Imagine taking a bite of a soft, fluffy pancake. As you slice those friendly little triangle bites out of the circular golden brown wonder – no knife required as the tenacity of the cake gives way under your fork – you anticipate that particular crumble and chew. Pancakes are gorgeous. Everyone knows it.
I have a specific memory from when I was a kid watching one of my favorite cartoons. One of the characters was hanging out in the kitchen on a Saturday morning talking to his dad and digging into a pancake. I was mesmerized.
“I love pancakes.” I thought to myself.
I’ve grown up a lot since then. But, as far as pancakes go, I’m at the exact same mental maturity level. Well maybe I’ve matured a little, or at least broadened my perspective on the subject. Because as lovely as pancakes are, all it takes is a few years in a post-pubescent body to figure out that eating a giant plate of simple carbohydrates makes you wish diners had coma cots available. And that they make you feel fat. Because they make you fat.
The science behind that crashing feeling is traditional pancakes made with refined white flour and slathered in ultra sweet imitation maple syrup, gets translated in the body as straight up sugar. This causes a huge spike in blood sugar and, as we all know, what goes up must come plummeting back down.
These huge fluctuations aren’t just annoying in that they make you nap in the middle of the day and waste your weekend, but it’s these destructive, intense rides in blood sugar that can contribute to candida overgrowth and even diabetes.
For many, a solution to this is whole wheat pancakes. Being complex carbs, they break down more slowly. But with many people suffering from celiac disease, and general digestive issues, the glutenous variety is off the breakfast table 😉
I’ve tried just about every alternative flour in the book at this point, and it’s tough because gluten helps give them the bounce that makes them pan “cakes” rather than pan “flats”. And coconut flour can make a bit of a spongy pancake. But I found a recipe that makes some fluffers with a nice crumb.
I present the teff and sorghum pancake!
Not only are they both whole grain, gluten free, complex carbs, but teff also contains a newly discovered resistant starch which actually acts as soluble fiber and helps the body with blood sugar management, weight control and colon health.
Sorghum has also been shown to protect against diabetes and insulin resistance and even prevent tumor growth. In addition to these aspects, they also offer magnesium, calcium, antioxidants and vitamins.
So these pancakes don’t just avoid the highs and lows of regular pancakes, they actually help fight blood sugar issues and aid digestion. Can’t beat that. Oh yeah you can, by adding that they’re actually fluffy and tasty like a pancake is supposed to be.
Now there’s still the issue of that sweet syrup. For people looking to avoid the peaks and doldrums of sugary condiments, one of my favorite toppings is nut butter. In particular, I like to combine sunflower butter or almond butter and coconut butter. It’s a drippy, dreamy frosting-like way to top these griddle darlings.
The added benefit of topping pancakes with this nut butter frosting instead of syrup is that the healthy unsaturated fat with fill you up so you’ll be able to keep your consumption down to a reasonable amount and feel completely satisfied.
Sunbutter has a creamy texture and tastes more like peanut butter, whereas almond butter is a bit grainier and toastier. Both are great even sans coconut butter if you want to keep it simpler.
I like to have these with a nice big fresh salad or a plate of chilled cucumber slices, just to take to edge off of the acidity of the grains and make sure my blood sugar is solid.
How about you? What are some of your favorite pancakes memories? Have you had difficulty achieving that nostalgic texture with gluten free grains?
- For the Pancakes:
- ¾ Cup Teff Flour
- ¾ Cup Sorghum Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk (Or milk of choice)
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ Stick of Butter (Melted.) (White milk sugar can be skimmed off for ACD if desired)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (Alcohol free for ACD)
- 1 Tbs butter, ghee or coconut oil (for greasing skillet)
- For the Frosting:
- 1-2 Tbs Sunflower Seed/Almond butter (Or desired nut butter)
- 1 Tbs Coconut Butter
- Packet of Truvia (Optional)
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Once melted remove from heat and let cool. (If you're worried about the milk sugars in the butter, you can skim them off now. They're the foamy part that surfaces.)
- Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients in small bowl.
- Heat a skillet over medium/high heat. Add butter/ghee or coconut oil.
- Add wet to dry and mix to combine. Don't over mix.
- Once skillet is hot, use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop batter into skillet.
- Allow pancakes to cook until bubbles on the surface begin to appear and pop and the edges firm up, then flip.
- Allow the other side to brown.
- For the Frosting simply combine the two butters in a small bowl with a spoon until smooth. You can play with the ratio a bit depending on how creamy or thick you want it, or how much coconut vs. nutty flavor you want.