So the other day we were at Costco and saw that they are now selling coconut flour, and I didn’t hesitate to buy two bags of it.
Then I got home and realized that I had no idea what to do with it.
The next day we woke up and realized that we had no rice milk for breakfast. Betty figured something out for the kids, but I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to do some experimenting to see if I could make some coconut flour pancakes.
To make things even more interesting, I decided to see if I could do it without using a recipe — just for kicks.
There was one slight problem: I didn’t have any eggs. So I took about a cup of coconut flour and mixed it with water and some applesauce and baking powder (I read on the internet somewhere that applesauce and baking powder can work as a substitute for eggs).
I mixed everything up with some dried cranberries, and when it was about the consistency of batter I threw it on a hot pan.
And nothing happened.
I’m sure that some of you are screaming right now at the screen: “Just follow a recipe!” But I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, and this is something I had never tried.
When my kids saw the mess I had made, they asked me if I was going to eat it. I told them that I was pretty sure it wouldn’t make me sick so yes, I was going to eat it. I poured some organic maple syrup on it, and it was OK.
A few days later when we got some eggs, I cracked two eggs into what was left of the batter, and then the consistency was much better. By then I had added some thawed and cubed frozen peaches to the mix. When I threw that batter in the pan, it was able to hold its shape a little bit better and I even actually flipped some of it. In the end, it still looked like a big mess, but it was actually really good — and the kids loved it.
So what is the point?
Well, I have written before about how I believe that eating healthy and simple and cheap is not about following recipes. I feel this way partly because recipes often call for ingredients that we don’t have access to, in which case we either say “no pancakes,” or we rush to the store to spend a bunch more money on some ingredient that we may or may not ever use again. But I think that the other part of my current aversion for recipes is that I feel like I learn a lot about food and think a lot more about what I am putting into my body when I know that I am making all of the decisions. It’s like in the Lego Movie. I want to be a master builder, not just a regular lego person. I don’t think you ever really get your brain around the food that you eat until you can start to break your them down into their most basic components and see why each of those components is important. It seems kind of silly, and surely cost me time in the short run, but in the long run, I know how to make pancakes without a recipe. And I think that's pretty great. Someone could have told me all of this, but I think that there is value in the process.
And yes, we will be having coconut flour pancakes again … maybe this weekend.