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!)
Remember: quality is important. 70 grams of isolated whey protein from a cheap protein powder is not at all the same as 70 grams from whole food sources.
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.