So this happened last week.
The thing is I used to really dislike when it snowed. Borderline despised it. The snow either put a damper on my plans, or caused me anxiety because I “had to drive in it.” Before my current HR job with Starbucks I’d worked in customer service. When you’re scheduled to work in a job like that, your team relies on you to be there. There were many times I drove to work in the snow when I should have stayed home.
I had momentary thoughts that there wasn’t quite enough snow for me to call out. How often do we tell ourselves something isn’t enough, when really it has far surpassed any quantifiable amount? Or rather it’s not something that needs a defining amount at all?
It’s not that my job now doesn’t need me, or that I enjoy abandoning my team, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized it’s OK to put your safety before anything else. My commute to Seattle would have made for a treacherous adventure in this, and despite the twinge of guilt I felt for staying home, I relished in the joy of this white blanket of death.
I slowed down. I savored coffee. I reflected. I found the beauty in the snow. The above photo pointed out the multiple difference species of trees that surround my house. There are five showcased in this photo, but there are more in the surrounding panoramic view. I stared at these trees for many long minutes, thinking about how thankful I am to live in a place like this.
The snow held strong the following few days, and by day three I was ready for it to go. For me snow is best kept in the mountains, where I have a choice to spend time with it or not. Regardless I enjoyed my extra day away from work, giving me a total of six days off. Oh how I love working part time.
Slowing down and staying inside inspired me to test out a new pancake recipe. I don’t often create new recipes these days for a myriad of reasons, but I was determined to find one that my body would handle. I often have to trade presentation and texture for taste, or vice versa, but I found a combination of ingredients that made my soul sing.
Living with an autoimmune disease is a constant adventure in determining what foods will work with me, and what foods won’t. I’m at a place now on this journey where I no longer work myself into a tizzy of stress over my new lifestyle, and instead I take each challenge as a test of character. The best part about the pancakes I’ve been making is that they’re vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free, yet they don’t taste like cardboard.
They’re easy, they hold well, and they’re tasty. What they’re not is low calorie, but the beauty of using real food is that the calorie count doesn’t matter. These are my new go to hiking fuel, and for that I call these “hikecakes.” They won’t taste like pancake house cakes, but they do the job.
All you’ll need are six ingredients, and a high speed blender (or food processor.) I wanted to find a combination of ingredients that allowed me to avoid adding sugar, and to avoid adding baking soda/powder. The sodium content of both baking soda and baking powder adds up quick and sodium is not something I handle well. A scoop of plant based pea protein provided enough sodium to give a good texture, without the added facial swelling.
Banana Buckwheat Hikecakes
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (from a can with NO added ingredients)
- 1/3 cup + 1.5 tblsp H20
- 1 medium overripe banana
- 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 scoop pea protein (I use this brand because it’s one ingredient)
- cinnamon (I don’t measure this, it’s dependent on preference IMO.)
- coconut oil (for the pan)
Combine coconut milk, water, and banana in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients one at a time in the order listed above, blending each before adding the next. Add more water in half tablespoon increments if necessary. Depending on the size of your banana you may need more water. Be careful not to overdo it with the water though, your hikecake texture should be thick, but it should still move.
Heat a non stick pan with a glob of coconut oil and pour batter into pan, batter makes around three circular cakes slightly larger than a sand dollar. Be sure not to overdo it with the oil in the pan, but put enough to ensure the cakes won’t stick.
Tasting notes: because these are only sweetened with a banana I added some frozen berries to mine with a drizzle of pure maple syrup. The maple syrup is optional, but I find it necessary. If you’d like to sweeten the cake itself you can swap out the tablespoons of water for maple syrup. If you don’t want to use protein powder you can add a couple tablespoons more of flour, but I make no promises on texture.
Optional pairing: A piping hot cup of coffee, preferable a Latin American blend with a full body and strong cocoa and nutty notes. I’ve been pairing my hikecakes with Starbucks Organic Yukon Blend and the balance of flavors work wonderfully together.
That’s all I’ve got for today! Just helpin ya’ll out for the upcoming pancake Sunday.
Q: What’s your go to pancake recipe?