Cooking for the Wolf: Breakfast Chez Elena (Hempseed Pancakes)

During brunch with my parents the other day, I ordered buckwheat crepes and fruit, a far cry from my custard filled and syrup drenched breakfast favourites of the past.  The buckwheat crepes were boring, unsatisfying, and considering how I felt afterwards, most likely contained gluten despite it’s name.  This morning, I decided to try my hand at a homemade, protein-packed, vegan, gluten-free alternative: Hempseed pancakes (Choosing Raw) with almond butter and  fresh strawberry, chia seed  jam (Thrive).

The hempseed pancake recipe was simple and didn’t require any strange, gluten-free baking additives like xanthum gum, which I appreciated.  The batter came out quite thick, so I added more almond milk than listed.  You have to be careful not to make the pancakes too large or too thin, since they are fragile and prone to crumbling when flipping. The pancakes themselves are pretty dense, so be careful of making them too thick. I was barely able to eat two small pancakes before feeling full!  I only made half the recipe, yet I found myself with a good amount of batter left, so I popped it into the freezer for another day.  In the end though,  it’s all about the toppings. I wasn’t feeling like anything too sweet this morning, so I opted for a PB & J version of almond butter and a no-cook, sugar-free, fresh strawberry chia seed jam to add extra nutrients.

Chia seeds (of “chia pet” fame) were used as an endurance food by Aztecs and Mayans to increase energy levels while hunting.  Due to the nature of these seeds, they absorb water very easily (9-10 times of their weight), therefore, resulting in prolonged hydration and retention of electrolytes, which is one of the reasons why endurance runners tend to use these seeds.  They are extremely nutritious, containing around 22% of protein, 35% of healthy fats (Omega 3, Omega 6), 25% of dietary fiber and contain plenty of minerals and vitamins (calcium, potassium, and iron).  They are said to provide relief from arthritis and diabetes (by absorbing sugar), decrease blood pressure, help with acid reflux, and improve the general cardiac health.  They can be put in smoothies, as salad toppers, as well as a variety of other uses. Click here for a great article on the benefits of chia.

That being said, a mountain of fruit & maple syrup, or a nutella & banana inspired version would be delicious, as well!

Happy Sunday, everyone!


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