At 11 years old, Mia Wurster impressed fans and celebrity chefs alike on the third season of the popular Fox TV show Masterchef Junior. She cooked alligator, made it to the final 12 and created what Gordon Ramsay called “the best sausage of the year.” When the Wurster family initially went gluten free to benefit her sister Faith, who has cerebral palsy, Wurster was less than thrilled about the new diet. Instead of complaining, however, she became the primary cook for the family and began preparing gluten-free meals she enjoyed. Mia likes this recipe for Protein Pancakes because it is a great way to start the day with lots of energy. “When I have these pancakes for breakfast, I feel much less hungry at lunchtime than if I eat just plain cereal,” she
says. Plus the pancakes are so easy to make that other
aspiring young chefs can do it on their own.
- 1 large banana
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Mash banana in a large bowl. Add eggs to bowl with banana, whisking with a fork to break up all remaining banana pieces. Add almond butter and mix to combine. When mixture is smooth, add oats, vanilla, chia seeds and cinnamon.
Melt coconut oil in a skillet on low heat. Using a ½-cup measuring cup, pour batter into skillet in small circles. Cook on low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until pancakes start to become firm and turn light brown. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 3-5 minutes until pancakes are no longer gooey in the centers.
Cook’s tip: Be patient—these pancakes take a little while to cook because they don’t have flour.
Tips for young chefs
Mia says cooking for your family can be fun and rewarding. Here are some tips she has for other kids who are drawn to the kitchen.
- Experiment with different recipes and foods and realize that what you cook is probably not going to be great the first time you try it.
- Gordon Ramsay wasn’t born a brilliant cook. He had to work hard to get better, so always have fun in the kitchen.
- Don’t worry if what you make isn’t quite as good as you were hoping. If you had fun in the kitchen and you’ve made something your family can eat, you’ve accomplished something great.
- Remember gluten free does not mean taste free.