A few weeks back I was talking to an old friend of mine about nutrition. He’s what you might call out of shape, quite out of shape actually. We were talking about some of the changes I’d made to what I eat and how it had helped me both in terms of weight loss and overall general energy and health.
He loves food, and had trouble believing I did too (or at least that I still did, I was nearly as heavy as he is a few years back). A big concern for him was not really that he could no longer enjoy food, as he’d eaten delicious vegan and vegetarian foods that, upon description, I determined were fairly healthy. His point of focus was that he would give up flavor profiles, most especially sweet ones, as well as comfort and/or “event” foods.
I can definitely see his concern. Nearly all nutrition programs that aren’t about taking some pill that is derived out of wombat tears (DR OZ SAYS IT REALLY WORKS! *COUGH*) tend to focus on getting rid of refined sugars & flours/grains. Those just happen to be the building blocks of some of our favorite foods.
The thing is, you can still enjoy those foods and their flavor profiles by just getting a little creative, and thinking like someone from a few hundred years ago. We tend to forget that although sugars and flours are quite old, the level of refinement we “enjoy” today is fairly new. Chemistry and industry have managed to innovate the good stuff right out of most foods. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t “good for you” foods that don’t have a sweet taste.
In this recipe I’m going to utilize one of those foods and make a pancake right out of a superhero movie. If you’re thinking of climbing a mountain, this might be a good choice. I made a batch of these just this morning to help prep my body for a marathon tomorrow, and they were quite tasty. I’m already feel ready!
Calories (3 pancakes): 375
Bananas (2 ripe)
Vanilla Extract (teaspoon)
Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl with a fork. You want them semi smooth, without too many lumps. Crack the egg into the bowl and stir thoroughly. Add the Chia and Vanilla and stir to incorporate. Let sit for 2 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Depending on the “non-stickyness” of your pan, you might be able to get away with not using oil. I use a small amount and wipe it into the pan to spread it evenly and remove excess.
Pour three large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and use the back of the spoon to smooth it into a round shape. It should be 3 or 4 inches across, and perhaps a quarter inch thick. Let it cook until you begin to see bubbles forming in the center of the cake. Using a spatula (and some Food Network style dexterity, BAM) flip the cake and cook another 2 or 3 minutes, or just until the bottom of the cake is golden.
Remove the powercake from the pan and eat plain or with a protein packed topping like nut butter or greek yogurt. You won’t believe that you didn’t add a lick of refined sugar or flour, the cakes will be sweet and the natural fibers in the banana flesh combine with the egg to give the cakes a nice “cakey” texture.
Recipe above makes 3 cakes. Double for a couple folks. You can also swap out the vanilla extract for natural almond or lemon extracts to change the flavors out. Anything you might think about eating with bananas works great.
(If you’re vegan, you can remove the eggs, but flipping the cakes will require quite a bit more dexterity, and the texture will be less firm. My suggestion would be to make smaller cakes so that you can fit the entire thing on the spatula to flip it. You’ll get less protein, but also about 100 less calories overall.)
Enjoy and let me know what fun alternate recipes you come up with using this one as a base!