3 Ingredient Backpacker Pancakes (grain free, gluten free)


Pancake heaven

As a gluten free traveler with persnickity eating habits, I learned pretty quickly to carry my own ingredients with me for anti-starvation purposes. Since I have a sweet tooth and love baking but cannot eat hardly any packaged baked goods (I’m semi-paleo diet and don’t eat any grains at all) I bring my own ingredients for sweet treats. I always travel with a small container of Manuka Honey (this stuff is amazing when sourced from New Zealand!), raw cacao powder (instant hot chocolate!), a bit of cinnamon, and coconut flour. Each time I checked into a new hostel, I would purchase a container of eggs and a tub of Yoplait’s “Fresh’n Fruity” greek yogurt from a grocery store nearby. Side note: Yoplait’s yogurt has way cuter packaging in New Zealand than the States. I could always have honey and yogurt for breakfast, or eggs. Easy peasy! New Zealanders do not refrigerate their eggs. The first time I saw an aisle full of eggs right next to the cookie aisle and the “long life milk” (i.e., unrefrigerated soy milk and rice milk) aisle, I laughed. Perfect! I do not have to fight for more fridge space at the hostel!


Fancy Fresh’N Fruity Yogurt!

The first morning I woke up at the Backpacker’s Hostel in The Bay of Islands, NZ, I wanted pancakes. Actually, I wanted crepes.  What is a crepe made out of anyway? Eggs, flour, milk. I reviewed my ingredients. I have eggs. And I have some yogurt that is basically thicker milk. And I have some coconut flour that is basically like flour. I had purchased a ripe white peach during the height of their summer season in March, and found a stick of butter in the hostel fridge that looked sanitary and edible. I can work with this. I take a giant spoonful of coconut flour, a giant spoonful of yogurt, and crack two eggs in a bowl and mix. My idea for a crepe quickly transitions into a pancake recipe when I realize how thick the batter is – and how much it looks like buttermilk pancake batter!

pancake batter


I sauté the white peach with some cinnamon and newfound butter in one pan, and cook off the pancakes in another pan, which to my amazement, come out PERFECTLY. They look like real buttermilk pancakes, are kind of fluffy, and are delightfully browned. As I sit outside on the porch overlooking the ocean, my strikingly tall and beautiful Dutch roommate Sanne sees them and exclaims, “Oh my! You have actually cooked a breakfast! You are a cook! I wish I could cook.” And runs off to fetch her cereal and milk to join me. We had a long discussion the day before in which I tried to explain to her, with English as her third language, that I do not eat bread or flour. She was astonished, “You do not eat glutens? Or flour? Carbs? But all I eat is carbs!”

This morning, she looks at my pancakes and asks, “But this is not carbs? Not flour?”

“Nope,” I replied, “It’s made of coconut!”

“This is really really good!” She says as she tries a bite of her first no-carb pancake, “This is soooooo good!”

And so the recipe is born. It gives me enough energy to run off on a boating adventure all morning! This boat!


Eat pancakes, go boating!

3 Ingredient Backpacker Pancakes (Grain Free Gluten Free)

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3-1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt (if it is a thick or greek yogurt, use a little more – if it is a thinner yogurt, use a little less)

….the extra 2 ingredients…if you feel fancy 😉

1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

You can also add a little lemon zest, blueberries, or whatever strikes your fancy.


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Start with 1/3 cup yogurt and see if the batter is thick enough. It should feel and look like conventional pancake batter. If it is too thick, add a little more yogurt. Heat a cast iron pan over low-medium and melt a tsp of butter or coconut oil. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, drop large spoonfuls of batter in the pan. I can usually fit 3 small pancakes in a 10 inch cast iron pan. After 3-4 minutes, when the pancakes start to bubble on top and is light brown on the bottom, flip. Wait for the other side to brown and remove from pan. Repeat until all pancakes are done!

This recipe makes 6-8 hearty but small pancakes and feeds 1 super hungry person or 2 semi hungry people. Add some bacon and you have the perfect breakfast! Serve with butter and jam or maple syrup drizzled on top. Yum!


recipe: granola for life

Warning! If you are currently satisfied with the granola you already eat, do not read this post! Otherwise, you may never go back to your old granola again. This granola recipe is full of Omega-3’s, protein, healthy fats, fiber, and has just the right amount of crunch and sweetness. It was originally inspired by a childhood trip to The Inn at Occidental, a small Northern California Inn, where the granola was served to me as a child in a massive bowl. I remember feeling full of vitality and energy while riding a horse on the beach later that day. Whether it was the pure adrenaline of horseback riding, or the protein in the granola, it did not matter. I was full of life and felt vibrant! This granola should have you raring to go with energy all day, and is not as sweet as some other granolas. Ditch that boxed granola and never look back.


2.5 C. Rolled Oats
1/2 C. Pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 C. Raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 C. Raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 C. Sesame seeds
1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C. Shredded Coconut
1/3 C. Coconut Oil
1/3 C. Honey
1/4 C. Ground flax seeds
1/2 C. Currants
1/2 C. Golden raisins


In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except flax, currants, and golden raisins. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with a rack in the center of the oven. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut oil and honey, stirring until the coconut oil has melted and the oil and honey are somewhat combined. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients, mixing together with a wooden spoon. On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, spread granola mixture evenly, and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking.
Granola will look golden brown when done, but will not look crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle curants, raisins, and flax on top, roughly combining with a wooden spoon. Allow it to cool before removing from pan. Granola should keep, regrigerated (omega rich foods, like ground flax seeds, are not stable at room temperature) for 10-14 days.


Why use coconut oil? Coconut oil is easy to digest, maintains thyroid health, as well as lowers your LDL (bad Cholesterol) levels. It contains 50% lauric acid, which is known to help control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Coconut oil has also been shown to help your body absorb vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (if you add blueberries to the granola, you will absorb even more antioxidants), and can even help prevent viruses, due to its fabulous antimicrobial properties. How cool is that?

recipe: dreamy whole grain bread

You know the texture of the center of a really fresh bread roll that is served at Mom and Pop Italian restaurants? This loaf of bread mimics that soft, doughy texture without gluten, and with loads of nutrients. There are some confounding ingredients used (Teff? Psyllium seed husks? Ah!), but I highly recommend avoiding ingredient substitutions, as this recipe will yield the tenderest, dreamy bread. Go forth and make sandwiches, french toast (recipe coming soon), and bask in the goodness of bread.


2 C. Brown rice flour
1/2 C. Teff
1/2 C. Garbanzo flour
1/4 C. Psyllium seed husks
1/2 C. Potato starch
1 Tsp. Xantham gum
1 Tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tsp Active dry yeast
2 1/2 C. Hot Water (110-115 degrees F)


In a large bowl, combine all flours (rice, teff, garbanzo, psyllium, potato, xantham, and salt). Whisk together until blended evenly, eliminating any lumps! In a medium sized bowl, combine hot water and active dry yeast. Allow to bubble for a minute or so, then whisk in the honey. It is important not to skimp on the honey (even if you are  cautious about sugar intake, for the love of god, at least use 1 tablespoon) to activate the yeast. The liquids should be frothy and ready to pour over the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, blending evenly until smooth and just combined. Do not whisk too long, or your bread will be less tender. The dough will not be very thick, and is closer to the consistency of muffin or waffle batter. 
Allow bread to rise in a warm spot in the house, covering with a warm, damp dishtowel (without the cloth actually touching the dough), for 2 hours. What you do with this time is up to you! Watch a foreign film, go running, do yoga, pet the cat. Send good rising thoughts to your future loaf. You may peek occasionally at the dough to see how it is doing, but try to to look too long, or it will disrupt the rising.
15 mins before the bread is done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a rack in the center of the oven. Oil a small glass baking dish or metal loaf pan with canola or coconut oil. I use a 9×5.25×1.75″ glass dish, but some variation in size is fine. When the oven is fully preheated and the dough has risen (it should have almost doubled in size), gently push the dough out of the bowl and into the baking dish. You may smooth over the top with a spatula for a smooth finish. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55mins. Avoid checking the bread until at least 35 mins have passed, so as not to disrupt the baking process. When the bread is fully done, it will be medium to golden brown on top, and will make a hollow noise when tapped with your knuckles. It will still be soft inside. Place your baked loaf on a metal rack on the counter to cool fully before sampling. Enjoy your dreamy whole grain bread!


Teff is very high in calcium, protein, and fiber, and adds that wonderful nutty taste to the loaf. It also has a great amino acid composition – important for the vegans among us who cannot get this from meat!

Psyllium seed husks are very high in fiber. Some people use them for crazy colon cleanses, eating tablespoons per day…this sounds a bit extreme, so I prefer to add a little to bread. Psyllium also acts as a binding agent, holding in moisture and preventing your bread from pathetically crumbling to bits. Some new research shows that psyllium husks may be helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) and diabetes.