about a healthy hazelnut cocoa spread recipe isn't considered stealing from Nutella either...but while their recipe has sugar as the first ingredient, plus milk, and palm oil, I think this version is a lot easier on the body.


A few weeks ago you may recall that I made some hazelnut butter...just because I had a few hazelnuts left over. And it got me thinking.......I haven't had Nutella in years.... My biggest Nutella memories come from a trip to Paris many years ago when all I wanted to eat was the Nutella and banana crepes they sold at street vendors.  My husband says he won't ever take me back to Paris again as I won't want to enjoy the fancy restaurants, I'll just want the crepes!

But maybe making my own nutella - a much healthier version - will get me past that and I will get to go to Paris again one day (never mind that the crepes have gluten in so I couldn't eat them now anyhow!).



The recipe was based on one from Chocolate covered Katie. CCK is amazing.  She has just incredible recipes. Here's what I did:

1 cup roasted hazelnuts
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup raw cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1/4 cup homemade cashew milk or non diary milk of your choice

If your hazelnuts aren't already roasted, roast them for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Rub them in a tea towel to get most of the skins off.


Blend the nuts in a Vitamix or food processor until they turn into hazelnut butter.  You may need to scrape down the sides as you do this.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.

Enjoy!  We used it in our dairy alternative class for a recipe and it was a hit with everyone! I'll share that recipe later in the week.
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Chickpea crepes (and upgraded Moroccan Bean Stew)

As I said a couple of days ago, I made a yummy Moroccan bean stew this week - enough for a few meals.

Reheating it, I've added a few other ingredients - which has bulked it out a little so it's gone further, and also improved the flavor, I think.


First of all I added a bunch of kale, fresh from the garden.  Yummy. Tastes even better because you feel all that green is good for you!

And for my last bowl, I've added a handful of currants. I loved the sweetness as part of the spice mix, and wanted to build on that a little, so the currants did the trick.  Not too sweet, like I think raisins could have been, but the currants lift the flavor nicely.


These photos also show my chickpea crepes I made to go with it.  I tried using the batter to make small blinis, but they tasted heavily of "bean" so I wasn't that keen on them.  But the thin crepes don't taste beany at all - so could go with sweet or savory accompaniments.

Here is the chickpea crepe recipe: Makes 6 crepes.
150g chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
1 egg or egg replacement
200ml water

I made the crepes on my aga, so put a non-stick sheet directly on the simmering plate (no frying pan needed) and poured the batter on there, so I didn't need any oil.  I love making pancakes, crepes etc on the aga, directly on the plate!

But if you don't have an aga :-(, heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan.  Add some batter and swirl it around the pan to spread it out into a circle and cook on medium heat until the edge start turning golden (~1minute).  Flip it over and cook for another minute.  Remove from the pan and keep warm.

These will make nice wraps too - quite flexible and strong enough to place lots of vegetables in them.

Do you change your meals throughout the week when you make a big pot of something? What sort of things do you add?
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