Having only made these once, I guess I can’t really guarantee that they will always lead to a perfect day, but I do know that’s exactly what happened today. It was an amazing day! Church this morning, then pancakes, then a trip to Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Park (which included gators, snakes, turtles, frogs, lizards & the quietest most peaceful place I’ve been since leaving Alaska in January!), then leftover sweet potato adzuki curry for dinner, then coconut milk ice cream…. What more could I ask? I repeat, it has been an amazing, and relaxing, day.
Today was the first day off my cleanse, which meant I could finally eat grains & sugar again, granted, still trying to keep them minimized. Two weeks without grains & chocolate was difficult! A couple days ago I found myself standing in the kitchen, looking at the bag of chocolate chips, and thinking, “I just don’t want to eat healthy anymore!”. But I made it; hurrah! To celebrate, I decided to make pancakes for this morning, but not just any pancakes, soaked grain pancakes.
What in the world does that mean? It means I soaked the flour & oats overnight before I made the pancakes; a simple step with huge nutritional benefits! I mentioned phytic acid when I talked about sprouting beans, and it is also present in whole grains. Soaking your flour helps to greatly reduce the phytic acid content. A little more info:
Phosphorus in the bran of whole grains is tied up in a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid combines with iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, clocking their absorption. Whole grains also contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking, and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestive process in our own kitchens. Many people who are allergic to grains will tolerate them well when they are prepared according to these procedures.
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, Pg 25
I’m pretty new to soaking flours, but it’s something I’m very interested in doing more of, because it leads to better digestion and more absorption of minerals, both of which are things I definitely need! I made muffins a couple weeks ago with soaked flour, and Joe has recently started soaking the flour for his bread (and using some sprouted wheat; mmm it’s delicious!). It’s a little tricky to get textures right, but this venture into the world of soaking was a delicious success.
I admit I was nervous that I would be looking forward to these pancakes sooooo much and that then, after tweaking three different recipes to create my own variety, they would turn out awful. Thankfully I was wrong! These pancakes are wonderfully light, even though they are made with all whole wheat flour. They have excellent texture from the oats, and amazing flavor from the sweet potatoes. I also love that this recipe uses coconut milk as a dairy substitute. Delicious! Joe & I agreed that these were the best pancakes we’d had in a long time.
P.S. I don’t usually cook with sweet potatoes this often! But they’ve been coming pretty regularly in our Hollygrove box, so I have had lots of fun figuring out how to use them up!
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Pancakes
makes 8-10 big pancakes
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking; the real thing!)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine these five ingredients, cover and let sit overnight. It’s fine to just leave it out on the countertop.
When ready to make the pancakes, add:
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
coconut oil, or butter, for frying
real maple syrup for serving
Over med-high heat, melt some coconut oil in a large saucepan, or on a griddle. When a few sprinkles of water in the pan sputter, your pan is ready. Using a small ladle or a measuring cup, pour some batter into the pan (If the batter is too thick, you can add some water; I didn’t need to, but you never know what may happen!). Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and the top is full of bubbles, and then flip. Cook the other side until browned, and the pancake is cooked all the way through. Adjust the heat if needed. Remove the pancakes and keep in a warm oven, covered with a towel, until serving.
Enjoy with real maple syrup (and butter, if you can)! yum! 🙂