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I’ve said this before, but I’ll admit it again. Being a nutritionist doesn’t stop me from having a full-on sweet tooth. That’s my thing, that’s my issue, that’s my problem, that’s what I’d want if I was stranded on a dessert (Fruedian spelling slip) island.

Stranded with Brad Pitt? No thanks. Stranded with something sweet? Count me in! Stranded with a maple tree and some sap buckets? Yeah!

Pancakes and pure maple syrup β€” yep, that’s my downfall.

The pancakes?

They’re just maple syrup holders. A reason to eat pure, organic, grade A, Vermont maple syrup.

Knowing full-well I’d be better off topping my pancakes and hot cereal with something other than liquid sweetness, I’m always up for a healthier option. Once again, Ali, from Whole Life Nutrition has come to the rescue, inspiring me to try something new. She just did a post on blueberry syrup and it looks divine. I, however, picked up another big bag of fresh Colorado peaches in my CSA box on Monday.

what you need
6-7 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped in small chunks
1 cup water (a little less if you have very juicy peaches)
2 teaspoons agar-agar *
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

what you do
Wash and chop the peaches. I put the chopped peaches in a large strainer like this, over a larger bowl. I squished (sophisticated culinary term) out some of the juice into the bowl, pressing and smooshing the peaches into the strainer. Pour water and collected peach juice into a medium-sized sauce pan. Add agar-agar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a strong simmer and stir frequently for 5 minutes until agar-agar has fully dissolved.

* Agar-agar is a thickener made from seaweed. You could use arrowroot powder for the thickening agent, or skip it altogether. I like using agar-agar because it’s high in iodine and I feel like I need a dose now and then for thyroid health.

Add peaches, cinnamon and honey and continue simmering and stirring for another 10 minutes, until sauce thickens and water is reduced. It should be the consistency of applesauce.

You have to stir frequently so you might as well keep yourself busy. Stand facing your kitchen counter, about 3 feet away (maybe a little more depending on how tall you are). Okay, here’s the disclaimer. Read this and swear to me you’re not going to do something stupid. Ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to do push-ups against the kitchen counter. Don’t slip on the floor, chip your tooth, hurt your shoulder or whatever else is possible. Make sure you have decent shoes on, your floor isn’t wet and you’re not standing on a banana peel.


With your feet at least 3 feet from the counter, bend over and grasp the edge. Now you’re at a 90 degree angle similar to Uttanasana Forward Bend demonstrated in this illustration. The only difference is you’re grasping the counter top and your feet might be farther away from the cabinet. The farther away, the harder the push-up. Also, the easier it is to slip and hurt yourself (see above disclaimer, read it again). Using core strength (imagine velcro-ing your belly button to your spine from the inside — work your abs), do a series of strong push-ups. Don’t sag. Start with 10 push-ups, rest, stretch back into Uttanasana Forward Bend and then stir your peach syrup; do 10 more push-ups, rest, stretch back into Uttanasana Forward Bend and continue to stir your peach syrup. And on you go. Think of how much strength you build just hanging around in your kitchen waiting for stuff to happen. Seriously, I do iron-chef-girl yoga all the time.

Serve your peach syrup warm over pancakes or let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for later use. This is great over ice cream, hot cereal (wonderful over hot teff or GF oatmeal), buckwheat pancakes, French toast, or waffles.


Whew, cooking is hard.

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17 Responses to “peach pancake sauce & push-ups”

  1. greedydave says:


    I write this from my hospital bed having had an awful kitchen push-up accident.

    I love the sound of your peach sauce and I look forward to the day when I am no longer fed through a tube and I can taste it for myself!

    πŸ™‚ Seriously, I often wondered how you thickened your sauces and syrups without gluten cooties. Agar-agar hey? That’s serious Adria/Blumenthal MG equipment. Great stuff, you.


  2. Ali says:

    Thanks Melissa! πŸ™‚

    Your peach syrup sounds divine as well. We just picked 93 pounds of peaches from a friend’s tree yesterday, can you believe it! It only took the girls and I about 30 minutes, the tree was so loaded.

    I like the use of agar flakes here, I have never tried that. I sometimes make a peach sauce using sliced peaches, water, arrowroot, honey, and nutmeg. It is great over millet – somehow millet and peaches just go together.

    Looks like you have a lot of other great recipes up that I have missed!

    Happy Summer! -Ali πŸ™‚

  3. Cid says:

    Melissa and GDave,

    I found the push ups so fraught with danger and due to my love of bananas, latex underflooring and low ceiling beams,I have regretfully decided to concentrate on the peach sauce aspect only πŸ™‚ Of course when the kitchen is complete and every trace of banana skin has been swept away, I’ll be only too pleased to join Brad Pitt on his island πŸ™‚


  4. Melissa says:


    I just knew someone would have a culinary accident, I just didn’t expect it to be a healthy young guy! I could send Cid over with some sauce to pour down your feeding tube. We could mix it with a little vodka or something.

    I don’t know what Adria/Blumenthal MG means, but agar flakes are totally harmless little dried sea vegetables. I’m sure they’re organic and free range. No GM sea veggies for me, my friend.

    Love your sense of humor. You Brits are a handful!

  5. Melissa says:


    You and Tom are always onto good things! I appreciate your inspiration and ideas. Wow, 93 pounds!? What are you going to do with all of them? I’ve been making peach everything lately! Not that I’m complaining.


  6. Melissa says:


    Between you and GDave, I’ve been snickering for the past 10 minutes. I figured your difficulty might be the billowy sleeves from your elegant Japanese Kimono. Those sleeves aren’t made for exercise. I was also concerned about your zori, but I figured you probably had the straw soles replaced with a safe, non-skid material.

    Can’t wait to see the new kitchen. Keep us posted.

  7. What a gorgeous pic! Love the alliteration in the title … and that’s as close as I get to pushups in the kitchen. LOL I usually clean my sink, empty the dish drainer, etc. when I’m in wait mode. But, I do have a sweet tooth, so maybe some form of exercise while waiting for the peaches to become syrup would be appropriate. I’ve never used agar-agar flakes either, but I’ll be on the lookout for them. They sound like a nutritious way of thickening. Wonder if they’d interfere with my Armour thyroid meds. BTW, I’m imagining this syrup on some good old vanilla ice cream (versus those “syrup holders” you live for)–that would be delish.


  8. Tina Turbin says:

    Your site is very helpful and informative. I too have an informative Gluten Free blog and I am very interested in recommending your site on my blog and maybe you could do the same for mine? I also review products and companies, conduct interviews and write Articles on these topics. I’d love you to visit my site and blog. Please write me back and let me know what you think about this idea. The more of us helping get the word out and helping one another, the better. Tina Turbin

  9. Miles says:

    I wouldn’t want to be stranded with him either πŸ™‚
    Sounds lovely, your recipes are very imaginative.


  10. Esther says:

    holy cow, where did you come from, and how did you know I have 30lbs of peaches left with no idea what to do with them. This sounds yum and a lot better that the sugar loaded jam I made yesterday.
    And the pesto…recipe, perfect timing there too.

  11. lo says:

    Oh, wow. Melissa, this looks like the best pancake topping yet! I think I’m a little jealous of those peaches you’re getting from your CSA.

    Fortunately for me, Wisconsin does have peaches — thre are a couple of orchards up north in the Door County area (about 3 hours from me). So, I’ll be seeking out a few Door County peaches this week for sure.

    (And I’m with you on the desert island… people think I’m nuts, but they can keep Brad Pitt)

  12. Melissa says:


    Agar flakes are high in iodine, so you might want to check with your doc before adding them to your thickening arsenal.

    Ice cream?

    I’m in. And off to view your current post on ice cream!

  13. Melissa says:

    Hi Tina,

    Welcome to my blog and to the blogoshpere! Congrats and good luck with your blogging adventure. Enjoy!

  14. Melissa says:


    I wouldn’t expect that he’d be your choice, but I’m guessing you and your buddy at Table #5 could come up with some spicy choices for that desert island. As for my recipes being imaginative, is that a euphemism for strange?


  15. Melissa says:


    Welcome! Thirty pounds of peaches? Oh my gosh, you lucky girl. Peach ice cream might be a good direction to go with some of them.

    Peach salsa, maybe. Peach muffins. Peach pie. Don’t get me started.

  16. Melissa says:


    It’s amazing how wonderful Colorado’s peaches are. It would seem this isn’t idea peach country, but it is.

    I’m with you on the Brad Pitt thing. I’d rather have chocolate or apple pie on that desert island.


  17. CoconutGal says:

    Mmmm peaches and push-ups! Sounds like my kind of recipe. How long will this syrup keep? We still have about 6 peaches left I didn’t freeze!
    I’ve been experimenting with agar agar and now I have a good reason! I didn’t know it was high in iodine. Cool beans! Oh and I think it’s coming time for that starchy veggie post! Now that I’m starting to see squash pop up around the market!

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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