Pancakes alla Zucca

(read in English)

Ogni anno aspetto pazientemente il ritorno delle zucche per aggiungerle all’impasto dei pancakes. Anche se in casa spesso usiamo cose come banane, rape o spinaci nei pancakes, non c’è niente che si possa paragonare al mischiare zucca, spezie e farina integrale.. è un’insieme di ingredienti che ha sempre un non so che di speciale!

Ci tengo a fare un appunto sulla ricetta, visto che quest’impasto tende ad essere un po’ più difficile da gestire rispetto ad altri. Ho provato varie combinazioni per questi pancakes (e ne proverò tante altre in futuro, visto che adoro improvvisare) ed anche questa ricetta ho dovuto prepararla un paio di volte prima di poter essere sicura delle quantità. Se aggiungi troppa zucca e/o troppo liquido, tendono a rimanere troppo molli e non si cuociono bene. Consiglio di utilizzare della zucca cotta al forno (per il contenuto d’acqua) e controllare l’impasto passo dopo passo – in realtà, questo è un passaggio che trovo molto istruttivo ed utile perchè ti aiuta ad essere più consapevole di ciò che stai facendo e di come prepari i tuoi piatti!

Io ho deciso di servirli con sciroppo di datteri e delle mele tagliate a tocchetti (saltate in padella per 1 minuto con un pochino di ghee e della cannella). Chiara x

Pancakes alla Zucca

Ingredienti

  • 100 g di zucca cotta (meglio se cotta al forno)
  • 80 g di farina integrale (grano o farro – usa la farina di riso integrale per una versione senza glutine se necessario)
  • 1 uovo
  • 1 cucchiaio di semi di lino macinati
  • circa 70 ml di acqua o bevanda vegetale (quelle alla nocciola, mandorla, o anacardi sono ottime in questa ricetta)
  • 1 cucchiaino di ghee o burro (ammorbidito a temperatura ambiente)
  • 1 cucchiaino di lievito per dolci
  • 1 cucchiaino di cannella in polvere
  • 1 cucchiaino di zenzero in polvere
  • un pizzico di pepe di Giamaica (puoi usare la noce moscata in alternativa)
  • un pizzico di sale

In una ciotola, mischia le spezie, l’uovo, il ghee, i semi di lino, e la zucca (prepara una purea di zucca frullandola con la minima quantità di acqua o bevanda vegetale necessaria). Inizia ad aggiungere la farina ed altro liquido se necessario (a questo punto avrai usato già una parte del liquido per frullare la zucca, quindi ne avrai solo una piccola part avanzata per l’impasto). Mischia bene con una frusta finchè non otterrai un impasto omogeneo e senza grumi. Avendo la zucca nell’impasto, è importante controllare la consistenza passo dopo passo. Scalda una padella, meglio se anti-aderente, su fuoco medio con 1/3 di cucchiaino di ghee. Usa circa 3 cucchiai di impasto per ogni pancake e cuocili da entrambi i lati finchè non si riescono a girare bene con una spatola. Continua a mischiare l’impasto anche mentre cuoci i pancakes (con queste quantità dovresti riuscire a prepararne circa 6).


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Pumpkin pancakes

(read in Italian)

Every year, I patiently wait for the return of pumpkins to add them into my pancakes. While at home we both love adding some mashed bananas or beetroots or spinach into pancakes, the combination of pumpkin, spices, and whole grain flour is always a bit magical!

But keep in mind that adding pumpkin to your pancakes can be tricky! I had to adjust the batter a few times to get it right but, in the end, the result was delicious. If you add too much pumpkin and/or liquid, they just remain too moist and not well cooked. So just go for roasted pumpkin, with less water, and check your batter step by step as you prepare it – I actually love this step: you learn to be more aware of what you are doing and how you prepare your food!

I have decided to top them with some date syrup and chopped apples tossed with a bit of melted ghee and cinnamon. Chiara x

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 100 g cooked pumpkin (better if roasted)
  • 80 g whole grain flour (use wheat or spelt – brown rice flour for a gluten-free version if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milled flaxseeds
  • approx. 70 ml water or a plant-based drink (hazelnut, almond, or cashew work well)
  • 1 tsp of ghee or butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • a pinch of all spice
  • a pinch of salt

In a medium-sized bowl, combine spices, ghee, flaxseeds, egg, pumpkin (make a puree with your pumpkin using a blender – add the minimum amount of water or plant-based drink necessary to blend it). Mix well these ingredients and start adding the flour (add also more liquid when necessary – at this point, you have already used some of the total amount to blend the pumpkin, so you have just a small part left). Stir until there are no lumps. The batter tends to be particularly tricky due to the pumpkin, so learn how to check it step by step. Heat a frying pan, preferably a non-stick one, on a medium heat with 1/3 tsp of ghee. Use 3 tbsp for each pancake, moving the pan until the batter is evenly distributed. Cook each pancake until it can be easily flipped with a spatula. Keep the batter well mixed. Using these quantities, you will be able to make approx. 6 pancakes.



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Talking about FODMAPS

WHAT ARE FODMAPS?
Fodmaps are short-chain carbohydrates that some people poorly absorb and digest
=> so in some people, they can cause digestive issues and aggravate the symptoms of conditions like IBS (for these individuals the fodmaps pass through most of the intestine remaining unchanged).

WHAT DOES FODMAPS MEAN?
FODMAPS = Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols

FERMENTABLE: compounds that are broken down by bacteria in the large intestine
OLIGOSACCHARIDES: simple sugars connected together (in a polymeric structure)
DISACCHARIDES: double sugar molecule
MONOSACCHARIDES: single sugar molecule
POLYOLS: sugar alcohols

EXAMPLES OF HIGH FODMAP FOODS?*
Garlic, onions, beans, fermented cabbage, ripe bananas, dates, pears, apples, figs, cherries, peaches, wheat flour, spelt flour, semolina, rye, cashews, sweeteners, honey, agave milk, yogurt.

EXAMPLES OF LOW FODMAP FOODS?*
Squash, kale, ginger, courgettes, eggplant, carrots, olives, unripe bananas, kiwi, grapes, papaya, orange, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, fresh cod-salmon-trout, crab, mussels, prawns, oats, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, walnuts, butter, eggs, tofu, oils, cacao.
[*source: ibsdiets website]

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The LOW FODMAP diet has been studied especially in relation to people suffering from IBS and seems to be helpful in improving their quality of life (IBS = irritable bowel syndrome, a digestive disorder). A low fodmap diet can also be beneficial for people with other digestive-related diseases.

It’s IMPORTANT to remember that FODMAPS ARE NOT bad from a general point of view. But knowing more about them is a big step for people suffering from conditions affecting their digestive system.

IBS or other digestive issues can be not only difficult to manage, but also frustrating and cause of embarrassment. So, it’s even more important than usual for the people who are affected from this kind of health issues, to build a good relationship with their body, being able to love the food that they choose to put on the table, and feel a little bit more in control of how food affects their days. Things that can help: knowing your triggers (both regarding food and lifestyle), keeping a food diary, trying new ingredients or recipes (but also different portions) and keep track if they worked well for you or not.

 

 

 


Questions? Would you like to know how I can help you?Let today be the start of something NEW (44)

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Chickpea Flour and Kefir Pancakes

It’s that time of the year once again, the Carnival season is almost at the end and most of us are getting ready for Pancake Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (depending on where you live). Last year, I have published on these pages a recipe for pancakes made with spelt flour and flaxseeds that are still one of the favourite recipes among my readers and clients. From my point of view, pancakes should be something that you can easily cook and fit into your healthy lifestyle: in such a simple way, you can turn a regular weekday breakfast into something special, even when you don’t have too much time (and yes, you can make them in advance). Prepare a batter using nutrient-rich whole foods, experiment with different flours or combinations, try to add some colour to your pancakes (beetroots, spinach, kale, cacao, turmeric… just to name a few)… then pair them with simple toppings that will add extra nutrients to your breakfast (yogurt, kefir, nut butter, fresh and seasonal fruit, salmon, cheese, avocado, etc… GET CREATIVE!).

For this recipe, I have prepared some simple crepes-style pancakes using only a few ingredients – they are filled with a delicious raw orange cream (it’s similar to one that I have already published here, but check below for the details). In addition, I have used some dark chocolate and fresh fruit as toppings.

An alternative: you can use the same recipe to make some delicious fluffy pancakes – adjust the batter using less water since you’ll need a thicker one (then I use 3 tbsp of batter for each pancake).

Hope you’ll like them as much as I do! Chiara x

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Chickpea Flour and Kefir Pancakes

Ingredients
(makes 6-7 large crepes-style pancakes)

For the batter:
150 g chickpea flour
100 ml plain kefir
300 ml water
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil (for cooking)

For the cream:
2 blood oranges
5 dried apricots
1 ½ tsp ginger powder

Toppings:
some dark chocolate (85% or higher)
1 apple
1 small banana

To make the batter: in a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, kefir, water, and the baking powder. Stir until there are no lumps (add the water slowly in small portions – check if and when your batter needs more water). Let it rest for 5-10 min. Add more water if needed (the batter will be pretty liquid, to allow you to make these large and thin pancakes). Heat a frying pan, preferably a non-stick one, on a medium heat with ½ tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Use 5 tbsp for each pancake, moving the pan until the batter is evenly distributed and using a spoon to help you. Cook each pancake until it can be easily flipped with a spatula. Keep the batter well mixed. Using these quantities, you will be able to make approx. 6-7 pancakes (I usually consider 2 of them as serving size, and prepare more to use for a quick lunch or another breakfast – they keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days).

To make the orange cream: the recipe is similar to one that I have already published on these pages. Peel the oranges, chop them into small pieces and blend them with the chopped apricots and ginger (you can add in the blender some zest as well if you’re using organic oranges). Place the cream inside the pancakes or use half as filling and half as a topping.


 

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Spelt Pancakes with Orange Cream

In Italy we have Fat Tuesday, it’s the last day of the Carnival season. Well, actually there is Fat Thursday as well: a couple of days for indulging in traditional food before Lent. At the begin of January, when you still have a messy house full of decorations, loads of coloured and extra-sugary sweets start to pop up in the shops. And you will start hearing an imperative in your tummy: it’s time to fry! No jokes, it’s all about frying. There are so many kinds of traditional sweets for this time of the year, but 90% of them are fried. I like to cook some of them from time to time, but making a healthier version makes the sweets more enjoyable: so, for example, I use whole grain flour, cut off some of the sugar and use different toppings or fruit, or choose to prepare them in the oven. Continue reading “Spelt Pancakes with Orange Cream”