Saturday, June 30, 2012

Homemade Cocoa Walnut meal saves the day!

Hey all,
Forgive me for this short post. I'm in the process of wrapping things up here in sunny California before I move to New York (exciting!) for the next four years of grueling education in medical school (equally exciting, but daunting as well). So to speed up the cleaning process I'm trying to use up as many ingredients as I can before I move. Especially the ingredients that will spoil in the shipping process - nuts, frozen goods, produce, the usual stuff.

A few weeks ago, I had made those delicious pancakes with the strawberry sauce and the main ingredient in the pancakes was hazelnut meal. That is posted here. Trust me, they are fantastic. In fact, I've made them religiously for the past several weeks, because they are cheap, delicious, and easy to make. When I ran out of hazelnut meal, I turned to the bag of almond meal in my fridge.

So imagine my reaction when I got up this morning only to find that the almond meal was all gone. I smacked my head in frustration. I wondered why the universe was plotting against me. Now what would I use as a dry ingredient that would be tasty (flour is not tasty by itself). The clock said that it was 7 am. Do I really want to wait for an hour for Trader Joe's to open to make pancakes? The answer was an emphatic NO.

Rummaging through my fridge, I notice that I'd had a bag of toasted walnuts from Trader Joe's for the last 6 months and it was pretty full. I only had a month left to go and I didn't forsee being able to finish it up. I got an idea. What if I made walnut meal as a substitute? After all we needed a dry good to bind all the egg/banana wet mix together.

Herein lies the problem. Walnuts have a lot of oil. When you grind them (go ahead try it), it forms a paste as opposed to a powder because the oils make it wet.

So what is the solution? Find a way to dry it out. I ended up using cocoa powder and it worked out great! It forms a nice powder and it stores very well in the fridge.

Cocoa Walnut meal - you saved me from the evil fiend hunger!

In fact, over the course of two weeks, I ended up finishing that whole container of cocoa walnut meal! I used it up to make chocolate walnut banana pancakes with a strawberry sauce. Although the picture doesn't look as pretty here, I promise you that it was fantastic!

Ah, the mix worked like a charm!

Don't judge a book by it's cover - these were delectable!

Random fact that I just discovered - I like mimosas, and those go well with a good breakfast. Just throwing it out there.


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