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Whole Grain Vegan Pancakes-A Hearty Breakfast Recipe

By Kelsie White

Whole Grain Vegan Pancakes-A Hearty Breakfast Recipe

Nutrition Bites | Week 17

Welcome back to Nutrition Bites. This is Week 17, and we will be looking at a delicious recipe for Whole Grain Vegan Pancakes. These pancakes are packed full of nutrients while also being fluffy. I will also be talking about whole grains, the different types, and the health benefits of making them a regular part of your diet. I will also share some insight on the difference between refined and unrefined grains, as well as talk about the gluten-free conversation. Let’s get started!

Whole Grain Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients:

Dry Mix: Makes a large batch

  • 3 ½ cups oats
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)

Wet Ingredients: Makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine oats and flax into a blender or food processor and blend until finely chopped.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients. Store extra in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  3. Add 1 ½ cups of the dry mix to a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add more dry mix or milk as necessary.
  5. Let batter rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour about ½ cup of batter onto a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  7. When the top begins to bubble, flip the pancake, and cook until golden.
  8. Top with desired toppings.
  9. Enjoy!
Benefits of Whole Grains 

There are many reasons to include whole grains in your whole food, plant-based diet. First is that they are high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Because of this, whole grains have been associated with lower cholesterol levels, improved digestion, and improved heart health. They are also high in B vitamins and a source of plant protein and complex carbohydrates. Additionally, they help you to feel full and satisfied after meal. They have also been associated with maintaining a healthy body weight and a reduction in risk for most chronic diseases. So many good reasons!

Types of Whole Grains 

When most people think of whole grains, whole wheat bread is often what comes to mind first. But there are so many more options to choose from:

  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgar (cracked wheat)
  • Farro
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grain cornmeal
  • Whole grain couscous
  • Whole wheat pasta, bread, or crackers
  • Quinoa
Unrefined versus Refined 

The difference between refined grains and unrefined grains has to do with the amount of processing that the grain has undergone. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, which includes the endosperm, germ, and bran. Examples are all those listed above. Refined grains have undergone a much more extensive process to remove the bran and the germ. This gives the grain or flour a much finer texture and increases the shelf life. However, this process also removes the fiber, iron and many of the B vitamins that are naturally present. A few examples of refined grains include white rice, white bread, corn grits and white flour.

The Gluten-Free Conversation 

A fad diet that you may hear a lot of people doing is going gluten-free. Because it is such a hot topic, I want to clear the air on the subject. There are certain groups of people that require a gluten-free diet; those with celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities. If you don’t fall into one of these groups, then removing gluten isn’t really necessary for you. If you have tried removing gluten from your diet and feel better without it, then certainly please keep doing that. Other than that, there is no reason to cut out gluten. Gluten-free diets are not necessarily “healthier” diets, as they can still include large amounts of processed products. There is also no evidence that a gluten-free diet will help you lose weight. What will help is to reduce processed foods in general, gluten-free or not. For more information on this topic, check out this article from Kaiser Permanent.

Weekly Challenge

As you can see, there are many good reasons to include whole grains in our diet. We shouldn’t be afraid of the carbs they provide, as they are complex carbohydrates and provide many other nutrients as well. This week, I want to challenge you to swap some of the refined grains in your kitchen for some more whole grain sources.

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