Thursday, 27 July 2017

Breakfast in a hurry - Easy pancakes




Student life and a good balanced diet don’t always go hand in hand. I remember those days when I had to skip breakfast because I would wake up late for class and had to rush out of the door, having a juice or a cup of coffee on the way with a piece of sweet bun.

A while ago I was speaking to my nephew who’s on a full-time naval engineering course, and he told me he was finding it difficult to eat properly - breakfast was almost nonexistent, especially in exams week. He got a big tut- tut from his now wised-up auntie. After a short but kind lecture on the importance of having a good meal in the morning, I gave him some ideas for breakfast.

One suggestion that got him very interested is the quick and nutritious pancake that he can prepare in no-time in the morning. It’s easy to make and it would help him feel satiated, almost until lunch time. These pancakes are low in refined sugars and, when paired with fresh fruits, they make a good and balanced meal to start the day. For those in a hurry or not.

Blend bananas, eggs, oats, cacao powder, cinnamon and almonds.
The batter in the frying pan.
Use the seasonal fruits of your choice.
An easy and gorgeous breakfast.
  
Quick banana and nuts pancake
Makes 4-6 small pancakes

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 banana
12 almonds (you can also use 2 tablespoons of ground almonds)
2 Tablespoons of oats
1 teaspoon of cacao powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
A drizzle of a good quality maple syrup
Butter or coconut oil to brush the pan

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. (Alternatively, you can mash the bananas, whisk the eggs and add the ground ingredients together, mixing gently.) Brush the pan with butter or coconut oil. Pour some of the batter into the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side. Serve with fresh fruits, preferably seasonal, and drizzle with a good quality maple syrup. Enjoy!

A healthy note:  Egg is a fantastic and inexpensive source of protein. It contains lecithin, which helps the body to break down fat and cholesterol. Lecithin is also a source of the B vitamin-like choline, which is necessary for brain development at pregnancy. Choline is an important nutrient for the prevention of fatty liver and is a neurotransmitter involved in many functions, including memory and muscle control. Egg also contains biotin, another B vitamin-like compound, which is very important for the digestion of fat and protein, and essential for the health of hair, skin and nails. Egg contains an antioxidant called glutathione that prevents the formation of free radicals. It is very rich in Omega-3 fats, which prevent diabetes, obesity and depression. It contains vitamin A and E, folic acid and lutein (an antioxidant in the carotenoid family that helps to keep the eyes healthy and safe from oxidative stress).

Almonds (Prunus dulcis): like any other nut eaten raw, almonds are much easier to digest when they are soaked overnight. They are a great source of complete protein and good fats. They contain insoluble fibre, which is beneficial for regular bowel movements. Almonds are rich in magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Besides tasting great, almond milk can be taken for constipation and inflammation of the gut (e.g. colitis, IBS and Crohn’s disease).

Bananas are a great option for a pre-or post-workout snack, as they provide carbohydrate and boost your energy. They are very rich in potassium, which studies have shown to decrease the risk of heart disease. Bananas provide a good amount of soluble dietary fibre that helps with regular bowel movements. They are also a source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. 

Till next week!

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