Baked Butternut Squash Pancake with Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote

On New Year’s Day, I wanted to make a special breakfast for my honey but I wanted it to be good for me, too, after all the holiday indulgences. I hadn’t planned anything ahead of time so I had to scrounge in the fridge, and I saw that we had a bunch of leftover butternut squash from a risotto Chris had made for a dinner party. A quick Google search led me to this recipe, which I revised a little to make it SCD legal and, um, possible.

You see, I have a problem making paleo pancakes. No matter how many times I try, I can’t get it right. I try high heat, low heat, medium heat, cast iron, non-stick ceramic, lots of oil, a little oil, and I inevitably end up with an infuriating glop of pancake mush or burned little pucks. Even when the people who write the recipes swear that this is the best/easiest/simplest paleo pancake ever. I tried frying this batter and the first attempt had to be rinsed down the drain, so I improvised and decided to bake the rest of the batter instead. And, guess what!? It turned out to be delicious! It was also easier and less messy than frying individual pancakes, making this a perfect addition to a low-key weekend breakfast.

Here is what the pancake looks like coming out of the oven. You can kind of see how the edges are pulling away from the pan.

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And voila. Breakfast. I ate mine without maple syrup and it was still sweet and moist.

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Baked Butternut Squash Pancake Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote Ingredients

  • 1 small carton blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (or feel free to replace with juice)

Baked Butternut Squash Pancake with Orange Blackberry Bourbon Compote Method

  • Place a cast iron pan on a middle rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Meanwhile, combine all compote ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 30-45 minutes, until the fruit is broken down and the liquid somewhat reduced. Remove from heat to let thicken.
  • Place all pancake ingredients, except butter, in a food processor and blend until very smooth.
  • Once the oven is preheated, add the butter to the preheated pan and swirl to coat. Pour pancake batter into the pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, until the top is set and golden and the sides of the pancake are pulling away from the pan. Slice and serve with a generous spoonful of compote, and maple syrup (ok for paleo, not for SCD!).
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Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie

I haven’t blogged in a while primarily because I recently got both of Danielle Walker’s fabulous cookbooks and I’ve been cooking everything in them. I’ve been eating lots of good food, but none of it has really been original. If you are paleo or SCD, I can’t recommend her cookbooks enough. Her recipes have never failed us!

However, all of our feasting came to an abrupt halt when my GI doctor put me on a round of hefty antibiotics because he was worried I was forming a new abscess. While he was encouraged by my progress over all, ramping up medication always feels like a bit of a failure on my part. It’s easy for me to start thinking, “did this happen because I let myself get too stressed,” or, “if I hadn’t eaten out that one time a couple weeks ago, would I be feeling better today?” I’ve been learning about meditation and mindfulness, because it is one of the things that people with chronic illness report as being most helpful to them, and I’ve been reading about just how self-destructive these kinds of thoughts are. It is better to react to setbacks with self-compassion and equanimity since we can never know for sure if there was anything we could have done to alter the outcome, and allowing negative and stressful thoughts to control us only further exacerbates both physical symptoms and mental suffering. So I’ve been working on that during this round of treatment.

Anyway, the antibiotics make me so nauseous I can’t even stand to look at most food–much less cook it and eat it. Plus, my GI doc stressed the importance of probiotics while I was on the antibiotics, so I started drinking most of my meals instead. I’ve been making all kinds of smoothies, often times with some hidden veggies or a raw pasteurized egg blended in so it makes a better meal replacement, but the following recipe is my absolute favorite–light and easy on the tummy, and it even helps those of us who are still dealing with summer weather get into the fall spirit. It tastes way better than a pumpkin spice latte when the AC is still running!

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Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup SCD legal yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
  • about 8 ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plain almond butter (optional; it makes the smoothie richer and adds some good fats and a little protein)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Apple Spice Probiotic Smoothie Ingredients

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend! If it’s too thin, add a few more chunks of banana or ice cubes. If it’s too thick, add apple juice until it blends easily. This makes one large meal-sized serving, or two generous snack-sized portions.

 

Dairy Free Peachy Mint Ice Cream

Ok, you guys, I know what I’m eating for the rest of the summer.

In the rest of the northern hemisphere, it might be a season called “spring” right now. But in the desert, we have moved right on to summer. I already feel like just skipping meals altogether and only consuming cold beverages and smoothies until October. But my biggest illegal craving has been ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato…I’m dying for it, but I know how much I will regret indulging afterwards. So, I’ve come up with a sweet and refreshing frozen treat that is based mostly off of actual frozen fruit. I mean, I’m not going to lie; it’s not my old favorite Karamel Sutra (sigh) but it also doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m going to die every time I eat it.

First blend up the cream with the mint and honey. Once you add the fruit you really don’t want to over-process because the food processor motor will heat up and melt it.cam00059_2

Add peaches.cam00060_2

Done! Seriously, how easy was that!?cam00062_2

Dairy Free Peachy Mint Ice Cream (Serves 2, or 1 on a bad day…)

  • 1/2 cup cold coconut cream
  • 1 cup frozen peaches (technically, any frozen fruit will do, and I can imagine strawberries or mango being realllly good for example, but this Texas girl has a thing for peach ice cream)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

  • Combine coconut cream, mint, honey, and vanilla in food processor and process until the mint is well incorporated.
  • Add the frozen peaches and process until smooth.
  • Eat immediately; or, if you want it a little more solid, pop it into the freezer for about 30 minutes. If you freeze it much longer than that, you might need to let it thaw slightly and then re-blend it a little to make it creamy rather than icy. Garnish with extra mint if desired

Spiced Pear Breakfast Nut Crumble

My mom was recently telling me about how my grandma can’t eat raw fruit anymore, and how much she misses it. Since I’m in the same boat, I started thinking about how to work in cooked fruit. I came up with this easy baked pear dish that is perfect for breakfast served with yogurt or even as a light dessert.

Start with the nuts!Image

Then bake them.P1000540

While that’s baking, prepare the fruit. Here’s what you’ll need.P1000541

And here’s what it will look like ready to go into the oven.P1000542

And coming out of the oven…P1000543

Breakfast of champions!P1000545

Sea Salt Nut Crunchies Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used half hazelnuts, half almonds, but any combination you like is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Spiced Pear Filling Ingredients

  • 4 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or equivalent of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Add all ingredients for the sea salt nut crunchies to a food processor with the blade attached. Process until they are broken down a bit but not yet turned into a nut meal.
  • Spread mixture on a parchment paper or silicone mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until they are fragrant but not browned. Resist the urge to eat all the warm nuts, but go ahead and eat a few because they are reaalllyyyyy good.
  • While nuts are baking, combine all ingredients except for butter in a small casserole dish. Resist the urge to gobble up all your spiced pears raw. Place the pieces of butter on top.
  • Turn oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes, until fruit is soft and liquid is bubbling. Top with nut mixture and serve plain or with yogurt.