Snow days…we’ve had quite a few recently. I think my daughter has gone to school twice in the last 10 days. She’s loving it! However, snow days for me means everyone wants a big breakfast, followed by lunch and then dinner. I’m in the kitchen all day! Luckily for me, my son is now a teen and has decided it is important to learn to cook. I gave him a basic recipe for pancakes and now he is flipping pancakes out like there is no tomorrow.
Pancakes are tasty but they have little staying power. So, I decided to come up with a healthy pancake that will satisfy and fill me up. Flax is probably the only ingredient in this recipe that I have yet to discuss, so here is a little information.
Flax contains several compounds that make it a good food to add into your diet. Flax provides Omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) fatty acids. Omega-3 Fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids because they can not be produced by our body. Essential fatty acids are important because they are needed for many functions in our body. There are 3 types of Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). All of these omega-3 fatty acids are converted to eicosonoids. Eicosonoids from Omega-3’s are hormone-like compounds that help regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, aid in growth and development of cells, needed for vision and brain development, and maturation of nerves. It is important to consume balanced amounts of essential fatty acids as omega-3 have blood thinning effects, and omega-6 have blood thickening effects.
One serving of flax has 2800mg of Omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce the build up of plague in our arteries and can lower blood triglycerides, which reduce our risks of heart disease. Flax also provides fiber and lignans. Lignans are polyphenols that provide us with antioxidants that protect us from free radicals. Lignans are also phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that act similar to estrogen that help keep hormones in balance. Because Lignans can help balance hormones they may protect us from various types of hormone related cancers. The fiber lignans provides help keep us regular and reduces our risk of colon cancer. Whole flax seeds are non-digestible but milled or ground flax is digested quite effectively.
Food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA)
Soybean and canola oil
Fatty fish (salmon, swordfish, mackerel, herring), and eggs from hens fed diets rich in ALAs
Milled Flax Nutrition
Protein 3 g
Magnesium 50 mg
Phosphorus 90 mg
Potassium 114 mg
Blueberry Power Pancakes
1 Medium-sized Banana
1/4 cup Egg Beaters
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Protein powder
2 Tbsp Milled Flax
1/4 cup Blueberries
In a small bowl, mash banana until all big pieces are broken down and banana is creamy. Add egg beaters and vanilla to banana, mix to combine. Add cinnamon, protein powder and flax to wet ingredients, stir until throughly combined.
Heat pan coated with non-stick spray. Spoon batter into pan and add a few blueberries to each pancake. Cook each side for about 2 minutes.
Makes 3-4 pancakes
Success…these taste great! The banana and blueberry add enough sweetness that syrup is not needed. Best of all, they will help you power through the morning!