Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grain/Dairy Free Lemon & Raspberry Pancakes W/Coconut Cream

I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.

~The Avett Brothers

I still have nightmares; It's amazing how pain has a way of haunting you, even after it's gone. Its imprint lingers like the scent of a strong perfume, clinging to every surface of you, even though its wearer is long gone.

This time last year, my body truly was 'a volatile place'! The onset: sudden, the cause: unknown, the prognosis: ....well, there wasn't one. The pain in my body exceeded anything that I have ever experienced, including the two natural unmedicated births of my boys. It felt like that transitional moment during labor; when you reach the point where you don't think you can take it for even one more second. Thankfully in childbirth, this is also how you know when you're just about done. But with this, I still had months to go.

I'm not going to revisit the whole story; There are other posts that unveil more of that saga. The short of it is...I felt that I had lost my grip on everything that made me who I am.

This past year has revealed to me a great many things about myself. Most significantly is that I now know, (despite the lingering nightmares) that I wouldn't trade one moment of theses trials for ANYTHING! I am now, for the first time in my life, truly learning to 'feel natural and safe in a volatile place'. Because life is a volatile place. And I have always been so afraid of really living because of this fact. But we can't just avoid living in some vain attempt to prevent dying. And so I'm learning to find the place in between; to live in freedom until the time comes when I transition from this life to the next. I'm finding that freedom in those perfect "cracks and spaces: laughter, asanas, cupcakes, and embraces." Those are the 'natural places' where we truly LIVE!

And so I'll sum up with a scene from my favorite movie of all time...

Dr. Jules Hilbert: No one wants to die Harold, unfortunately we do. Harold, Harold listen to me.  Harold, you will die, some day, some time; heart failure at the bank, choke on a mint. Some long drawn out illness you contracted on vacation, you will die. You will absolutely die. So I humbly suggest that you just forget all this and go live your life.

Harold Crick: Go live my life? I am living my life! I'd like to continue to live my life.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: I know. Of course. I mean all of it. However long you have left.  You know, I mean, Harold, you could use it to have an adventure. You know, invent something, or just finish reading Crime and Punishment. Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted. 

Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don't want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes? 

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes. 

So I give you...THE PANCAKES!

Lemon & Raspberry Pancakes 

1 1/2 cups fine ground blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup raspberries
3 large eggs
4-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
Oil for frying


1. In a medium bowl, sift and/or mix together the almond flour, baking soda & salt. Add the raspberries,  gently coating them in the flour mixture.

2. Separate the eggs whites from the yolks, placing them in separate clean bowls.

3. Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and honey then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk till just combined.

4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till it looks like softly whipped cream (soft peaks). Gently fold into the pancake mixture until just a trace of egg whites are left.

5. Pre-heat your pan over medium heat. Watch the heat closely, it likes to climb. If it gets too hot, not only will the pancakes burn, they will be badly shaped.

6. Add 1/8 cup of batter (per pancake) to the pan. I find the silver dollar size to be the easiest to work with. Find a size that works best for you.

7. Fry the pancake till it starts to bubble and the edges just start to form (and dry a bit). If they start cooking too quickly (burning before it's time to flip) then adjust the heat. Every stove top is different. Flip over carefully using a THIN METAL spatula. Continue to cook till the pancake firms up.
Makes about 15 silver dollar size pancakes.

Note: If needed, keep pancakes in a warm oven. These pancakes freeze and reheat well. I like to make them ahead of time. Freeze, then put them in the toaster to reheat!

To garnish, top with cold coconut creme and maple syrup or honey.


  1. Oh Jenni, I cried and then I laughed. Living the nightmare of a debilitating autoimmune disorder and then finding my way back to health made me fear only one thing: NOT living my life to the absolute fullest. Okay, two. I am also desperately afraid of GMO's :)

    Your courage and strength inspire me. And of course, your recipes!

  2. Does anyone have any tips on fiber/helping regularity when gluten and/or grain free? My tummy is not happy, but it may also be due to pain meds I am taking right now.

    1. I use psyllium fiber from the natural health store - organic, not flavored and mix it with a little aloe vera juice. Not the tastiest drink but it does help and is a good bulking agent. And I try to east Kim-chi every single day for the probiotics. Hope this helps.

    2. Marisa,
      The process of healing from gluten intolerance is such a long and complicated one. There are many issues that could contribute to the problems you are experiencing. I find that a good dairy freeprobiotic REALLY helps (if you can tolerate it) If you find you feel worse on them lessen how much you take and increase slowly. Add in other fermented foods if you can tolerate them as well. Another thing that is most helpful is magnesium. I like the natural calm brand, which I take 2tsp of every night. Magnesium is VERY important for healing. People with gluten intolerance and on medication often need more than the average person.

      In regards to fiber, I am careful about fiber. It can be vary hard to digest thus making healing the gut a much harder and longer process. Flax and chia seeds can help as well as eating LOTS of raw veggies. It's important to understand insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Too much or too little of one or the other can cause trouble. I find that coconut flour is a great source of fiber is great, but take to liberally It causes me trouble.

      On more thing, it is possible that you are still ingesting foods that you are sensitive to. There are many foods that are considered 'cross reactives' The body seems them as gluten. One of my major ones was coffee! Here's a great article on that...

      If I didn't overwhelm and you are interested in more info on anything, email me, I'm happy to help!

  3. Thank you both for your responses. Practical information that is very helpful! The cross reactive food link was interesting. And I sent you an email, Jenni.

  4. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing...

  5. This is so good! :) I am at my parent's house and about to make it for the second time. The only thing is my parent's have no raspberries or coconut milk, so it's been made without those 2 ingredients and it's still delicious! I can't even imagine how much better it will be when I include those 2 missing ingredients. :)

  6. I have an autoimmune disease (Grave's Disease) and have been trying to heal naturally through diet/exercise for 2 years. It's been a slow process, but I'm determined! Recently I've been challenged to start to eliminate dairy/gluten too. This post is a good reminder that I CAN do it, and still have pancakes, hooray!

  7. And what, pray tell is a good source for Almond flour, if Bob's is not? Thank you!!

  8. Look at the 'blanched almond flour' in the ingredient list. It is the color green and it is also a link to some good sources of almond flour. I like Honeyville myself, but there are a number of good brands out there. even has organic almond flour (though it can be quite spendy.

  9. I seriously can't stop pinning your recipes because the photos are SO gorgeous. Do you teach classes.... in San Francisco...? :-D

  10. these look delightful and beautiful... thanks for sharing! and glad to have found your site.

  11. I'm new to this way of eating, but could you use coconut flour instead?

  12. I used bottled lime juice and blueberries instead of lemon and raspberry. It turned out well. Also, used coconut oil to coat the skillet.

  13. "Freedom in volatile places" I SO needed this message this morning. Thank you!

  14. Perhaps I'm lost but you mention " Blend together the egg yolks, lemon juice, honey and vanilla." much vanilla?