Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oatmeal applesauce hotcakes

Yesterday I was reading a copy of The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories, which Eric got me at a used book sale as a kind of joke a few years back. I admit that I spent almost an entire summer watching more than several seasons of Little House, which was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid (that and the Dukes of Hazzard).

What struck me the most about these recipes, other than how much lard they used in everything, was how few ingredients they have. So many gluten-free recipes are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, with four kinds of flours, often expensive ones at that. I figured it was just part of the deal of not being able to eat gluten. My cupboard is stocked with almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, an all-purpose blend, and whatever else I needed once for a recipe.

I've been on a baked-goods strike (with a few experimental exceptions) ever since my pancake fiasco a couple of months ago. The first reason is because failure has made me a little ornery. The second reason is that most of the baked goods I've tried to make over the years aren't good for me anyway. Why worry about making a gorgeous cake when I shouldn't be eating so much sugar? I need to stop focusing on recreating food I shouldn't have anyway, wheat or no, and start thinking about things that taste good but don't spike my blood sugar. And the third reason is the above-mentioned expense of buying all those different kinds of flour.

But I do love bread goods in the morning. My stomach has never been good at pre-afternoon digestion, but it can handle smoothies and pancakes, though probably not at the same time. So I made up a hotcake recipe this morning, encouraged by the simplicity of the cookbook. I assumed it would probably just be something palatable enough to curb my hunger but nothing worth ever trying again, but I came up with something really good, to my surprise. The applesauce made it sweet enough that I didn't even miss the lack of maple syrup that I normally require to be slathered all over my pancakes, especially the experiments that don't work out so well.

Oatmeal Hotcakes
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg*
1 tsp oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup almond milk
buttery spread

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes to thicken.
Heat cast-iron pan and melt butter. When the butter has stopped frothing, take a spoonful of the oat mixture and spoon it into the pan. Pat down and shape it if necessary. When the bottom sides are golden brown, flip them and let them cook a little longer. Add more butter to the pan as necessary for each batch.

I just had them with a little more applesauce and they tasted great, but I'm sure maple syrup wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

*I tried it without the egg and it tasted fine. The main difference was that the cakes didn't hold together as well, but I just pressed a little harder with the spatula after turning, and they held together.

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