Gosh, what a week. I had my first huge test for my radio class this Thursday and so many assignments from my jobs that need to be completed. Yet here I am writing a blog post…? Hah. Before you jump to conclusions and judge my prioritizing skills, just know that I made these pancakes during one of my many study breaks because, damn, I needed some brain fuel.
Which brings me to my first point and question- is fat really our biggest enemy or could it actually be our best friend? Not to play devil’s advocate, but healthy fat is totally underrated and most of us should be consuming more of it in our diet. WHHHHATTT? Consuming more fat? How can that possibly be good for our health? Well, whether we like it or not healthy fat is crucial for proper body function, especially brain function. Ever feel foggy and groggy in the morning, like your brain won’t start up and think properly? Ever get a headache when you’re up late studying or finishing work assignments? Not only should you read my Lemon Water post, but you should also recognize this fatigue as a signal from your brain saying it’s in dire need of some healthy fat to fuel its activity. Healthy fats consumed in moderation aid cognitive functions, boost metabolism and provide organs with energy to perform every day functions properly.
So why has fat gotten such a bad rep if it provides such great benefits? The truth is most of us are convinced that all fats are equal, meaning the fat found in a Big Mac is obviously the same kind of fat found in an avocado and both foods carry too many calories to maintain a healthy weight. This perception is completely false! Your first order of business should be to change the way you perceive fats and stop only reading nutrition labels to make health-conscious decisions. I’m not saying nutrition facts aren’t important, but sometimes you have to look at the entire picture of health in order to crack open the secrets to proper diet and nutrition. The difference between a Big Mac and an avocado (other than the fact that McDonalnd’s processes the CRAP out of its foods) is that Big Mac’s consist of saturated and trans fats while avocados consist of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. I could get into the whole science behind fats, but basically unsaturated fats are fats in their natural, original state. That’s why there’s naturally a lot of fat in avocados. Someone didn’t put the fat there, it naturally came out of the ground like that people! Saturated and trans fats are fats that have been tampered with, and those fats are the ones that clog your arteries, thicken your waistline and eat away at your heart. If you’d like to read more about this difference, check out this article.
Here’s a list of some good-for-you fats that you should be consuming in moderation on a regular basis:
- Extra Virgin UNREFINED coconut oil (Emphasis on the unrefined)
- Raw Walnuts, almonds and cashews
- Salmon (Distinguish the difference between farm raised and wild caught because it makes it makes a huge impact on your health. Read more about that here)
- Hemp seeds
- Pure 100% olive oil
Note the word moderation. Healthy fats are naturally very beneficial to our bodies, but consuming them in a reasonable portion size is also something that makes them healthy. So just a word to the wise, don’t go eating a bunch of avocados in one sitting because, yes, that will have some negative effects.
Ok, ok, you must be wondering when I’m going to talk about the pancakes, huh? What does my rant on healthy fats have to do with these pancakes anyways? Well here they come! This is one of my go-to study food and breakfast recipes when I need something warm, quick and semi-sweet but still nutritious. Typical buttermilk pancakes, whether you make from using a box mix or from scratch, carry lots of added sugars and refined white flour, but these babies are completely gluten-free, paleo, have no sugar added and, of course, has healthy fat from the virgin coconut oil. I’d even dare to say they’re better than the original flappy cakes. Here’s the gist:
Serves 2 or 1 generously.
- 1/4 cup coconut flour- $2.99, 1 lb bag @ Trader Joe’s
- 2 Tbs almond meal- $5.99, 1 lb bag @ Trader Joe’s
- 2 Tbs tapoica flour- 99 cents @ China Town store (obviously this is an abstract place to buy ingredients, but if you have a China Town near you I’d highly suggest buying from there because the prices are practically unbeatable. But if not, an Asian grocery store may have to suffice)
- 3 eggs- prices will vary (but right now they’re $2.99, dozen cage-free eggs at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 cup almond milk- $9.18, 6 box pack @ Costco
- 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao powder- $1.99, 9 oz box @ Trader Joe’s
- 1 Tbs organic virgin coconut oil- $5.99, 16 oz jar @ Trader Joe’s
- 1 tsp baking powder- $1.29, jar @ Trader Joe’s
- 1 banana- prices will vary
- Add all ingredients in a Mitamix cup (or any blender of your choice) and pulse until equality incorporated.
- Make sure all your ingredients are evenly incorporated. Your pancakes will have clumps when you’re trying to cook them if all the ingredients aren’t mixed well enough, so this step is important.
- Scoop 1/4 of your batter onto a griddle or pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Top with more cocoa powder, honey or chocolate PB 2 powder and enjoy!
Hooked already? I would be too if I were you (it’s not cockiness, it’s confidence!). This recipe is the perfect morning kick start or evening reboot so feel free to indulge in this perfectly crafted sin-free flappy cake spin.
To health infinity and beyond!