Paleo Pancakes

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While browsing the forum on Marks Daily Apple, I came across a 23 page thread on paleo pancakes, specifically, discussing a simple formula for ‘two ingredient’ banana and egg pancakes. Many posters raved that these actually tasted like pancakes, or how the people they cooked them for said they tasted better than regular pancakes. So with 2 ingredients, how could I not give it a try? I quickly digested some of the 23-odd pages of users’ tips, suggestions (“add some tapioca flour”) and cautions (“don’t add coconut flour, makes it chewy”), then made them for breakfast before boot camp, as I figured the pancakes would be great fuel for what promised to be an energising and punishing session with our Olympian trainer Zoe.

Verdict: winner! They were delicious, although there is no mistaking these for regular flour pancakes taste-wise, being more like a banana omelette, and seemed more crepe-like in texture than pancakes. I will definitely keep on making them. My version has more than just two ingredients but it’s not overly taxing to make. Indeed, they are way quicker to whip up than regular pancakes and use only 1 bowl, a fork and spoon in the prep.

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Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • blueberries
  • coconut oil (or ghee)
  1. Mash up banana in bowl with a fork. Move them to the side, add 2 eggs and beat. Add spices and combine everything well.
  2. Cook in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. They will be easier to flip if they are not larger than about 9cm in diameter. Place a bit of coconut oil in the pan. I wouldn’t advise using butter as it tends to burn. Spoon the batter into the frying pan and scatter some blueberries on top. Let the pancakes set and turn a nice brown colour before flipping. If you attempt to flip them too soon, they will break up. They don’t need much time at all on the other side, about 10 seconds on the second side.

Variations:

  • Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and some chopped fresh strawberries.
  • Add 1 heaped tablespoon of almond meal and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of almond butter.

Bone Broth

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The other day, my husband Sean and I were unloading the week’s groceries and I told him not to lift too much in one go, lest he injure himself and not be able to go to the gym. He pointed out how arse-ended that statement was, and I realised how for many of us, the gym is an activity in itself. What I want to be is functionally strong, to train for real life rather than training for the gym. That is one reason I’ve been following the StrongLifts program, which works the posterior chain for functional strength. While the gainz have been slow (especially with the Overhead Press and Barbell Rows), I am steadily getting stronger with the squats, deadlift and bench press, and my thighs are, shall we say, getting more powerful looking.

A few weeks ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to go on a bulk. The aim of a bulk is to support and promote strength gains and muscle growth. But I quickly found that bulking is not as easy as simply eating more food. If only it were as easy as eating an extra scoop or two of gelato and a couple of Tim Tams. You have to eat the right (ie healthy) foods, in certain macronutrient ratios and at certain intervals. I understand now why bodybuilders tend to settle on eating the same thing 6 times a day, because if you think it is hard enough planning, cooking and cleaning up 3 meals a day, it is a right pain doing it 6 times. After a week’s half-hearted attempt, I have now settled on a “clean bulk” or so I tell myself, which doesn’t mean eating clean foods, but just that the calorie surplus is small. Frankly, though, I hate counting calories so don’t have any real idea what I’m eating.

Sometimes in the morning I’m not that hungry but if a girl wants to bulk, a girl’s gotta eat, and I have found that cooking vegetables in bone broth is a quick and easy way to get those veggies in. I’ll put some broth into a bowl, add chopped wombok (chinese cabbage) and microwave it for 2½ minutes. That is sufficient to heat the broth and also cook the veggies.

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Instead of wombok, you can also use watercress. I prefer wombok because it has a very long shelf life, refrigerated (as opposed to watercress which goes slimy in a matter of days).

Another great use for bone broth is to cook rice with it. (A bulk without starchy carbs would be really rather hard to do.) Cooking rice in bone broth bumps up its nutrient-density and makes it more tasty. I use a mixture of half long grain jasmine rice and half basmati rice (which has a lower glycaemic index than standard white rice) which is soaked overnight (if I remember, which is rare) or for a couple of hours. Soaking, while not essential, does improve the finished texture of the rice. The soaked rice is then washed until the water runs clear. To 1 cup of rice, add 1⅓ cups bone broth and bring to the boil. Once it boils, turn the heat very low, stir it a bit to dislodge any grains which have stuck to the bottom, put the lid on and set the timer for 14 minutes. Do not open the lid or otherwise interfere with the rice during this time. When the time is up, take the pot off the heat and let sit for 5 to 15 minutes.

Further Reading

Mark Sisson on ways to integrate physical movement with utility, meaning and purpose