A favourite weekend breakfast!
From Monday to Friday breakfasts are healthy, quick and simple so that we can get out of the door in a rush: boiled or scrambled eggs, porridge, soda toast and nut butter, with the odd granola and yogurt thrown in. At the weekend the pressing need to leave the house isn’t there and we enjoy lingering over the breakfast table. Breakfasts expand to include fish, different breads, warm compote with yogurt, and the occasional full English. But the children’s favourite weekend breakfast is pancakes.
I could barely keep the production line going fast enough and felt a sense of achievement at cooking a breakfast everyone obviously loved. But this rapidly turned to annoyance when I saw the kids raiding the fridge just half an hour later, looking for more food. The pancakes didn’t sustain them beyond an hour, gave them noticeable energy and mood dips, and definitely didn’t get them through Saturday morning activities. So I stopped making them, and braced myself for the emotional trauma this would cause my children.
In the end it was too much to bear, so I experimented with different pancake recipes that would be equally loved. We’ve been making our current version for a while now and they address all the issues I had with the previous white flour Sunday ‘treat’ ones.
These healthy easy breakfast pancakes are made with spelt flour, contain seeds and low GI/GL fruits. We add more protein, including Greek yogurt, and fruit as toppings. The net result is that the pancakes are filling (the fridge is left alone for a while longer) and help to support balanced blood sugar, translating into children with sustained energy and moods – hurray!
Spelt flour is easy to find on the supermarket shelves, but check to see if it is wholemeal or white. 100% wholemeal has double the amount of fibre than ‘white’ spelt flour and should keep hunger at bay for longer.
- A higher fibre, protein and mineral content than wheat
- A lower amount and different ‘type’ of gluten: gluten in spelt is very fragile, and is easily broken down by heat, water and mixing. Many people who believe they are wheat intolerant find that spelt, being more easily digestible, gives them fewer problems.
- A lower phytic acid content: wheat is high in phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor that makes it harder for us to digest food. Phytic acid also significantly reduces our absorption of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. One study found that when phytic acid was removed from wheat, iron absorption rose by over 1000%. Spelt has a much lower amount of phytic acid, so we are able to access the minerals it contains more easily.
- A lower fructan content: many people with a diagnosis of IBS or digestive symptoms of bloating, wind and diarrhoea are advised to follow a low FODMAP diet. Wheat is high in short chain sugars (fructans) and can exacerbate these symptoms. Spelt has a low fructan level so is easier on the gut.
Once you have made the pancakes, add your choice of toppings – we use protein-rich Greek yogurt and fresh berries as a base, or chopped banana and home-made chocolate nut butter. We also add one or more of the following: dried shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, a sprinkle of granola, ‘buckwheaties’ and a drizzle of maple syrup. Feel free to get inventive!
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