Pancakes. Whether you like them thick and fluffy, or thin and delicate, there’s something to be said about the moorish nature of these lovely little pillows (or sheets) of yum.
I put them in the same category as oats: versatile, quick and with the ability to morph into any flavour combination that you can conjure up.
Yep, they’re a fave for a reason and now I’m going to share a really simple recipe which I adapted from this one that’s gluten and grain free and can be made either plant based or if you like eggs, you can use those instead.
Serves 2 (or 1) depending on how hungry you are
1 cup of almond meal
1 cup of milk of choice
2 tsp of baking powder
1 TBS of flaxmeal (or use 1 egg if you like eggs)
2 TBS of lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt
In a small mixing bowl, add the milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle. In a large bowl, add the flax and almond meal, baking powder and salt. Stir well to combine, then whisk in the curdled milk/lemon mixture. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. If it’s too thick, add some water or more milk to get a better consistency. Add the lemon zest and stir it well to make sure it gets incorporated into the batter.
OPTION: if you like eggs, add it with the milk/lemon mixture. You can also add 1 TBS of a liquid sweetener of choice, like maple syrup or coconut nectar but I didn’t add any.
Heat a small frying pan or skillet with coconut oil and use about 1/4 cup to make one pancake (or make smaller ones, up to you).
When it starts to bubble, turn over carefully and cook for a further 2 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
Easy does it.
Now for the topping! I made a simple Rose Berry Chia compote that went really well with the pancakes. All you need is some frozen berries which you add to a pan, heat on low-med until the berries melt. It will become syrupy and runny. Add 1 tsp of rose water (or more depending on taste) and cook a little bit more. Then take off heat and stir in 1 TBS of chia seeds. Keep stirring until they swell and thicken the sauce up. Done. Again, you can sweeten it up or leave it as is.
Stack your pancakes, pop a big dollop of coconut yoghurt or cream on top and spoon over your compote. SWOON.
For those of you who are wondering why I’m talking about eggs on a plant based blog, the truth is that I’ve been having an internal struggle for the past 6-10 months about whether to become more flexible with the way I eat. You see, when I first started this journey, I had no expectations of what that journey was going to look like, or where it was going to lead. All I knew was that I wanted it to give it a go.
Along the way, I have read so many ‘health’ books, so many different theories on what ‘clean eating’ is meant to look like, or which way to eat that will give the most health benefits. Some are conflicting, some are similar, some share the same principles and ideas but have one stark difference that sets them apart. All over social media and the internet I have come across individuals that swear by one way, others that shun that way and advocate a different way, all with amazing stories, and some with good scientific data to back each of their arguments/theories/reasons.
To say I was confused for a long time is an understatement. I was so overwhelmed, to the point that it started to cause me anxiety. But one book really helped to put things into perspective and I highly recommend that if there is anyone out there who is going through the same confusion that I was, that you read it. It’s call Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David. Anywho, it literally blew my mind.
I’m of the believe that things happen for a reason, and I know that this book came to me at a time when I was feeling so lost. It didn’t stop me from being lost, but it gave me a starting point as to how to find the way back to myself. My inner wisdom. Which it seems I had unfortunately lost somewhere a long the way. You see, somehow I allowed my blog/IG to become bigger than me. And whilst my journey was continuing, the nature of feeling pigeon holed into a box (of my own doing), had stopped me from continuing to grow.
I have had many discussions with one of my nearest and dearest about this, ironically, someone I met on social media, and her advice at the time, when I told her how I was feeling, was to stay true to myself and just continue my journey, where ever that may lead. It seems my plant based journey has taken an unexpected turn, one which I was not quiet ready for as I was sure that I knew the path that was in front of me.
In reflecting on how I am feeling, I can see points a long my journey which have led to where I stand now. The first mistake I made was delving too deep into the plant based subcultures and perhaps staying too long in some, not enough in others. When you’re in the moment, of course it’s hard to tell. After all, you feel great for the first few weeks,than after a while, you start to notice changes that are not so great, and you dismiss the alarm bells going off in your head because you let yourself be influenced by well meaning advocates talking about the wonders of the (insert eating philosophy here). You go against your better judgement and continue along, all the time knowing it’s not working but really hoping it does because look at those healthy individuals who are thriving on this lifestyle. You still look healthy on the outside, but on the inside, your body and your brain are fighting a battle. Your body is craving nourishment specific to you but your brain is trying to enforce the many rules that go with said eating philosophy. Your body starts to rebel, it gains weight, it makes you feel low, worse, you start bingeing, something that you’ve never had an issue with in the past. You start to wonder what the hell is going on? All you can think about is food. You have become food obsessed. Like the rest of society.
When did things get like this? You, a well informed, ‘health’ oriented, well adjusted 30 something mother, when did this happen to you?
I tell you when it happened to me. When I stopped listening to my body and allowed the outside noise to take over my intuition.
I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I do know that I no longer want to pigeon hole myself into any type of restrictive eating patterns. They are damaging to me, in mind and body and go against my own advice of finding a way of eating that sustains every part of your being, and which you can sustain.
This doesn’t mean that I am going to go out and eat every type of food under the sun, it simply means that I will no longer be wearing a label.
I feel so relieved to be able to share this with you, and you can continue to expect lots of recipes that contain real food ingredients, most of them will probably still be plant based, it’s not like I’m doing a complete switch, I’m just choosing to eat instinctively.
I understand that for my vegan friends this will be hard to take and I completely get it, and I would like to take this opportunity to say I truly appreciate your commitment to animal welfare and if you decide to stop supporting me due to this, I totally understand and I just want to thank you for your support thus far.
I also want to point out that trying a plant based diet did not make me sick, I am not saying that they are bad, or inadequate. I have reaped many health benefits, but I am simply not able to maintain it exclusively. I feel like our bodies move from stage to stage and so what you eat will be according to that stage. I think being 100% plant based allowed my body to detox and heal, but then it needed to rebuild and what I was giving it wasn’t enough. That’s when I started to experience the side effects I’ve mentioned above. This made me realise that for me, the way I eat will be in a constant state of change. For whatever reason, I am becoming drawn to other foods outside the plant based realm and I want to feel like I can eat whatever that is without judgement or shame.
I want to be flexible in my eating, I want to be able to sit down with my family and have a traditional Peruvian meal that will probably include some type of animal protein at some stage. I don’t want to lose that cultural connection that I have to my land and my family. I don’t want to worry about what I can or can’t eat, it feels wrong for me now, specially when there are people in society and all over the world who are starving. I no longer want to take part in the obsession with ‘health’ foods, that cost more than some people have to live off for an entire week. Seriously, a cold pressed juice is $9 in Sydney! It’s just juice people. Besides not all companies are ethical or even nice individuals, they are just grabbing on to a trend and exploiting it until the next one comes along. Yes, it’s nice that they make ‘healthy’ options available, but the only people who are benefiting from it are those that have money. I believe that health should be for everyone, not an exclusive membership based on your income. Teaching healthy options within people’s means and within their cultural structure is more important because then it becomes doable. Preaching to Inuits about the dangers of fat is useless as they don’t have a tropical forest with an endless supply of bananas. They eat what is native to them and what they know to keep them healthy and alive. I am not comfortable telling them that a plant based fruit rich diet is the only diet. Nor would I be comfortable telling them that they are terrible humans for eating animals. I know that it’s different here as all food is readily available, but the point I’m trying to make is that there is no one perfect diet. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
My beliefs haven’t changed, I still believe that we should be aware of where our food comes from and eat in a way that is ethical and sustainable, favouring local producers where possible. I still believe that we should eat real food, not food like substances. I still believe that together we can make positive change and above all, I still believe that we must look after Mother Earth for being able to provide us with food and water and an amazing place to experience it. Which ever way you choose to do that is fine with me.
And whilst I won’t be rushing to buy another ‘health’ book any time soon, I do like the advice that Michael Pollan gives:
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”
Peas, love and mungbeans