For reasons I’ll divulge in more detail in a later post, I’m experimenting with eating a grain-free diet this year. In short, grains are difficult for us humans to digest and I’m no exception... grains make me bloated, stodgey, blocked and.... antsy (sorry, was that too much detail?). A diet high in grains puts strain on our digestive system and can cause weight gain (cattle are fed grains to fatten them up quickly in the final stages before slaughter).
|my buckwheat pancakes, two ways. a bit of an obsession lately!|
So, no grains, no sugar. Kinda limits options a little at meal times. Sometimes a girl just can’t take any more vegetables and eggs for breakfast. Thanks the gods for my friend Emily then, who was kind enough to introduce me to the world of buckwheat – technically a seed, not a grain!
A few things to know about buckwheat:
- As I mentioned, it’s actually the seed of a plant, related to rhubarb of all things. This means it contains no gluten and is easily digested.
- It’s super for your health. Studies have linked diets containing buckwheat to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure... good news for your cardiovascular system!
- Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids, which protect against disease by acting as antioxidants, again important for preventing heart disease as well as cancer.
- Buckwheat helps control blood glucose levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- It fills you up! Without the over-full stodgey bloated after effect.
The other good news?
- Buckwheat tastes good. Think subtle nutty earthiness.
- It’s extremely versatile – available as groats or flour - and behaves much the same as wheat flour in baking... and pancake making!
- It fills you up very nicely, more than wheat and other grains. Yet you’re not left with a heavy bogged down feeling.
Buckwheat love all ‘round!
My friend Emily, who rises at the wee hour of 5am every morning to meditate for 1.5 hours and is currently in the process of quitting sugar (go Emily go!) gave me her method of whipping up a quick sugar free, dairy free and egg free (because she doesn’t eat these things) buckwheat pancake breakfast extravaganza. Her method COULD NOT be any easier and quicker to prepare. And it tastes delicious. Here it is:
free buckwheat pancakes with berries
1 banana, quite ripe
nut milk (I like almond or hazelnut milk) – for my homemade almond milk recipe click here
2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil or biodynamic or organic butter
biodynamic natural yoghurt (optional)
handful of chemical free berries (I like organic blackberries and blueberries)
In a deep bowl, mash the banana with a dash of almond milk until you get a nice chunky but paste-y consistency (much like baby food). Now start sprinkling buckwheat flour over the top and beating it through the banana mixture until you get a thick pancake batter consistency. You won’t need too much buckwheat, so go slow.* Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan over low-medium heat, then pour enough pancake mixture in to form the pancake size you’re after.** Fry until golden on both sides. Place the pancakes on a serving plate and top with another teaspoon of coconut oil (optional), a dollop of yoghurt (optional) and the berries. You can finish with a drizzle of raw honey or other healthy sweetener such as rice syrup or real maple syrup if you wish.
*If you want a runnier mixture, add a little more almond milk until you get the consistency you want (thicker for pancakes, thinner for crepes).
** The quantities above make two medium-sized pancakes. I find them super filling - one is usually enough for me.