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Cacao Short Stack

Now, if you haven't already gathered from my Instagram feed and noticed the common trend on pictures of pancakes on a Sunday morning, then you will have realised that I love a good ol' stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning! Ever since I can remember, my sister and I would wake up on Sunday mornings to mum in the kitchen cooking up so fresh, warm pancakes! We would then all sit together as a family (including the dog), enjoying our pancakes whilst listening to Vmusic (random - I know!) and then continue with whatever the day had planned! So to me, it just feels UNNATURAL to not have pancake Sundays! As I grew up and my passion for nutrition blossomed, I came to learn (to my great despair) that pancakes are not exactly the healthiest breakfast option - in most cases laden with sugar and refined white flours! Though this was not going to stop me from enjoying my pancakes Sundays! Rather I began experimenting with some healthy pancake recipes (some failures), replacing the white flours with wholesome varieties and sugars with natural sweeteners! I have many pancake recipes to share with you all, though I thought my Cacao Short Stack recipe would be a nice one to start with! HAPPY PANCAKE SUNDAY!

BENEFITS

The following is a list of the many benefits spelt flour can provide to you!

  • INCREASES CIRCULATION - The copper and iron in spelt flour allows this grain to aid blood circulation. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the blood and the iron content can aid in you meeting your daily nutritional needs for iron. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and can develop into anaemia, which is a condition that is due to a lack of healthy red blood cells being produced. This results in the body not being capable of supplying enough oxygen to the cells and tissues and causes feelings of weakness and fatigue.

  • CREATES STRONG BONESDue to its large range of essential minerals that strengthen the bones, spelt is a natural and plant based choice for boosting bone health. Calcium and phosphorus, are two minerals in spelt flour which bind together to form crystals that make up bones and teeth, keeping them strong for a lifetime!

  • INCREASES IMMUNITY - The vitamins and minerals in spelt flour help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Additionally, the iron helps the body properly digest and absorb other nutrients from food which increase spelt flours nutritional potency!

  • FANTASTIC FIBRE - Consuming a high-fibre diet is very important for digestion, and spelt flour provides a whopping 8g of fibre per cup. Fibre actually contains zero calories since it essentially can’t be digested by humans, and although it’s found in carbohydrate foods like spelt flour, it doesn’t contribute any carbs to our diets. Fibre passes through our digestive system unabsorbed by digestive enzymes within the stomach and carries toxins, waste, fat and cholesterol particles out with it! HOW GREAT! Once again the fibre content in spelt flour provides another benefit of helping the body lower cholesterol levels naturally. Fibre helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol by removing it from the body via digestion. SUPER HANDY! Finally, the high fibre content of spelt flour helps regulate the amount of glucose and insulin that’s released in the body. Research has shown that a high-fibre diet may help prevent type 2 diabetes, lower insulin and blood sugar levels, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride (fats in the blood) levels in people with diabetes. So eat up!

  • HIGH SOURCE OF MANGANESE - One cup of cooked spelt flour has over 100 percent the daily recommended value of manganese! Manganese is an important mineral that is known for nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development and immune-system defences. A manganese deficiency can cause serious health threats, such as bone loss, muscle aches, joint pain and changes in mood. One of the most vital benefits of manganese is its ability to reduce bone loss. When it’s combined with other minerals, including calcium, zinc and copper, it reduces bone loss, especially in older women who are more susceptible to bone fractures and weak bones. In summary this means that manganese is essential to decrease the severity and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

  • HIGH SOURCE OF NIACIN - Niacin is an important vitamin for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and metabolism and helps with brain function, healthy skin formation, and preventing or treating diabetes. Niacin has also been known to help lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, eye disorders like cataracts, acne and skin flair-ups, osteoarthritis, circulation problems, migraine headaches, dizziness, and learning disorders like ADHD. WOAH!

USES

The thing I love about food is that there are endless possibilities of ways you can use it, some which can make the food more tolerable, some which can increase the nutritional properties and some which don’t even require eating! Here are some of my favourite uses for spelt flour:

  • I simply love substituting spelt flour into any recipe I find which calls for flour! Though, important to note, when you substitute spelt flour, keep in mind that spelt absorbs more water so you may need to use less than what the recipe calls for. Start with a little less liquid when cooking or baking with spelt, and then add slowly until you get the perfect consistency. Also, be careful not to over-knead spelt flour as it is a lot softer than wheat flour!

WATCH OUT!

I must admit I am one of those people who when told “less is more” ignores that advice COMPLETELY and will instead use half the product in the first use or drench my whole meal with the “SUPERFOOD”. I think that especially in regards to products and foods that are deemed “healthy” for you, people are more likely to consume/use extra in the hope that it will make them SUPER HEALTHY, SUPER QUICK! Though I have come to realise that sometimes having too much of a good thing can actually to more harm than good! It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health, therefore, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health! Some of the not so happy side effects that can occur if you overdo it are:

  • Spelt contains gluten, which may be a problem for people who have celiac disease.

Recipe

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups wholemeal flour

  • ½ cup cacao powder

  • 1½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 11/2 cups buttermilk

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 large eggs

  • Strawberries, maple syrup, butter, peanut butter (optional toppings)

Instructions

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl

  2. Combine buttermilk, maple syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.

  3. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.

  4. Heat a fry pan over medium high heat and add some butter to fry, cook pancakes 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through and darkened

  5. Enjoy with your favourite toppings!

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