Since February is the national month for cardiovascular health I will post a lot of recipes with heart healthy ingredients. Even if you do not have hearth disease, these recipes are great prevention tools. I mean did you know we will all develop atherosclerosis eventually? It usually begins to form since we are 13-15 years old. Smoking, having a high fat diet and being overweight increase your chances of developing a more severe form of the disease.
But back to the recipe….These pancakes taste like mini banana breads. Prep this for the week ahead and take on the go. What makes these pancakes a healthy breakfast alternative? Well regular pancakes are usually made with butter and white flour. These ingredients make them high in fat and processed sugars. This will traditionally create a high sugar spike in the body, and consequently an insulin surge. In return you will feel excessively full and sometimes even groggy. To avoid sugar spikes and maintain a steady glycemic index it is essential to incorporate more fiber and whole grains into your diet. Why? These are processed more slowly, giving your body time to fully digest the food which in return will help keep you feeling fuller longer without feeling terrible afterwards. It will also help regulate your bowel movements and help lower your bad cholesterol.
Heart healthy ingredient breakdown:
– WALNUTS: are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, omega-3s and fiber. A small handful a day can provide anti-inflammatory properties plus help lower bad cholesterol.
– OATS: all forms of oat will also help you lower bad cholesterol. Additionally it is one of the best breakfast foods for people with diabetes or other glucose abnormalities since it helps maintain a steady glycemic index for hours. It won’t cause an insulin spike and can help curve hunger surges. This is why some experts recommend swapping oats for 1/3 of the flour in most baking recipes (muffins, pancakes, breads, etc.)
– GROUND FLAXSEED: most people know that flaxseed is good for the heart. It contains fiber and powerful omega-3s called EPA and DHA. This magical powder is an easy food to incorporate into any diet. I mean it’s tasteless and you can sprinkle it on cereal, oatmeal, baked goods, yogurt, smoothies, mustard, pastas, casseroles…you name it. So if you know someone who has a high fat, high red meat diet – recommend this product! You can help protect their heart health with as little as 2 tbsp of this powder daily.
1/2 cup Instant oats
1 cup Whole wheat buttermilk pancake mix, *I use the Hogson Mill brand
1 cup non fat milk or non-dairy milk, *add more if you like thinner pancakes
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp flaxseed meal (ground), *optional – to boost fiber
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
TOPPINGS & EXTRAS:, (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
pure maple syrup
cool whip or greek yogurt
extra banana slices
1. Preheat oven to 250º F. Place the walnuts in a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until they become aromatic. Remove walnuts from the oven and set aside. As you cook the pancakes, transfer them onto the cookie sheet to keep warm in the preheated oven.
2. Whisk the egg and milk in a large mixing bowl. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the mixture. Whisk until well combined. NOTE – Due to all the fiber and whole grains, these pancakes tend to be thicker and muffin like in consistency. If you desire a more traditional consistency, incorporate more milk into the mixture.
3. Cook the pancakes in batches, preferably 1-2 at a time. Use a nonstick pan and add vegetable oil spray if needed to grease the pan slightly. Never cook at high heat!! For best results cook at medium low heat.
Yield: 9-10 palm-size pancakes
Loaded version: banana slices, cool whip, maple syrup & walnuts…(Keep in mind the more toppings you add, the more calories this breakfast contains. However the original recipe is low in fat, sugar and cholesterol so the toppings balance it out by adding a bit of sugar and good fats).
Watch how the dollop of cool whip melts away…
Simple version…just maple syrup and walnuts
and just as delicious….