Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

As most of you know, I have a passion for cooking and eating healthy!  We strive to eat whole, natural, and raw foods as much as possible!  I am always looking for ways to incorporate healthy (gluten-free) grains in our foods that have far more rich nutritional profiles compared to brown rice flour.

I found this recipe for homemade pumpkin pancakes and decided to get a little creative!!  Instead of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour, I ground up some fresh buckwheat and millet flour.  I didn't have any fresh pumpkin on hand (I had just used up my 8 cups of fresh pumpkin the week before), so I substituted pureed sweet potatoes!  (You couldn't tell)!  You might be thinking to yourself, Buckwheat and Millet?  What in the world are those????  Well, I did a little research to share with you all the benefits of these amazing grains (seeds)!

Feel free to click on this image to make the recipe larger and easier to read!

Buckwheat actually isn’t a cereal grain (like many think), but it is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel.  It is also gluten free!

Health Benefits of Buckwheat Flour
- Associated with a lower LDL and higher HDL
- High in flavonoids (phytonutrients that protect against disease)
- Help maintain blood flow, keep platelets from clotting excessively
- Protect LDL from free radical oxidation into potentially harmful cholesterol oxides
- Super high in magnesium, manganese, fiber (4.5 gm in 1 cup), and tryptophan
- Help with blood sugar control
- Help to avoid gallstones

Millet is also another gluten free option.  It is technically a seed and not a grain.  It is a common staple food in Africa.

Health Benefits of Millet
- Excellent source of magnesium (which can reduce serverity of asthma and decrease freq of Migraine HA’s, decrease BP.  1 C = 26.4% of your daily value for magnesium)
- High in phosphorus (which plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body)
- Linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers
- Help prevent gallstones
- Help with blood sugar control

The buckwheat is at the back of the eggs on the left, the millet to the right of the buckwheat!

I know a lot of people are scared to use different grains!  It can be very intimidating!! Why not use just good old fashioned flour?  Well, to be honest, there is hardly any nutritional value to it!  Isn't it a good challenge to find grains that will benefit your family and taste yummy?  Once you get all of the other ingredients added in, you can't even taste the difference!  You can find buckwheat and millet (and tons of other grains) at health food stores.  If you buy in bulk, it is so much cheaper!!!

To turn the buckwheat groats and millet seeds into flour, just measure out the appropriate amount, then put them in a coffee grinder (food processor)!  Boom ... easy as that!!

Yummy!!  My next skill will be making Elmo Pancakes! HA!!

Our favorite and healthiest toppings for pancakes!

Do you have any favorite, "health-ified" recipes?  Please share!!

 PS> One recipe note ... it does suggest separating the eggs and whipping the egg whites till peaks form ... this makes the pancakes SUPER light and fluffy!  You would be amazed at the difference.  A small extra step with huge benefits!

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