You can call me the Sparrow Foodie today, if you don't mind ;)
One of my fave things to do when I have time off is to experiment in the kitchen. I like cooking anyway, but it's so much fun when you've got lots of time to really make a mess and try something new. So when Adam and I are home with nowhere else to be, we cook.
This long weekend we've made Huevos Rancheros (you're missing out if you've never had these!), some delicious steaks (marinated for hours), Caprese Salad Bites (Thank you Pinterest), grilled chicken breast, goat cheese and strawberry salad (goat cheese pretty much makes anything delish), homemade pizzas (deluxe and margherita) and this morning's Oatmeal Pancakes. I've made these before and they are phenomenal.
I'm beginning to get more creative with my recipes, mainly because of my goal to eat healthier. One of my main switches so far, has been from using veg oil or canola oil, to coconut oil. The health benefits of coconut oil are abundant, and I began the switch when I read about how heating olive oil at a high temp causes the oil to become unstable and to produce cancer-causing free-radicals. For years, I've been cooking with olive oil. I realize now that it should be used as a flavour-enhancer after the cooking is over. Enter coconut oil. Organic, unrefined, cold-pressed is best of course. It's got plenty of cosmetic uses also, so you'll be getting your money's worth from that jar. Add to the fact that it's got a shelf life of up to two years, and there's really no reason not to try it out! Find it at your local health food store.
Now back to those pancakes... My recipe is adapted from Chef Michael Smith's "The Best of Chef at Home" cookbook (one of my faves). Keep in mind that the coconut oil will add a slight coconut flavour, and there's nothing wrong with that in my eyes. Next time, to make the pancakes even more tropical, I'll substitute coconut milk for my regular or almond milk (I just didn't have it on hand today). Here's the recipe for you, and feel free to experiment yourself :)
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat, grain or almond flour
1 cup oatmeal flakes
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups non-dairy milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, and begin to combine them with the dry ones. Stir until smooth, but don't overmix the batter. Spoon the batter into a preheated skillet. Watch for bubbles on top; this will tell you when your pancakes are ready to flip. (Tip: You can get ahead of a hungry crowd by stashing the cooked pancakes on a plate in a warm oven.) I added sliced bananas and plenty of maple syrup to mine :) Happy Canada Day long weekend!