In August, I experimented with a great protein powder to create a homemade energy bar - see that recipe here - and decided to see what else I could amp up with it. Today's featured yumminess is another simple breakfast-inspired recipe that's packed with protein and is deliciously sugar-free.
There's a lot of debate about much protein we need day-to-day, and as anyone who doesn't eat meat or dairy will tell you, it's a question you grow accustomed to answering. Good news! There are tons of great ways to get sufficient protein on a plant-based diet. Combining a variety of plants in your diet ensures you get all of the amino acids you need - which might look like having brown rice, chickpeas, hemp and chia on a given day. Plant protein can help us to develop muscle tissue just as effectively as animal protein; in fact, the body uses plant-bases proteins as effectively as animal-based ones. Makes sense to me that we work in - as often as possible - the option that’s lower on the food chain (fewer pollutants and toxins), better for the environment, alkaline-forming within the body, and more digestible. Choosing plant-based proteins reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive issues like constipation. Not bad, right?
I love this chart below from PopSugar to determine - roughly - how much protein you should aim for in a day. This is of course just a ballpark estimate, and everyone's body has a difference tolerance and requirement for how much they need. It's a neat thing to notice that upping your protein intake can increase fullness and how long your energy lasts; for me, of late, it's been especially true on account of all of the ridiculous workouts I've been doing. (If you haven't checked out ClassPass, I highly recommend!)
The protein powder I've been playing with is the Pure Lean Vanilla Bean from Pure Encapsulations - it's the one we include in the Vive Detox. It's super yummy. Pure Lean has 15 grams of protein per serving. It's made of actual food, which I far prefer this to a sugar-filled power bar or any of those other protein 'foods' masquerading as healthy. Those are basically like eating a Snickers.
And now... back to the pancakes. I know. I'm excited, too. ;)
The other great thing happening in these little griddle patties are the super-useable complex carbohydrates in the plantains. Again, better than a refined food-like source (like refined flour), a whole food will always provide more energy, more nutrients and more lasting satisfaction. As I mention in this post here, plantains are a terrific source of complex carbohydrates and lasting energy, without the spike-and-crash effect of the fructose found in their cousins, the banana.
Bonus? They hold up really well to cooking thanks to their starchiness.
Leave a few extra minutes to let your flax + water mixture set (I use this in place of eggs) and allow batter to rest for a couple of minutes before transferring to the pan.
Keep an eye on these while they cook: plantain can burn quickly, so keep the heat low-medium and watch for anything getting a little crispy. Flip gently and allow these to sit a moment or two before serving.
Garnish with coconut milk, nuts, brown rice syrup or (if you're partaking in sugar), a drizzle of Grade B maple syrup. Delish.
- ½ very ripe plantain, peeled and sliced (look for one that’s dark brown or black)
- 3 tbsp flax meal stirred into 6 tbsp boiling water (let stand 10 minutes)
- ¼ cup water + 2 tbsp water, divided
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp Pure Lean protein powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of sea salt
- coconut oil
- Garnish ideas
- 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp toasted unsweetened coconut
- a drizzle of brown rice syrup
- 1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very well combined. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes to thicken.
- 2. Add a drizzle of coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- 3. For mini pancakes, pour 2-3 tbsp per pancake into the pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes per side until edges brown. For larger pancakes, use ¼ of a cup each.
- 4. Garnish with coconut milk, a drizzle of brown rice syrup or a sprinkle of toasted coconut. Serve.