In an attempt to avoid protein powders after workouts, my standard PWO snack is often just 2 hard-boiled eggs and a spotty banana. Buuuuuut that gets old after a while. I’ve tried the egg and banana pancake idea before (well, like once) and it was a disaster…so I kinda gave up. They are a little tricky and I’ve seen different ratios of egg to banana…like one egg to one banana, two to one, one to two, whatever…but the fact that there’s no dry binding agent means that you need to cook them at a pretty low temperature. And low temps mean a longer cooking time. And I’m inpatient.
I decided to give them another go as I started getting sick of bananas and hard-boiled eggs. Don’t ask me why it took so long, but it finally occurred to me to mash them all together and make pancakes out of them. Best part? They’re great cold, too, so I can toss them in a baggie into my cooler and take them to class.
Like I said, they take a little time and love to make, so my preferred method is to make a ton at the beginning of the week and freeze them. They heat up very nicely in the toaster oven and make a good breakfast on the go (which I’m eating way more of since I have early classes). Make sure you use plenty of fat in cooking…these babies stick easily…and besides, fat is good for you, remember? Duh. Plus a lot of coconut oil makes them all crispy around the edges…OMG. SO GOOD.
Yeah, regular “healthy” banana bread wasn’t going to cut it this week. I needed CAKE, people. Although I must have been high or something because I didn’t make any frosting for it. I must be getting senile. Moving for the third time in 10 months will do that to you. I’m also working with another trainer who likes to change up my macros…a lot…and we all know I suck at math. No, no…it’s a good thing. But my head hurts.
So, cake. I HIGHLY recommend you try goat yogurt. Don’t knock it till you try it…really. While cow’s dairy can cause some issues for people (I get acne and toxic farts…you?), goat’s dairy is a LOT more friendly to the human digestive system. AND it gives a really nice, moist texture to this cake and a slight tang to counteract the sweetness. Sort of like sour cream in many traditional cakes. But I get it…if you’re super duper dairy intolerant or just REALLY don’t want to use dairy, coconut oil is the perfect sub.
Know what’s good, too? Dunk this stuff in coffee. Or slather it in almond butter and stuff it in your face. Or make some thin slices and toss em in the toaster oven (or on a cook top) until a little crispy, and then put maple syrup and butter on top. OMFG.
I’m totally jumping on the “cake batter” wagon. Although part of me really really wants to rant about how annoying it is that food and fitness bloggers seem to think that it’s OK to make up “healthy cake batter protein shakes” or “healthy cake batter pudding” or “healthy cake batter…whatever” that are flavored with yellow cake mix or instant pudding or artificial, chemical-laden imitation flavor extracts–I won’t. Because I made my own “cake batter” thing and I’m super proud of it, so I’m not really in an asshole-ish mood this morning.
Let’s get one thing straight, though–we all know my stance on dairy, so it SHOULD go without saying that if you’re intolerant or are abstaining from dairy, then this recipe is not for you. Lately I’ve been experimenting with goat’s dairy and have really been pleased. Unlike cow’s dairy, it doesn’t mess with my skin or my energy levels, and for many people with some moderate intolerance toward cow’s dairy seem to do better on goat’s dairy products. (Want more info on the Great Dairy Debate, check out the articles here, here, and here).
OK so let’s get to the good stuff. What makes something “cake batter”-y? It’s actually pretty simple. You need a creamy element, a sweet element, a vanilla element, and a buttery element. Since I’m not lazy or dense enough to think that yellow cake mix is a “healthy” option, I had to experiment a little. The yogurt base was obvious (if you’re cool with it, full-fat Greek yogurt would be good, too), and then I got all meathead-like and used vanilla protein (still addicted to SPN). The buttery part was a challenge, but I settled on some pure almond extract and it works beautifully. And finally, because I clearly couldn’t use sprinkles, I settled on some raw, unsweetened carob chips as a garnish…I’m obsessed with them, btw…they’re like, chocolate-y but almost coffee-ish, too. Like, the two things that make life worth living. On top of something that tastes like cake batter. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Apparently I missed the Valentine’s boat this year and am only now becoming obsessed with anything and everything red velvet…to be fair, I’m ALWAYS obsessed with red velvet stuff. Chocolate, the color red, and cream cheese frosting. Um. DUH.
You may remember waaaaaay back when I did my original Red Velvet Cupcakes that I used beet juice to color the cakes. It worked fine, the cupcakes tasted great…but I won’t pretend like I was 100% satisfied with the more brown-red-brick color. Good red velvet cakes need to be RED. So I did a little digging and found some buzz over raw beet puree. And it MUST BE RAW to get good color…so don’t go trying to use nasty-ass canned stuff. Just take a whole beet, dice it up, and toss it into the food processor. Scrape down the sides periodically and add a few tablespoons of water as needed until you have what resembles red applesauce.
Yes, I was skeptical at first and half expected my bread to come out tasting like a Pancake Borscht or something. Yep. Totally undetectable. And, I mean, beets are like…SUPER good for you. Which means all my red velvet things from now on will make me live forever, right?
I know I’m gonna get lynched for posting a recipe with whey, I just know it. Don’t hate. While dairy is not a staple in my diet, I do use whey protein and goat’s yogurt from time to time, so just deal with it, k? I bet someone’s going to hate on me for using carob chips, too. Not sure why you would, but every time I roll out some new ingredient I get some push-back. OK, listen. I happen to like carob chips a lot…I think they taste like little coffee-chocolate drops and that’s amazing. And carob, unlike chocolate, is caffeine-free and doesn’t need any added sugar. And you can make them yourself! If you’re still going to pitch a fit over my use of whey and carob, use egg protein and regular chocolate chips instead. Problem solved.
I made this bread because I a) reallyreallyreally wanted something chocolate and b) needed a quick breakfast/PWO snack on the run that was packed with protein. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a total meathead. In fact, I haven’t worn any pants that weren’t either sweats or spandex in nature for…a month. No, two months. Wow. I also haven’t touched a bra that wasn’t of the sports variety for even longer. That’s saying something because I have teensy tiny boobies. I probably look like a homeless person 99.99999% of the time. Kinda sad. No wonder I needed chocolate this week…
There are plenty of those folks who will tell you, “Oh, no…I don’t miss ANYTHING from my non-Paleo days!” Not this girl. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff I just don’t really care about anymore (bread, for example…which is totally insane because there was a period of my life when a hunk of bread with butter or jam or cheese and a glass of milk was literally all I ate for every meal of the day…and I wondered why I was anemic…). And then there are those occasional cravings I get for the most random stuff–pizza, pancakes, CAKE–but after a few years I’ve gotten pretty good at either Paleo-ifying said dishes or at least imitating the flavors and textures of my old favorites.
Oh, but then there’s cereal. There’s something about stumbling out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, grabbing the box, dumping a mound of bran flakes in a bowl, and smothering it with ice cold milk. For the most part, Paleo “cereals” just don’t do it for me…they’re almost always nut-based and more granola than cereal. You have to understand, I’m partial to flake or puff-like cereals like your Raisin Bran, Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs, Special K, Honey Nut Cheerios, Oh’s…you get the idea. Since I’ve been dabbling with the higher carb Perfect Health Diet protocol lately, I’ve thought about trying some organic rice-based cereals, but for one I have yet to find one that’s not either brown rice based or full of wacky additives (the second ingredient on Chocolate Chex is corn syrup) and for another I’m not as crazy about white rice as a carb source because it’s so devoid of nutrients. OK, sorry…that’s another conversation completely. So, cereal.
I’ve been playing around with some different stuff, trying to come up with something fast, easy, and with good texture. And then I got a little artsy-fartsy and made The Cereal Matrix.
All you gots ta do is pick an item(s) from each column to build your cereal. Boom. It’s kinda fun, and in the process I made some good ones–like my recipe for Carrot Cake Cereal. Kind’ve a big deal. But if that’s not your bag of chips, try some bananas. Get wacky and add some exotic dried fruit (or veggies! I won’t judge!). Can’t eat nuts? Don’t add nuts. On a Whole30 or 21DSD? Nix the sweetener. Did you think of something awesome not listed on The Matrix? Add it anyway! (And share in the comments!) Democracy is fun
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a pancake kick lately. And it’s only now I figured out that putting chocolate and coffee in them was a good idea. Yeah, I’m a little slow…but I blame the back to back case studies I got handed this week. Seriously, my brain is mush. So I’m stressed out. And when I’m stressed out, I wake up at 5am craving chocolate and coffee. With butter. You’re welcome.
I know, I know…I’ll probably never be able to imitate the yeasty doughiness of wheat-based Cinnabuns. It’s the gluten, you guys, it’s always the gluten that makes so many of my favorite things impossible to re-create. Not just Cinnabuns, either, but croissants, phyllo dough, exploding tins of Grands biscuits…
But you know what? I can have my morning cinnabun without…you know…having it explode out the other end. TMI?
I think the best part of these, though, is the cream cheese frosting. I could eat an old flip flop if it had cream cheese frosting on it. I used the same frosting recipe I had for my Red Velvet Cupcakes last year, and it’s my favorite…if dairy is all good with you, then have at it, just use full fat organic stuff to avoid any nasty fillers. If you’re not all about the dairy thang, no worries! I got you covered…remember my Almond Butter Bacon Banana Donuts? Silly me, of course you do…but the cinnamon cream frosting I made for those is cinnabun-friendly, too! Oh, and raw almond butter with a drizzle of honey is KILLER as a frosting, too.
One more note on these–I am a HUGE fan of palm shortening in general, so naturally I’d encourage you to use it for this recipe if you can. It’s a highly stable saturated fat that will keep these babies nice and moist and won’t go rancid in the baking process. I get mine direct from Tropical Traditions (beware, some other brands highly process their palm shortening and even add vegetable and soy oils), but if you absolutely must use something else, coconut cream concentrate or coconut oil are your best bets.
Aren’t these just so gosh darned CUTE? I feel like Lady Mary Crawley at tea time…which is sooooooo much better than sending your resume to a bajillion places and being reminded over and over and over again how much you suck at life. I mean…look, my dream since I was like, 10, has been to go to culinary school. For real. Or at least in between bouts of wanting to be an astronaut or a professional bodybuilder. I floated the idea again to my friend the other day, and out of the goodness of her heart, she reminded me that I’d probably only be a second rate chef. And as much as I was suddenly overcome with a desire to kick her in the teeth (I’m so sweet), it’s probably true. I don;t like staying up past 8pm on weekdays, I don’t much care for being told how to make…well, ANYTHING, and I had enough of being yelled all the time in basic training. Guess it’s time to give Space Camp another shot.
I have tried Paleo French toast so may damned times it hurts. And no hate on my fellow bloggers–really!!–but your run-of-the-mill Paleo bread (cakey, dense, often nut-based) doesn’t cut it. It almost never absorbs any batter and if you soak it too long it falls apart. What you end up with is a nice warm slice of bread with scrambled eggs on top.
Enter my new favorite bread. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of it. It makes good sandwiches, toasts, crostini…and now French toast. Trust me on this–you actually get that nice, spongy texture we know and love with a creamy, custard-y filling.