Plantain Pancakes- Version 2.0 (Paleo, Vegan, AIP, Grain, Egg, Dairy Free)

Plantain Pancakes

One of the first recipes I posted on Created To Be Paleo was our favorite Plantain Pancakes (here). Still a great recipe, but I have continued to tinker, and come up with what I am calling Version 2.0 (and knowing me, there will probably be a 3.0 someday.) They are just enough different that I thought a new post was called for.

I make up a few batches of these one or two mornings a week, and then keep them in the fridge or freezer for an easy breakfast. In fact, I make them so often, I don’t ever even have to reference my little scribbled Hello Kitty paper for the recipe to make them any more. Aurora likes to sit up on the counter and help me make them- she helps peel the plantains and runs the blender, then licks the yummy batter. My kids and husband love them with chocolate chips, but I prefer them with fruit, like strawberries, peaches, or cranberries. (They are pictured above with cranberries- a surprisingly fun combination of sweet and tart that I LOVE.) I love that they don’t require any added sweeteners, and that they are from our favorite ingredient, plantains, which makes them inexpensive, too. And because they don’t have any added sweeteners, they were a nice Whole Life Challenge compliant breakfast (or dinner) treat for me.

I’ve found that as long as you use approximately the same size plantains, it doesn’t really matter too much in terms of the final product- this recipe is very forgiving. And the riper the ripe plantain is, the sweeter the resulting pancakes will be.

 

Plantain Pancakes
Yields 12
A delicious breakfast staple in our house. Make extra to grab later in the week. Try them with chocolate chips or the seasonal fruit of your choice.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large ripe plantain (anywhere from solid yellow to black- the riper it is the sweeter the pancakes will be)
  2. 2 large green plantains
  3. 1/4 C oil
  4. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  6. 1/4 C chia seed meal (ground chia seeds)
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1-2 Tbsp water may be needed to make a smooth batter
  9. Mix-in of choice: chocolate chips, blueberries, sliced strawberries or peaches, cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat a non-stick griddle or skillet to med-high (about 300)
  2. Peel the plantains and cut into chunks. Add to a high speed blender along with the oil, vanilla, and ACV. Puree until a smooth batter is formed.
  3. Add the chia seed meal and baking soda. Blend until well combined. If batter is too thick, you may need to add 1-2 Tbsp water.
  4. Stir in any mix-ins and spoon by generous spoonfuls onto the preheated griddle. Use the back of the spoon to spread out the batter a bit. (Not too much though, the thicker they are the better they seem to reheat.)
  5. Turn after a few minutes, when the edges start to look a bit dry. Cook until done, then enjoy!
  6. Makes 12-15, depending on how large the plantains were.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

 

 

 

Heavenly Chocolate Cake from Plantains (Grain, dairy, egg, soy, and tree-nut free)

Heavenly Chocolate CakeAurora’s food allergies can be so challenging to overcome- all grains and legumes, plus tree nuts, eggs, and coconut (among many others.) It has certainly been an adventure to come up with fun treats that Aurora can eat and we can all enjoy. For her 2nd birthday, I really wanted her to have a delicious cake just for her. And because the girl loves her some chocolate, it had to contain plenty of chocolately goodness. This cake turns out so moist and tender, every bite deserves being savored.

As you probably already know, plantains are quite a staple in our household, from tostones and plantain chips, to quick breads and pizza crust, plantains have become our go-to base for many new experimental recipes. This recipe just a few minutes to whip up, and is equally good in cake or cupcake form. I make my own plantain flour by dehydrating green plantain slices and then grinding them in a high speed blender until a fine powder. You could buy some here, or try substituting coconut flour.

Heavenly Chocolate Cake from Plantains
Yields 1
A delightful, allergy friendly treat for your next birthday party- or just because! This makes a delicious, tender, moist chocolately cake that will please even the pickiest eater.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large ripe (mostly black) plantains, peeled and cut into chunks.
  2. 3 Tbsp oil of choice
  3. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  4. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  5. 1/2 C plantain flour
  6. 1/4 C cocoa powder
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon (opt.)
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. Additional 1-2 Tbsp water, if needed
  11. 1/2 C chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake pan(s) by lightly greasing, or muffin tins with muffin liners. (I like to use silicone.)
  2. Place the plantain chunks in a high speed blender, along with the oil, vanilla and ACV. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well integrated. If batter is too thick, add 1-2 Tbsp water until a smooth, not too stiff batter is achieved. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon into the cake pan or muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes for cupcakes or 35-40 minutes for cake. They are done when slightly firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before taking out of pan.
Notes
  1. We served this with a filling of crushed strawberries and a touch of honey, and then topped with cut strawberries.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Plantain Pizza Crust or Sandwich Bread (Grain, dairy, egg, soy, nut-free)

Plantain pizza crust

Sometimes I feel such sadness for my kids as they navigate all of their food allergies and GI issues. They are already quite aware that they eat very differently than most of their friends, and we have already had some issues come up with birthday celebrations and playdates. A few weeks ago, my 4 year old son pulled the jar of Daddy’s peanut butter out of the pantry and asked if he could have some with his apple slices. (We were out of almond butter, which he loves.) I told him that he couldn’t eat it because he is allergic and it would hurt his body. When he asked why he was allergic I replied “because that is the way God made your body.” He replied in a very sad, subdued voice “I wish God had made me a body that can eat all kinds of food.” It broke my heart.

Aurora at Castle Park

God didn’t create my childrens’ bodies so they could eat all kinds of food, but I am so very thankful that He did create them to be able to enjoy a wide range of healthy foods, and that He started to raise up awareness of the Paleo movement and its surrounding community right when we needed it the most. My kids eat a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, safe starches, fats, and healthy meats. And because of ideas from other Paleo bloggers and my own need to creatively meet my family’s nutritional needs, I have even been able to bring in occasional treats that nourish their bodies and comfort their sweet hearts. (I am also thankful that I don’t have the checkout line meltdowns when they see all the candy there!)

Jonathan is at an age where he understands when I tell him he can’t eat a food because he is allergic. Unfortunately, Aurora at age two, doesn’t understand, and will eat anything and everything she can get hold of, which can be really tricky at playdates and church.

Aurora at Castle Park

Every kid loves pizza- at least in the US. And I have really struggled to come up with a pizza alternative that my whole family could enjoy together, without thinking about what is missing or different. It is a bit of a struggle to come up with a crust that is delicious, fairly close in texture, taste and substance to the original (wheat) version, and is dairy, egg, nut, soy and grain free. I have made it a couple times with my Chebe Bread Hack, but that gets a bit gummy. Before Aurora joined our family and we didn’t have a tree nut allergy to contend with, I adapted an almond flour pizza crust by Elena Amsterdam (from this cookbook.)

But it was definitely time to think way outside the box and come up with something that would work for a pizza crust for the whole family. As always, I circled back to our love of everything plantain, which I think must be one of the most versatile foods on the planet. We have really loved integrating this into our menu planning- it’s so fun to have a pizza night every once in a while! (In fact, Jonathan asked for it for dinner tonight.)

We top our pizza with homemade basil pesto, bell pepper, zucchini, pepperoni, ham, sausage, and sometimes caramelized onions. Just choose your favorite toppings, or let your kids make their own delicious creations.

4 Plantain pizzas

As an added bonus for my sandwich loving son (who has never had anything that could even remotely be considered sandwich bread), I discovered it makes a great sandwich bread. Great to have a “bread” we can use to make and take sandwiches for a picnic.

Sandwiches with plantain bread

Jonathan approved

Plantain Pizza Crust or Sandwich Bread
Serves 6
A delicious pizza crust or sandwich bread made from plantains. Soooo good!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large green plantains, peeled and cut into chunks
  2. 1/4 C nutritional yeast
  3. 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  4. 1/4 C oil or fat of choice (may need additional to make smooth batter)
  5. 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. Optional: salt and Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top.
  7. Pizza toppings of your choice. i.e. tomato sauce or pesto, veggies, pepperoni, sausage, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a high speed blender, puree all of the ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed. You may need to add a bit more oil to get a smooth batter.
For pizza crust
  1. Spoon about 1/4 C of batter onto prepared baking sheets. (I can usually get 4 crusts on a baking sheet.) Use a spatula to spread out into a small circle, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. (For a thin, crunchy crust, spread it thinner. If you like a doughier crust, spread it thicker.)
  2. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add toppings. Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is cooked through and toppings are done.
For sandwich bread
  1. Spoon all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, gently spread it out until it is a uniform 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into sandwich bread.
Notes
  1. Remember that you can control how crispy or doughy the crust is. Just spread it thinner or thicker according to your preference.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins

We love our plantains, whether green or ripe, and we have eaten them in pretty much every way possible. A while ago I had some ripe plantains growing ever riper and sweeter by the moment, so I thought it would be time to experiment, and we are so glad we did! I have gotten rave reviews from everyone I have shared a taste of this simple, sweet quick bread with. Even Jonathan, who as much as he loves plantains has consistently balked at any plantain baked goods gobbled it up. I love that there is no added sweetener- it is only the sweet, ripe plantains and the raisins that make this delicious, moist quick bread a sweet treat. Someone who tasted it exclaimed “It tastes like Christmas!” and for me it is a reminder of some of my favorite quick breads from my childhood.

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins- loaf

This recipe calls for plantain flour, which I make myself by dehydrating plantains and then grinding them to a very fine flour in the blender. But you can purchase it here (although it is pretty pricey!) You could also try experimenting with some other Paleo-friendly flours, like coconut.

For a delicious variation that is just right for a birthday celebration, try substituting chocolate chips for the raisins. A definite crowd pleaser!

Sweet Plantain cake with Chocolate chips

 

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins
Serves 12
A simple, slightly sweet quick bread that is sure to please even the pickiest eater.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 extra large ripe plantains (yellow, with some black spots) - approx. 16-20 oz.
  2. 1/2 C plantain flour
  3. 3 Tbsp oil of choice (i.e. coconut, olive, lard)
  4. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  8. scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/2 C raisins, opt. (more or less to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a loaf pan by lightly greasing bottom and sides with oil.
  2. Peel the plantains and cut into chunks. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. Add oil and vanilla, blending until well combined. Add remaining ingredients, except for raisins, and blend until well combined. Gently stir in raisins.
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out the top.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 min until top is firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Immediately turn out onto a cooling rack, and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Notes
  1. For a delicious variation, try adding chocolate chips instead of raisins! Sooo good.
  2. I have toyed around with the idea of making little tea sandwiches, perhaps with a cashew cheese filling.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Plantains: 4 Ways (Plantain Chips, Plantain Coins, Plantain Fries and Tostones)

 Plantains 4 Ways

It should be pretty evident by now that our family has a serious love affair with plantains. We use them as savory sides and in baking as sweet treats (see here, here, and here.) And why not? They are inexpensive, delicious, easy to prepare and a great, simple starch. I think we go through at least 20 green plantains a week. I will hold out on going to the grocery store when we are out of many things, but once we run out of plantains a trip to the produce store or Publix (both places sell them 5 for $1) is necessary. [Read more…]

Carrot Spice Plantain Muffins

Carrot Spice Muffins

One of our staples for a quick and easy breakfast has been my Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins or Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins. It is so nice to be able to grab a muffin from the freezer to satisfy an empty tummy on a busy morning. But with Aurora’s allergies to both tree nuts and coconut oil, I have been trying to come up with an easy breakfast alternative that would be safe and nourishing for her to eat as well.

As you know, I have been experimenting a lot with plantains (see here and here), which Aurora seems to do very well with. So I thought I would try my hand at coming up with a muffin recipe made from plantains that she, and the whole family, could enjoy without fear of an adverse reaction. I have been working on this recipe for quite a while- I believe that I went through at least a dozen versions before I came up with what I feel is a perfect balance. (It’s a good thing plantains are so inexpensive!)

[Read more…]

Chocolate Chip Cookies- Made from Plantains!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (from plantains) 

I haven’t had chocolate chip cookies in a really, really long time. And usually, I’m pretty OK with that. But sometimes a girl just longs for the delicious sweetness, comfort and fond memories a fresh-from-the-oven, warm and gooey chocolate chip cookie can evoke. I was very happy to find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies made from plantains on a favorite blog, Purely Twins, last week. Unfortunately, it used coconut flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil, all of which Aurora is allergic to. So of course, I did a little tinkering and I am so pleased with the results.

Gooey Chocolate Chip CookieMy husband was pretty amazed when he walked in the kitchen to see what the delicious smell was. He thought they smelled, tasted, and looked like the real thing. (The texture isn’t the same- these have a pretty soft cake-like texture- but we can’t have everything, can we?) Aurora really enjoyed them, too. I know she was very happy to be able to take a cookie with her in her snack bag to church. And now that I have a good cookie alternative for her, maybe I can keep her from snagging her brother’s cookies, since she is allergic to the nuts and coconut I use when baking for Jonathan.

Enjoy my version of these delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies.

[Read more…]

Blueberry-Banana Plantain Pancakes

Blueberry Banana PancakesBefore Aurora was born, Pumpkin Almond Flour Pancakes (recipe coming soon!) were a regular breakfast offering in our family. Since Aurora is allergic to tree nuts I don’t do as much with almond flour as I used to, so I have had to be a little more creative in coming up with a pancake recipe that everyone can eat.

Plantains have become a staple in our house. Green plantains are nice, safe starches- they are even FODMAP friendly! And plantains are so incredibly versatile. From green plantains you can make a savory side, like tostones or plantain chips, a delicious not-too-sweet breakfast or treat, or even crunchy crackers. Ripe plantains are a nice treat in the form of maduros. Although our plantains rarely last long enough to ever become ripe. And they are so inexpensive- they only cost $0.20 each at the grocery store, so it takes less than $2 to whip up a batch of these pancakes.

Aurora loves her pancakes!I recently found a great blog, called Purely Twins, and they have a major love affair with plantains. Their blog has already inspired a number of Plantain creations that I look forward to sharing with you soon. I originally found their recipe for Banana Bread Plantain Pancakes, and I present it now to you, with just a minimum of tinkering. They are quick and easy to throw together for a family breakfast. My husband says they smell like French Toast and taste absolutely delicious, and Aurora is obviously a huge fan. The only downside is that they are best fresh and lose a lot of their charm when reheated.

 

 

[Read more…]

Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!

One of our family traditions since long before kids entered the picture has been a weekly Taco Night most Saturday evenings. Of course, we used to eat them with tortillas or corn chips. Now we love to enjoy our tacos in a simple lettuce shell, with plantain flour tortillas, or even scooped up with plantain chips. Even the kids get into the taco spirit, happily munching away on crisp lettuce tacos. We served these tacos at Jonathan’s last birthday party, which was a huge hit! I prepared the taco meat ahead of time, and warmed it up in the crock pot for the party. Everyone was able to enjoy a hearty meal that they could customize to their liking, and it was a great alternative to ordering a pizza like most families can do.

One of the ways I survive the daily grind of cooking healthy, delicious and varied meals every.single.day is to periodically make multiple batches of favorite meals for the freezer, called a Mega Cook. We set aside a whole day on Saturday and with the help of family, will put together dozens of meals on one day that I can later just pull out of the freezer, thaw and cook or reheat. In fact, this was a life saver when I was put on bed rest for the last trimester of my pregnancy with Aurora. I wasn’t able to stand up for even a few minutes to put together a meal (and most meals take way more than a few minutes to prepare!). It was a huge blessing for my darling husband to be able to walk out to the freezer, grab a meal, and throw it in the crockpot or reheat it for dinner that evening. This taco recipe lends itself really well to the Mega Cook concept- just prepare the meat and freeze in meal-sized portions. Allow to thaw, then reheat and serve with some quick sides. And even if you aren’t up to doing a full Mega Cook, I will often just make 4 or 5 batches at once to freeze. (I jokingly call this a Micro Cook.) It doesn’t take much more time to make five meals worth than to worth than to make one.

This recipe is adapted from the Chile Rellenos recipe in Everyday Paleo, which I highly recommend. Such an amazing meal, and great for when you have dinner guests.

Beef Tacos
A delicious taco meat blend that is easy to prepare and freeze for a quick and delicious family meal.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
For each batch use
  1. 1 lb ground beef
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  4. 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  5. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 6-8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef and onion until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until garlic is tender.
  3. Serve with: lettuce or plantain flour tortillas, avocado, green onion, diced bell pepper, hot sauce, or whatever condiments you enjoy with your tacos!
Notes
  1. This recipe is great to make large batches to freeze for future meals. Simply cook according to directions, and then freeze in meal-sized portions. Then thaw, reheat and enjoy!
Adapted from Everyday Paleo, by Sarah Fragoso
Adapted from Everyday Paleo, by Sarah Fragoso
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/
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