Fluffy Whole Grain Lemon Poppy Seed Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Fluffy Whole Grain Lemon Poppy Seed Ricotta Pancakes|Pamela Salzman

Pancakes are made once or twice a week in my house.  My whole family is crazy for them and I am have even taught my kids how to cook their own.  Many a morning I have to leave early for work, so I’ll make pancake batter the night before and pull it out in the morning before I go.  The kids know how to grease the griddle with coconut oil, sprinkle the pancakes with blueberries and flip when ready.

Fluffy Whole Grain Lemon Poppy Seed Ricotta Pancakes|Pamela Salzman

These ricotta pancakes came about when I had extra ricotta after a pizza night.  Being totally honest, I am not a huge fan of pasteurized cow dairy and I do try and limit it with my family.  Dairy is a bit inflammatory, somewhat hard to digest and full of hormones.  So we eat it sparingly.  But I have to admit, ricotta pancakes are delicious.  They’re everything I want a pancake to be — light, fluffy, but still hearty.  These are much higher in protein than a “normal” pancake and I love getting protein into the kids in the morning!  Add some lemon zest and poppy seeds for fun and smother them in fresh blueberry sauce and I am in heaven.

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Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins Recipe

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

I don’t know if you cooked a little or a lot for Thanksgiving (or maybe not at all), but were you like me wishing even a little that everyone would eat a bit more slowly?  I mean, that’s a lot of cooking just to be inhaled in less than 30 minutes.  I whispered to my husband during dinner, “please slow down the pace a little.”  And it’s not just Thanksgiving day that I wish wouldn’t fly by.  I would have loved to relax and enjoy the weekend a little more.  But the holiday energy can be kind of overwhelming.  Regardless, I had a really nice few days with my family, including my daughter who was home from college.  She actually was my assistant for the KTLA segment on Friday morning.  So sweet.

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

I almost posted these delicious sweet potato muffins last week, but I just couldn’t swing it.  Even though I have been making them for years during every season, I just realized that they would be a good vehicle for leftover sweet potato casserole.  They would also be delicious for a brunch, breakfast or after school snack.  My kids all love them, as does my husband who is not much of a sweet potato guy, but doesn’t seem to notice here.  I am a big sweet potato pusher with the family since they are incredibly nutritious.  They are so so rich in antioxidants, and so versatile.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I even eat sweet potatoes for breakfast with a drizzle of almond butter and whatever fruit is in season.  Of course, they make great baked fries, are terrific in stews, stir-fried and roasted.  I love them.

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

When I taught these in my breakfast class a few years ago, I made lots of improvisations.  The most popular was adding chopped, cooked turkey bacon to the mix!  I’m not big on bacon, but it was the most popular variation that month.  Smoky, salty bacon is pretty perfect with the sweetness of sweet potatoes and the dried fruit.  As you know I am a huge fan of dates, but sometimes I’ll use dried cherries, cranberries (so fall!), raisins, currants, or diced prunes (so underrated!)  Once I added the zest of an orange which was a nice change.  Otherwise, these are a lightly sweetened, almost dense muffin with fragrant spices and little nuggets of dried fruit and ginger.  Heaven.

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

I think most muffins are best the day they are made, these included.  But they also freeze well, individually wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a container or a resealable bag.  One variation I haven’t tried yet is to make this into a loaf or in a cake pan and cut into squares.  I’ll try that next.  But not too soon since apparently I’m already behind on my holiday shopping.  Jeez.

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

whole grain sweet potato and date muffins | pamela salzman

4.0 from 1 reviews
Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins
Serves: 12
Adapted from Kim Boyce
  • 2 small sweet potatoes or one medium sweet potato, about ¾ pound total
  • Dry mix:
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 6 large Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped or ¾ cup dried fruit, like raisins
  • ¼ cup diced crystallized ginger
  • 8 pieces of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup plain whole yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (cold or room temp)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (Grade A or Grade B) or coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast the sweet potato for 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on their size, until they are tender when pierced with a fork. The bottoms should be dark, even burnt-looking, and the juices beginning to caramelize. Set aside to cool, then peel and leave whole.
  2. Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 –cup muffin tin with unbleached parchment liners.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add chopped dates, ginger and bacon (if using) and mix until coated.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and yogurt.
  5. Add the butter and sugar (or maple syrup) to the bowl of a standing mixer. Attach the paddle and mix on high speed until the butter and sugar are light and creamy, about 3 minutes. (If using maple syrup, mixture will be lumpy.)
  6. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and half of the sweet potato and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. On low speed, so the flour doesn’t go flying everywhere, add the dry ingredients and mix until partly combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining sweet potato and mix until barely combined. You want to see pieces of sweet potato in the mix.
  8. Scoop batter into muffins cups (an ice cream scoop does a good job of this.)
  9. Bake for 35-40 minute or until tops of the muffins spring back when pressed. Take muffins out of tin and place on a rack to cool. Best when served warm.



Whole grain mixed berry buckle recipe (gluten and dairy-free versions, too!)

whole grain mixed berry buckle | pamela salzman

I am so behind planning my Father’s Day menu!  I was just a lazy bones in Mexico last week and for some reason didn’t really have Father’s Day on the brain, but now here it is, coming up in 5 quick little days.   I have my father coming into town this weekend which is an extra special treat.  Most Father’s Day menus I’ve seen floating on the web all focus on the grill.  If I didn’t know any dads, I would assume from Pinterest that they are all obsessed with huge slabs of grilled steak.  And beer.  And maybe most of them are!  But that is not the way to my husband’s heart or my father’s.  And it’s probably better that way since my husband inherited off-the-charts cholesterol levels and my dad has had his share of arterial plaque.  Oy.  I think I’ll make a fruit dessert!!

lots of berries

Truth be told, my husband loves fruit desserts, especially pies and crisps.  And cobblers and crumbles.  And tarts.  Wink, wink.  In my May classes this year, I taught this absolutely delicious (and pretty clean fruit buckle.)  You have surely heard of the other desserts I mentioned, but most people have no idea what a buckle is.  And neither did I a year ago.  But my life was incomplete without it.

topping ingredients

A buckle is more cake-like than crisps and crumbles and cobblers.  In fact, I liken a buckle to a coffee cake but with double or triple the fruit.  Whereas I have seen pictures of buckles with varying amounts of fruit, all buckles have some sort of a streusel or textured topping, which makes the cake looked “buckled.”  I absolutely love fruit desserts because I absolutely love fresh fruit, but also because you can swap different fruit according to the season and make cool combinations of fruits, too.  I never over-sweeten fruit desserts because I like the true fruit flavor to shine through and not be muddled by too much sugar.  The most popular (and best) fruit to use in a buckle are blueberries.  Because the cake contains so much fruit, it can get a bit wet with too many peaches, strawberries or plums.  Blueberries aren’t overly juicy and they’re skins make them a little heartier.  In the recipe I photographed here, I used half blueberries, one quarter raspberries and one quarter blackberries.Continue reading

Whole grain and almond pulp pancakes recipe

Photography By Erica Hampton

I am kicking myself for all the almond pulp I have thrown away in my lifetime.  It honestly makes me crazy to think of how much perfectly good raw, soaked, organic almond pulp I wasted because I didn’t know it would be amazing in banana bread or pancakes, among other things.   I make so much almond milk and the only things I used to be able to think to do with the leftover pulp was to add it to smoothies and stir it into oatmeal.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it just got boring after a bit.

wet ingredients

Then a light bulb went off in my head and I tried using the pulp (which is different from store-bought almond meal because it is wet) in banana bread and it was amazing!  Have you seen this recipe yet?  It’s was so delicious and after my first attempt baking with almond pulp, I assumed every cookie and cake recipe would turn out great.  Not the case.  I actually had a few failures using almond pulp.Continue reading

Whole grain strawberry scones recipe (gluten-free version, too!)

whole grain strawberry scones | pamela salzman

One of my guilty pleasures is a traditional English tea.  We used to live within walking distance of the Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills which (in my opinion) had the best tea in the city.  I used to take my girls on their birthdays for a special treat and I also remember celebrating my one of my birthdays there with some friends.  When we were in London with the kids two years ago, I could have cared less about any meal other than tea.  I really indulged that week and I enjoyed every glutinous (and gluttonous) crumb.  I love every aspect of a proper tea, from the tea itself to the sandwiches to the scones and clotted cream.  Lucky for me, by the time the small desserts are served, I am usually too stuffed to bother.

mix dry ingredients with diced strawberries and dark chocolate

My girls always lit up when the scones were served.  And so did I.  I would take a scone over a muffin any day.  Scones are a low-sugar (but high-flour) biscuit, basically.  They are are supposed to be light and tender and not too sweet since they are served with fruit preserves.  What’s funny is that even though scones feel light, they are anything but.  Most scone recipes call for lots of butter and heavy cream to keep them from being a dry hockey puck!

grate butter to keep it in pieces

I like plain scones just as much as ones with currants.  And a warm scone with a cup of tea makes me instantly relax for some reason.  Ironically, even though I love classic scones, I don’t make them that way at home.  I think we have spent enough time together to know that I don’t use white flour unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Same goes for sugar.  So naturally my scones will use whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour instead.  I have a taste for the nuttiness of whole grain flours as well as a preference for lower glycemic and more nutritious foods.  But if you don’t, or you want these to taste more like “regular” scones, feel free to sub an equal amount of white flour.  Or use half whole wheat pastry and half white flour.

toss in the grated butter

To further deviate from traditional scones, this recipe includes fresh strawberries and on occasion dark chocolate chunks.  Gasp!  I started testing this recipe with freeze-dried and regular dried strawberries and the scones were amazing.  And then I realized how much money I was spending on bags of dried strawberries and I thought it was a little silly to make such expensive scones.  So I turned to fresh strawberries which are actually a little tricky to work with because they’re a tad wet.  So the scone recipe can actually support 1 1/2 cups of stuff, but not 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries.  You can do 1 cup of fresh strawberries + 1/2 cup dried.  Or 1 cup fresh strawberries + 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.  Or you can take this recipe and turn it into blueberries scones, using 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries.

forming the scones

whole grain strawberry scones | pamela salzman

Well, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and I’m just saying that moms like a little attention.  They like to feel appreciated.  To wake up on Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed is a very nice way to start the day, especially if the breakfast-makers clean up after themselves in the kitchen, too.  (This is very important!)  These scones would be a good idea.  If you don’t have time to make scones on Sunday morning, why not make them today and freeze them today?  Pull them out of the freezer the night before and warm them in the oven the next morning.  One of these scones with a hot cup of tea and a little love from my kiddos, who would also abstain from bickering the whole day, is my dream morning.  Hint, hint.

whole grain strawberry scones | pamela salzman

whole grain strawberry scones | pamela salzman

whole grain strawberry scones | pamela salzman

Whole Grain Strawberry Scones
Serves: makes 10-12 scones
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour (GF version on reverse)
  • 1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed and for brushing tops
  • ⅓ cup grade A maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional add-ins: ½ cup fresh blueberries or ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Grate the butter into the bowl with a hand grater.  Use the paper wrapping to hold the butter.  Or cut the butter into pieces and working with a few pieces at a time, scoop some flour and butter mixture into your hands.  Squeeze butter with your fingertips pressing your thumbs across your fingers to flatten the butter into petal shapes.  Repeat until all butter is flattened and coated with flour mixture.
  2. Add strawberries (plus blueberries and/or chocolate if using) to flour/butter mixture and combine.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Slowly add buttermilk mixture to flour/butter mixture, whisking constantly to combine, just until mixture begins to form clumps.  Add more buttermilk if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time, until no dry flour remains in the bowl.
  4. Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Lightly dust your hands with flour and gather mixture into a ball, squeezing to form a dough (it may still crumble slightly).
  5. Flatten dough to a 1” thickness and fold in half.  Flatten and fold once more.  Gently shape into a 1” thick, 7” diameter round.  Cut into 10-12 wedges (or you can do a rectanglar and cut into squares), then separate them ½” apart.
  6. Brush tops with buttermilk.  Bake scones until puffed, golden brown on top, and hollow-sounding when tapped on bottoms, 15-18 minutes.  Let cool slightly on a wire cooling rack.


adapted from King Arthur

makes 8 scones


1 ¾ cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or 2 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend

¼ cup maple sugar or cane sugar

2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter or cold coconut oil

¾ cup diced fresh strawberries

2 large eggs

1/3 cup cold milk or almond milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

optional add-ins: ¼ cup fresh blueberries or dark chocolate chunks


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
  3. Grate the butter into the bowl with a hand grater.  Use the paper wrapping to hold the butter.  Or cut the butter into pieces and working with a few pieces at a time.  Scoop some flour and butter mixture into your hands.  Squeeze butter with your fingertips pressing your thumbs across your fingers to flatten the butter into petal shapes.  Repeat until all butter is flattened and coated with flour mixture.
  4. Add strawberries (plus blueberries and/or chocolate if using) to flour/butter mixture and combine.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Slowly add milk mixture to flour/butter mixture, stirring to combine, just until mixture begins to form clumps.  The dough should be cohesive, but very sticky.
  6. Drop the dough by the 1/3-cupful onto the prepared pan.  Let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes,  until golden brown.

Whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable)

whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzman

whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzman

I never posted my waffle recipe on my site because I really didn’t know if most people owned a waffle maker.  Plus, I don’t want to nudge anyone to buy an expensive appliance that s/he may not get much use out of.  Annnnnd, I had never found a good waffle iron that wasn’t lined with Teflon.  But if you saw in my Friday Favorites back in October, I found the waffle maker of my dreams and it’s under $40.  No Teflon, easy to use, no PFTE’s or PFOA’s.  Go check out my link if you are interested in more of the specifics.  Sooooo, since so many of you have asked me for the recipe on Instagram, I am finally happy to oblige.

cast of characters

This waffle recipe isn’t that much different from my Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancake recipe, but it’s designed to have more heft.  These waffles are still light but hearty and subtly sweet.  My kids are so used to whole wheat pastry flour and whole spelt flour that whole grain pancakes and waffles taste “normal” to them.  But if you haven’t used whole grain flours yet or your family doesn’t like the nuttiness, try going half and half or even using 1/2 cup whole flour and 1 1/2 white flour to start.  I personally enjoy whole grain flours because they actually have some flavor, as well as the fact they don’t leave me feeling like I ate a candy bar for breakfast.  I like to see what bits of random flours (e.g., oat, buckwheat, cornmeal) I have in the fridge that I can use up for a truly multigrain waffle.

dry ingredients

These waffles are the perfect backdrop for tons of different seasonal fruit combos with or without maple syrup or a dollop of yogurt.  Sometimes I let Mr. Picky add some mini chocolate chips for fun.  He doesn’t use maple syrup, so I’m ok with the small amount of extra sugar.  I usually like to finish the batter and make all the waffles even if it’s too much for all of us, and either save them for the next day or freeze them for another time.  They go right into the toaster oven for a re-crisping.  You might even try using homemade waffles out as sandwich bread for a quick PB&J.

batter up!

I wish I had posted this yesterday or last week for you all you snow bunnies who have been cooped up with schools closed again.  Waffles are a great breakfast if you’re not in a super big rush since you can only make one at a time.  Although my kids are staggered out the door in the morning and I taught them how to use the waffle iron, so it works out pretty well for me on a weekday.  There are a few occasions coming up when it might be a nice treat to make waffles.  February 14th is obviously Valentine’s Day and it’s on a Saturday this year, so that’s a perfect day to make these.  Or if everyone’s off from work and school on Monday, February 16th for President’s Day, that would also be a good time to try this recipe out.  And since we’re celebrating something, why not go all out with some organic whipped cream piled high?  I approve!

whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzmanwhole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzman whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzmanwhole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzman


Whole Grain Buttermilk Waffles
Serves: 4-5
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour or a blend of these and other whole grain flours*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk**
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Melted, unrefined coconut oil for brushing the waffle iron
  1. Preheat waffle iron to desired heat level.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl or 4-6 cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and melted butter until well blended. (A blender can do this easily, too.)
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Brush the inside of the waffle iron with coconut oil and spoon about a scant ½ cup of batter onto the middle. Add blueberries, chocolate chips or diced banana to the surface, if desired. Close the waffle iron and follow the manufacturer’s directions for cooking the waffles.
*Or you can use GF flour blend, such as ⅔ cup oat flour, ⅔ cup buckwheat flour and ⅔ cup brown rice flour.  Millet flour can also be use.

**No buttermilk?  Sub half unsweetened yogurt and half whole milk.




whole grain buttermilk waffles recipe (refined sugar-free, gluten-free adaptable) | Pamela Salzman

Baked Cinnamon Cake Doughnuts Recipe (gluten-free adaptable!)

baked cinnamon cake doughnuts | pamela salzman

I love teaching people how to cook and I love working with food, but one business I don’t see myself in is the restaurant business.  That just seems like waaaaaay too much work!  But if I did open a restaurant, I would have a little casual breakfast and lunch place called “He Said, She Said.”  The menu would be split down the middle with dude food on one side and lady food on the other.

You need a doughnut pan!

I’ve seen plenty of women eat just as much as a man and I am one of them.  BUT it’s the food choices that men and women make that I find so interesting, and different.  My husband and I are the perfect example.  We have been married for almost 19 years and I don’t think we’ve ever ordered the same thing in a restaurant.  And I can usually predict what he will get!

put the batter in a ziploc bag and snip the corner

squeeze the batter out of the cut ziploc bag

I tend to graviate towards salads, vegetable-based dishes, lentils, beans, and ethnic foods and away from things that are fried, greasy and heavily sauced.  He, on the other hand, will order anything with melted cheese and/or lots of tomato sauce plus a side of fries or onion rings.  My husband is a meat-guy too, and doesn’t think about how he’s going to get his veggies at every meal.

they're done if they spring back when you spree on them

Since I do all the cooking in our house, I tend to make what I like.  However, when it’s my husband’s birthday or Father’s Day, I will think about his favorites and go that direction.  Father’s Day is coming up, on Sunday, June 15th to be exact.  And even though I would prefer a veggie frittata or a yogurt and homemade granola parfait, I know my husband would be THRILLED if I bought him doughnuts.  But since doughnuts are probably one of the worst possible foods you can eat, there is no way in the world that I would ever give them to someone with whom I would like to grow old.  I hate to be a party pooper, but doughnuts are completely non-nutritive, full of empty calories, high in simple carbohydrates which spike your blood sugar and are deep fried in the most damaged pro-inflammatory fat EVER.  So not good.

they are more golden on the part that's in the pan

I will, however, make baked doughnuts with some higher quality (but I didn’t say healthful) ingredients.  They still taste delicious and won’t put anyone in a sugar coma afterwards!  Yippee!  I am giving you plenty of time to order this doughnut pan because unfortunately you can’t make doughnuts without a doughnut pan.  I like this one the best because it is coated with silicone for a nonstick finish that doesn’t leach like toxic PFTE’s and PFOA’s.  You can also scoop the batter with an mini ice cream scoop into mini muffin pans for doughnut holes.

dipping in cinnamon-sugar

I recommend making these the day you want to eat them and I am partial to serving these alongside a hearty, high fiber and high protein breakfast and not alone because even though they are significantly better for you than traditional doughnuts, they’re not health food!  I kept these pretty simple with a cinnamon-sugar topping, but if you really wanted to throw in the towel, you could go for a glaze instead.  Fun!

baked cinnamon cake doughnuts | pamela salzman


5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Cinnamon Cake Doughnuts
Serves: makes 6 doughnuts or 20 doughnut "holes"
  • ⅓ cup whole milk or milk substitute, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour*
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour or white spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (do not omit – this is the secret ingredient of all cake doughnuts!)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + extra butter for greasing the pan
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Topping:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or less cinnamon for a more “authentic” ratio)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the wells of the doughnut pan with some butter.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, mix together milk and vinegar and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla and curdled milk.
  5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients, taking care not to overmix.
  6. Spoon batter evenly into wells of the doughnut pan, filling only ⅔ full.* If filled too high, there won’t be any doughnut holes. Another way to fill the wells is by transferring the batter to a quart-size Ziploc bag and snipping one corner ½inch and piping the batter into the wells. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until doughnuts spring back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool 5 minutes before turning doughnuts onto a cooling rack.
  7. While the doughnuts are still warm, combine the 2 Tablespoons cane sugar with the teaspoon of cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Brush the tops (or bottoms) of the doughnuts with melted butter and dip into the cinnamon–sugar mixture so that it sticks. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
*Or substitute a total of 1 cup King Arthur Multi-purpose Gluten-free Flour and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum for the white and wheat flours

**Or bake in a greased mini-muffin pan for doughnut holes.




Homemade ranch dressing recipe (dairy-free and vegan-adaptable)

Homemade Ranch Dressing | Pamela Salzman

For all of you out there who were like me and just hoping for a good game last night, was that a disappointment or what?!  We started counting how many times someone in the room said, “Are you kidding me?!”  At least the commercials and the half-time show were entertaining and eats were tasty.  We kept everything very simple with a taco bar, Mexican chopped salad and pizzas.  For snacking during the game, we had lots of guacamole, salsa and chips, naturally, and a huge raw vegetable platter with hummus, spinach dip and this homemade Ranch dressing.  I was very happy to fill up on lots of veggies so that I didn’t overdo it on pizza and tacos later.

Kefir, Vegenaise and Greek yogurt

base of the Ranch dressing before adding herbs

I had to come up with a cleaned up homemade Ranch dressing years ago for my husband because it’s his favorite on salads and I just can’t handle buying the bottled version.  Just read the ingredients on a label of Hidden Valley Ranch and you’ll understand why.  Even though I prefer a lemon juice or apple cider vinegar-based salad dressing, I think Ranch can sometimes really hit the spot and I do like it as a dip for crisp vegetables, too.  I taught this dressing in a summer cooking class over big slabs of ripe tomatoes and avocado with some raw corn.  So good!  And I love the idea of pouring a dressing into little cups with a few raw vegetable sticks for a party appetizer.

fresh parsley and chives

mince the herbs

Traditional Ranch dressing is herby and contains buttermilk and usually sour cream.  But I make mine with Greek yogurt, Vegenaise and kefir (pronounced kee-fer,) a fermented dairy product which is a little like a liquidy yogurt.  You can definitely use buttermilk and regular mayonnaise if you want.  But my girls really like kefir in the their smoothies and I usually have some in the refrigerator.  I also think it’s a bit better than buttermilk from a nutritional perspective.   Here’s an excerpt from  Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions  which is very interesting:Kefir is a cultured and microbial-rich food that helps restore the inner ecology. It contains strains of beneficial yeast and bacteria (in a symbiotic relationship) that give kefir antibiotic properties. A natural antibiotic–and it is made from milk! The finished product is not unlike that of a drink-style yogurt, but kefir has a more tart, refreshing taste and contains completely different organisms…kefir does not feed yeast, and it usually doesn’t even bother people who are lactose intolerant. That’s because the friendly bacteria and the beneficial yeast growing in the kefir consume most of the lactose and provide very efficient enzymes (lactase) for consuming whatever lactose is still left after the culturing process…kefir is mucous forming, but…the slightly mucous-forming quality is exactly what makes kefir work for us. The mucous has a clean quality to it that coats the lining of the digestive tract, creating sort of a nest where beneficial bacteria settle and colonize.”

homemade Ranch dressing | pamela salzman

If you can’t tolerate any dairy, even fermented ones, I do have a great vegan version of this recipe that you can follow below.  And if you don’t have fresh chives and parsley for this recipe, even half the amount of dried will do.  Like most dressings and vinaigrettes, Ranch can be enjoyed all year long.  However, keep in mind that creamy dressings go better with sturdier, more crispy lettuces like romaine.  No matter how you enjoy it, I think you’ll agree this is the freshest, best-tasting Ranch you’ve ever had!

homemade ranch dressing recipe (dairy-free and vegan-adaptable) | Pamela Salzman

 homemade ranch dressing recipe (dairy-free and vegan-adaptable) | Pamela Salzman

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Serves: makes about 1 ¾ cups
  • ½ cup soy-free Vegenaise or good quality mayonnaise
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • ½ cup buttermilk or plain, unsweetened kefir
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives or 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
To make this dairy-free and vegan:
¼ cup vegenaise
¾ cup raw cashews soaked in water for 3 hours, then drained
1 cup fresh water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, grated or minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives or 1 scallion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

Place everything except the herbs into a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until creamy.  Stir in the herbs by hand and transfer to a container.