I’m not American. However, I can not avoid the 4th of July. Americans go hard with their celebrations and they upload tonnes of amazing tricoloured photos as proof.
As the fourth will be upon us in about a few days, I decided to help you guys out with some red, white and blue recipes. In this post, I will be sharing a quinoa pancake recipe that is quite delicious and can be made, not just on the fourth, but every day too sans the colours.
Quinoa is one ingredient that I have not featured on this website before. It is a grain which tends to be used as a substitute for rice as it has a significantly higher protein and general nutrient content. Quinoa is also quite common in salads and as a matter of fact, quinoa is not just a complete protein, but also a superfood due to its vast amount of nutrients. I will not be describing the function of all the nutrients found in this grain, however, I will be listing as many as I am sure of: Vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pyridoxamine (vitamin B-6), folate (vitamin B-9), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, choline, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Tocopherols (vitamin E) is a natural anti-ageing vitamin which slows down the ageing process by reducing and preventing damage caused by free radicals, reducing inflammation on an within the body, improving the skin’s flexibility and strengthening capillary walls. These also make vitamin E beneficial for cancer patients as it reduces the harmful or negative effects of radiation and dialysis such as hair loss and skin problems such as dryness or peeling. It balances hormones, therefore, preventing or minimising symptoms of PMS, anxiety, and fatigue while boosting energy levels, regulating the menstrual cycle and aiding in the maintenance of a healthy weight. Lastly, vitamin E is very crucial during pregnancy as it protects fatty acids needed for the proper brain and neurologic development of a foetus.
Choline is a water-soluble macronutrient that can be compared to (and occasionally works with) the B-complex vitamins. It aids in the creation and maintenance of cell membranes by promoting the absorption of fat from foods consumed thereby supporting brain development and growth. It also supports the movement of muscles by improving nerve signaling via the activation of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Due to choline’s importance in nerve signaling and the creation and maintenance of cell membranes, it aids in preventing memory loss and lack of focus and concentration especially due to ageing as levels of acetylcholine naturally diminish as a person gets older. By supporting the absorption of fats to make cell membranes, choline prevents harmful fat build-up, such as that from triglycerol and cholesterol, in the liver. It also aids in the metabolisation of homocysteine (an amino acid formed by the body as a byproduct of methionine, which usually obtained from animal (by)products) to benign products thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Like vitamin E, choline is also essential during pregnancy in order to support the formation of the brain, nerve channels and cell structures of a foetus/foetuses.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, popularly known for their vision-boosting properties, are antioxidants from the carotenoid family. These antioxidants reduce the risk of blindness by protecting the eyes from short-wavelength UV light and preventing the formation of cataracts. They also prevent skin damage and skin cancer by reducing oxidative stress through protecting the skin from high-energy wavelengths of light. Lastly, some studies have shown that a combination of lutein and omega-3 fatty acids (especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) aids in preventing, controlling diabetes and biochemical changes caused by diabetes
Omega fatty acids (omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid)) are essential acids needed for the proper function and development of organs and systems in the body especially that of the brain, heart and immune system. The health benefits of omega fatty acids are extensive. These benefits include preventing cases of high cholesterol or cholesterol buildup by lowering triglycerides and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, lowering blood pressure due to hypertension, reducing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, increasing levels of calcium thereby improving bone health and preventing or treating osteoporosis, preventing cognitive decline due to ageing, reducing sensitivity to UV rays thereby aiding in the treatment of photodermatitis, supports the treatment of psoriasis alongside medication, prevents blindness caused by macular degeneration, reduced symptoms of PMS such as cramps and mood swings by balancing hormones and reducing the risk of some cancers such as colon, breast and prostate cancer.
That was quite a bit of reading!
With that said, here is the recipe for our 4th of July pancakes.
2 x 75g Quinoa flour
2 x 75g Self-raising flour
2 x 25-30g Fine Oats (smooth porridge oats will be suitable)
2 x 260ml Almond Milk (measurement might need to be adjusted due to oat texture)
Sugar, maple syrup or lightly coloured sweetener of choice (to taste)
Cinnamon (to taste)
<1tsp Sea Salt
Red food colouring
Blue food colouring
- In two separate bowls, combine quinoa flour, self-raising flour, oats, sweetener and spices.
- In small quantities, pour in the almond milk and combine the ingredients in a food processor or with either a fork or whisk.
- Adding a few drops at a time, dye the batter in one bowl to your desired level of redness and dye the other bowl to your desired level of blueness. Note that the blue dye loses its intensity when the pancake is cooked using oil so a test piece might need to be fried to adjust the dye to your desired level.
- In a non-stick pan, either fry the pancakes directly (if the quality of the pan is exceptional) or fry the pancakes in about a teaspoon of a neutral tasting oil (such as sunflower oil) turning over once bubbles have stopped forming and popping on the pancake (on the first side facing up) and the bottom of the pancake is perfectly browned. Fry the pancakes to your desired thickness and diameter and remember to turn down the heat after the first pancake is made in order to avoid burning the rest.
- Slice some bananas into about 0.5cm thick disks.
- Layer your pancakes placing the banana slices at points around the perimeter of each layer of pancake and alternate the colours as you go.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon/lime juice and/or a drizzle of maple, golden or date syrup.
If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe so I can have a look at and like it.