Pancakes Are Back On The Menu
In our quest to avoid the collagen damaging inflammation that sugar and carbs bring, we feared we might never experience the joy of a fluffy, syrupy pancake breakfast again. And then we discovered coconut flour, a low glycemic, starch-resistant alternative to the glucose spike of refined white flour.
What is resistant starch? Glad you asked. It’s a type of fiber that “resists” digestion. Fiber, in general, is beneficial because your body has to work harder to break it down, which means it regulates blood sugar. That’s good for fighting diabetes and heart disease and also for avoiding the advanced glycation end products (AGES) that trigger free radicals and break down collagen and elastin in the skin.
Resistant starches have some advantages over other types of fiber that make them the over-achievers of the fiber world. Resistant starch takes up space in your digestive tract due to its bulky nature. Because it is neither digestible, nor absorbed by the body, resistant starch doesn’t enter the bloodstream and therefore doesn’t raise glucose levels.
In addition to reducing blood sugar and insulin levels, resistant starch may help increase metabolism and burn fat. When resistant starch fiber makes it’s way to the large intestine, it ferments and creates fatty acids including butyrate, which is thought to block the body’s carb-burning process causing the body to burn stored body fat for fuel instead.
Coconut flour is just one of the resistant starches, but it’s one we are most excited about because of its light texture, mildly sweet flavor, and nutritional value. A 1/4 cup of coconut flour has 12 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, only 3 grams of fat, and 120 calories. It’s also a good source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to improve cognitive function.
The thing to know about working with coconut flour is that it is extremely dry and absorbent. In order to keep your pancakes, muffins, whatever, from becoming doorstops, you have to up the egg quantity to seemingly ridiculous proportions when using coconut flour, like in the recipe below where you have just a quarter cup of coconut flour to four eggs. Every baking instinct you have will tell you this cannot possibly be right. You will consider cutting it down the eggs. Don’t. Trust us.
Defy the urge to modify and you will end up with fluffy, light-as-air pancakes fit for rosy-cheeked cherubs. The taste is more French toast than pancake, but which part of rich, buttery, custardy goodness don’t you like?
Don’t try to pour out large flapjack style pancakes. These are adorable silver dollar style. The batter has a more delicate structure than traditional pancakes, which means if you make them too large, they will be difficult to flip. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. And anyway, what’s more fun than a stack of mini pancakes?
Also, waiting for the bubbles to know when to turn them may not be the best indicator. They cook quickly. Keep an eye on them. Peel up the edge to have a look for the golden color to know when to flip.
COCONUT FLOUR PANCAKES
Adapted from a recipe by Bob’s Red Mill
Makes about 8 silver dollar pancakes
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Whisk together eggs, liquefied coconut oil, milk, vanilla, and honey until well combined.
In a separate bowl sift coconut flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Add dry to wet and whisk until batter is a smooth consistency.
Ladle about 2 Tbsp cup batter per pancake onto a skillet over medium high heat. Flip after at about two minutes.
Top with syrup, agave, or yogurt and fresh berries for a piece de la resistance.