Pancakes and healthy eating don’t seem to go hand in hand but today I’m here to let you in on a secret: they can be part of a healthy diet when they are made of whole foods + love! See below for the recipe 🙂
I am not the pancake type per say BUT I used to adore them as a child. I poured syrup over my pancakes that only required me to add water (ok sometimes an egg) before I could make them. Little did I know that the ingredients in pancakes were not that healthy. The boxed pancakes contained a ton of ingredients like enriched bleached flour (isn’t that an oxymoron or something?) and ‘maple’ syrup made with a million ingredients including high fructose corn syrup, colours, preservatives and artificial flavors to name a few.
What’s wrong with enriched bleached flour?
Well, what isn’t wrong with it? First of all most wheat is GMO, and since this particular wheat is enriched it means the wheat bran and germ have been removed along with some beautiful nutrients like iron (for our blood and carrying oxygen, no biggie) and B vitamins that help us deal with stress (that’s important, right?). Since most of the nutrition is removed leaving only the endosperm which is full of simple carbohydrates and little else, manufacturers ‘enrich’ this flour with iron and B vitamins and whatever else they feel like adding in. The thing is that the nutrients added back in need to be bioavailable.
For example manufacturers will add in inorganic iron or iron made from metal! Iron found in food is better absorbed than a piece of metal ground up and added to flour. Try gnawing on an iron nail for your nutrients and see what happens! So when the box says 30% iron, you probably don’t get anywhere near that amount because the body cannot use it! As for the B vitamins added back in, only a few are added in. B vitamins work synergistically, so adding in a select few will not have the same nutritional bang as what was originally found in the whole grain.
When you consume a whole grain, you get all the minerals, vitamins and possible enzymes (if sprouted and eaten raw) to support its digestion. When you eat a food-like substance your body needs to take the vitamins, minerals and enzymes from itself to digest the food making said food an ANTI-NUTRIENT (like sugar!)
High Fructose Corn Syrup, the high you want to avoid.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been in the news lately, finally. It has been referred to as the culprit behind the rampant explosion in obesity rates. There are many reasons HFCS is not healthy. HFCS is most likely made with GMO corn, which is one of the most common allergens. Fructose is a biologically occurring molecule in our system and in many fruits. It can come from nature but when companies decide to strip away the plant and only use the lone chemical compound craziness happens!
Fructose in high amounts is converted to fat. Yes sugar to fat, specifically triglycerides. When there is too much circulating fat in the blood stream it can create insulin resistance, type II diabetes, heart disease and faster aging! I’m not sure about you, but that doesn’t sound good to me at all!
HFCS is also not a whole food and similar to bleached white flour, it is an ANTI-NUTRIENT.
Ok so what can you do?
Have I scared you away from pancakes forever? I hope not! Because you can enjoy them and not harm your beautiful body at the same time. This recipe is full of whole foods, is super easy and helps you stay on the path to health without deprivation 🙂
Whole foods contain far more nutrients than processed foods. As they are recognizable to our bodies, we are able to absorb more nutrition into our system. The more nutrition that gets into our cells, the better they function and the better we look and feel!
The Super Simple Vegan Gluten-free Pancake Recipe
Adapted from Earthly and Divine
makes 2-3 servings, please buy organic if possible
- 1 cup millet
- 1 cut oat groats
- 1 banana
- 4 tbsp. organic shredded coconut (add more if batter too wet)
- 2-3 cups of water (add more if batter too dry)
- 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt
- Coconut oil as needed
- Pure Dark Maple Syrup
- In a high powered blender or food processor process millet and oats until a flour like consistency.
- Add in the banana, shredded coconut, salt and water.
- Blend well.
- Add enough coconut oil to a skillet on medium.
- Add in enough batter to create a saucer size pancake and wait until bubbles form.
- Flip and cook on other side.
- Remove and serve with dark maple syrup!
I hope this post has shown you that eating healthy can be delicious. Please SHARE this with anyone trying to break out of their pancake habit (they don’t need to!) OR who want to treat themselves and their friends for brunch on the weekend!