In about 5 weeks, I will have completed part of my research study for my Master's thesis, move out of my current house and into my parent's house, and depart for Italy for a 2 week trip with my Nonna and cousin. I am really excited for it all to happen, but I feel like a lot needs to happen in the next 5 weeks. One thing that needs to happen is that I need to use up a lot of my pantry and freezer items. This will not only make my move easier, but I will reduce the risk of wasting food and I will save some money. I am going to start making the conscious effort to use up what I have and attempt to make-due rather than taking those oh so tempting grocery trips.
What have I done in the past few days to accomplish this:
1. I made some granola. I made a version similar to the crunchy quinoa granola, but I added some oats and different nuts.
I have lots of yogurt in the fridge that needs to get eaten in the next week or two. Normally I add some fruit and I am good to go. However, I want to save some of those frozen berries for in the future when I may not have any fresh fruit available to me. Plain yogurt is a bit boring on it's own however so I made this high protein and fairly low sugar granola. It also used up lots of nuts that I had as well as some dried cranberries which I will not eat on their own.
2. Used up that big bag of frozen vegetable scraps.
For the past few months, I had been keeping some veggie scraps in a ziploc bag in the freezer. It had a little bit of everything. I kept aspargus ends, parsnip tops, carrot peelings, bruised zucchini, mushroom stems, and wilted celery. I had been doing this since I wrote this post on wasting less food, but I have not kept everything. I figured it was about time to make the vegetable stock I was keeping these veggies for. Soup is literally the last thing I would want to be making this time of year, but it had to be done. I will write about making vegetable stock in the near future, and what I end up using it for.
3. Developed a yummy pancake recipe using chickpea flour.
Once my oats run out, pancakes are the next order of business for breakfast, which will also help with using up some flour. However, I'd like to save my wheat flour for baking bread, and I have a lot of chickpea flour to play with. I wanted to figure out a good recipe that is quick and also delicious. After first trying chickpea pancakes with blueberries, I knew I needed to up the sweet factor if I was going to enjoy them for breakfast. My first try was a great success and after one more tweak I have settled on the following recipe.
Banana Chocolate Chip Chickpea Flour Pancakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I think the sweetened soy milk might be neccessary)
1 banana, chopped
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips - an extra tbsp doesn't hurt ;)
1. Whisk together the first three ingredients.
2. Slowly add the soy milk, whisking in to remove any clumps.
3. Stir in the banana and chocolate chips.
4. Heat a greased pan on medium heat, and add 1/4 of the batter to the pan (I like to cover the pan). Once the bubbles no longer close up, it is time to flip the pancake. After 2 minutes or so the pancake should be about done.
5. I eat them plain or with a bit of almond butter on top.
These pancakes are really good, especially the bites which have lots of banana and chocolate. I have a feeling the use of the chickpea flour is an acquired taste, and definitely needs to be sweetened to be used as a pancake flour. I have been having these for breakfast for the past few days and have really been enjoying them. It is a great way to use up my chickpea flour as well as some frozen bananas kicking around. If you don't like banana, adding a tbsp or two of coconut is also good.