Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday morning pancakes (gluten free!)

In Chinese medicine, every organ in the body has a certain time of day where it functions at its best. The Spleen and Stomach, which rule digestion, have the strongest qi (or energy, pronounced "chee") in the morning hours. As the day goes on, their qi weakens.

Many people eat the least amount of food or nothing at all in the morning, more in the afternoon and the most at night. This not only causes indigestion and other related issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, gas, bloating, etc., but can also lead to weight gain, sluggishness and insomnia.

Thus, it makes more sense to eat--as my professor, Dr. Cheng, used to say--"like a king in the morning, a layman in the afternoon, and a pauper at night." To add to that, a different professor, Dr. Cao, used to emphasize "take 100 steps after every meal." When I follow these two ancient Chinese rules, I am always grateful. And you will be, too!

To start your morning like a king (or queen) try this yummy egg free, dairy free, gluten free pancake recipe!

1 cup Pamela's gluten free pancake mix
3/4 cup hemp milk (Living Harvest is the best brand)
1/3 cup apple sauce (as an egg and oil substitute)
small capful of vanilla extract
a few generous shakes of cinnamon (also try a little ginger and nutmeg)
3/4 cup chopped frozen peaches (or blueberries, or raspberries)

also try adding 1/2 cup or so of your favorite ground seeds (sunflower, flax, sesame, etc.). However, you may need to add a little more hemp milk so the mix does not get too dry. Adding seeds to your recipe will keep you satiated for MUCH longer.

Preheat a skillet on low heat and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Try using ghee (clarified butter) to cook your pancakes. (Ghee is a great alternative for butter when cooking because the dairy solids are removed so it doesn't burn. Keep an eye out for a future post on how to make your own ghee.) Pour a couple blobs of batter onto the sizzling ghee and be patient while they brown. Gluten free pancakes without egg cook slower than regular pancakes.

Garnish your pancakes with a little dash of cinnamon, your favorite maple syrup and a dollop of plain goat yogurt. (Many people who are dairy sensitive can eat goat dairy with no problem.)

(And don't forget to take 100 steps afterwards!)

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