Monday, March 26, 2007

Heart Healthy Mini Pancakes

Not only are they heart healthy, they're low-carb. A win-win little pancake. I made an earlier version of these here, when I was low-carbing a la George's book, and hadn't made them since.

Been thinking about it though, especially after reading
Ilva and Joanna's new blog, The Heart of the Matter - Eating for Life, the other day.
I had seen this cute little image on Kalyn's blog and scooted over to there to take a look for myself.

This is compelling reading, people. I'm sure there are not many of us who've not been touch, in some way, by heart disease. Ilva and Joanna have joined forces to bring heart-healthy eating to the forefront of our minds and eating habits with a series of intriguing round-ups. Ilva's first round-up, featuring heart-healthy finger foods, can be seen here.

It's too bad I didn't get myself off the dime and get this post entered, as these mini pancakes, wrapped around a slice of strawberry, would have been perfect for the occasion. But that's okay because the next round up features low fat desserts and I've got a few of those up my sleeve.

Even before discovering this new blog, I'd been re-assessing the things I cook and eat. Too much reading about what's good for you and what's bad for you will do that. It may be why I've not been blogging much. We've been eating mostly vegetables and salads in my kitchen; either food I've already put on this blog, or dishes that are just too simple, repetitious, and, therefore, not blog-worthy enough for my taste.

What makes these pancakes so healthy for you is the use of flax seed meal. Flax seeds are high is omega-3 fatty acids and have been found to lower bad cholesterol, reduce inflamation, and lower blood pressure, among other health-related results. All this in one little seed.

Because flax seed meal is perishable, I keep mine in the fridge and try to use it within 6 months of purchase. I put it in fruit smoothies and on my morning oatmeal.

Two years ago my blood pressure hovered around 150/86. Now it's at a steady 115/62. A very healthy and respectable range. Do I owe it all to flax seeds? Of course not. But it hasn't hurt one bit to include it in my diet along with lowering my consumption of animal fats and meats in general.

Hearth Healthy Mini Pancakes
Adapted by Christine from Eating Stella Style
Makes 8 large or 16 small pancakes

1/2 cup egg substitute (or you could use 2 whole eggs, beaten slightly)
1/4 cup reduced fat milk
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract (no added sugars)
1/2 cup
almond meal (ground almonds)
1/4 cup
organic golden flax seed meal
2 teaspoons white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon Splenda granualr (or you could use sugar. Or you could use honey. See Cook's Notes below)
1/2 teaspoon each, baking soda and baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1 teaspoon
Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for the skillet (or you could use cooking spray)

Mix the wet ingredients together until well blended.
Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl then mix them into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add the teaspoon of Earth Balance.
For mini pancakes, use a 1/8 cup measure and drop the batter in small rounds into the skillet. Be sure the rounds are not touching each other - unlike in my photo.
The cakes are ready to turn when bubbles form and pop on the surface of the batter.
Cook until they spring back when gently touched.
Remove to a warm plate and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve with sliced strawberries, a small pat of whipped Earth Balance, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

The uber-healthy Mr CC, who couldn't help himself and drizzled his with a little pure maple syrup, pronounced these delicious.

Cook's Notes:
If you decide to use honey in place of granular sweetener, reduce the amount of milk by the same amount.

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MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Very beautiful in all ways Christine! I keep me a bag of flax seed meal in the fridge and sneak it most everything!
Love these little pancakes.

Kalyn said...

The pancakes sound just awesome. I really love flax seed meal, and love finding another way to use it. (Saving to right now.)

sher said...

Healthy and pancakes in the same sentence? Naw! Not happening. But, wait...the fabulous Christine has accomplished a miracle! Your blackberries would look great on them too! :):)

Ilva said...

Christine, you have to submit these as an entry to this months HotM! They are perfect! And remember that there's no limit of the entries, the more the better!

Katie said...

I've been reading about flax seed and know it's wonderful. I just don't know where to find it.
I think we eat pretty healthily but, of course, we could improve...if only I didn't like so many foods..... but then, variety is good, right?

Christine said...

Thanks Kalyn. I love it when you save one of my recipes. Usually it's me saving yours! :))

Thanks Sher. I'm blushing.

Ilva, I'd be happy to submit these to HOTM. And I'll come up with some other low fat desserts as well. Thanks!

I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find flax seeds in France. I just don't know what they would be called in French.
And yes, I think variety is a great thing. It's only when we go overboard on those foods that can cause problems that we get into trouble. I know that over the years I've eaten way too much meat as opposed to healthy fruits and veggies and I'm trying to change my evil ways. :)

Christine said...

Oops! I'm so sorry, Tanna. I didn't mean to leave you out. Glad you like the pancakes. I'll take a peek in your kitchen to see what you do with flax.

Mimi said...

Oh, these look wonderful — and I am not a big pancake fan.

Anonymous said...

they look look delicious Christine. From what I can guess flax seeds we also call linseeds and the French call them graines de lin and they make oil from the same.