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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Healthy(er) Buttermilk Pancakes

This blog is written by Anointed By Abba contributor, Kim. :-)

Kristi has an amazing passion for beauty and detoxifying the body by putting less garbage on our bodies. I love that about my BFF. Her creativity in finding ways to make lotions, sprays, cleaning materials, etc. safer for our families. That is not me. Sorry, Sarge (high school chemistry teacher) mixing and blending and chemistry is SOOOOO not my thing. But it is Kristi's. She inspires me to do better for myself. And I have done a LOT of detoxifying because of her.

Brenda is my go to for all things supplements. She knows her stuff . She researches and experiments on herself, then shares her findings with us. Her love for learning about and investigating ways to support a healthy body by adding the right STUFF is so inspiring. I need Brenda, cause that is, again, SOOOOOO not my thing.

Food. Food is my thing. Well, that and teaching. I love to cook. I love to eat. I love to eat GOOD things! Not necessarily good FOR me. When I read a blog about how kale can kill you, I rejoiced! I hate kale. It is nasty and bitter and....well, the only time I ever embraced Kale was during GISWHES season. And even GISHWHES has banned kale this year! The only thing that I dislike as much as kale is exercise. Okay, ORGANIZED exercise. I don't do group classes. Running is bad for my knees. I hate the gym. Exercise equipment causes me to break out in hives, even when I clean it with Thieves Cleaner first! So it is definitely psychological and not physiological. Now, turn on Megan Trainor, AC/DC, or Salt-N-Pepa (don't mock my musical taste!) and I will dance like a fiend and burn 10,000 calories in 5 minutes, as long as nobody is watching. Because of this love of food that isn't kale and aversion to exercise, I may have put on a few pounds over the years. Fine, I added a 10 year old child to my weight. But that has all changed, too. Blog on THAT later!

How do I deal with my love of food and reconcile that with my desire to live healthier and help my family become healthier? That has long been a challenge. But since the birth of my granddaughter, Rei and my youngest son's recent diagnosis with Bi-Polar disorder and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), I have become obsessive in my desire to make myself and my family healthier. If you are not familiar with ASD, which I was only aware of to the level I needed as a teacher, those with ASD tend to have a gluten intolerance. Not an allergy or celiac disease, but it causes enough of a problem that I have to take a look at how we are all eating now.

My son, his wife, and my beautiful Rei.

My family loves bread. Anything made by combining flour, liquid, and usually some kind of fat makes them all happy. I tried removing bread from our house. Once. It was traumatic. We refer to that 24 hours as the dark times around here. I think my husband is still suffering flashbacks to that time, as he still hoards mini donuts in places he thinks I won't find them. When you have a family that LOVES bread, removing it is not an option. I cannot emphasis the word LOVE enough. I think the Gaelic phrase, Mo chuisle mo chroĆ­ (The pulse of my Heart, for non-Outlander fans) best describes my family's obsession with all that grainy goodness. The results? We all suffer from wheat belly and my youngest has his autism aggravated. So what am I supposed to do?

I have long been an advocate of non-GMO foods. Of sustainable, organic farming of heirloom foods. I raise my own garden with heirloom seeds and non-toxic, organic compost and pest deterrents. (Side note: if you garden, all natural and organic does not necessarily mean non-toxic when you are buying fertilizer and pesticides. Do your research!) I have looked at alternatives for grain, have my own grain mill attachment for my Kitchen Aid, and investigated how Native Americans from Arizona ate. Milling my own flour has helped, as it kept a lot of the good stuff that is taken out in traditional milling practices. But still, I was dealing with genetically modified wheat berries. Not the wheat God created, but the wheat man created.

The good news is, there is Ancient Wheat! Young Living has introduced Einkorn Wheat into their product line and I couldn't be more ecstatic! I ordered some almost immediately. When my Essential Rewards order arrived, the flour sat on my table for the remainder of the week, because I did not have time to experiment. Yet.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a gluten free product. This will not cure autism, celiac disease, or anything else. However, glyphosate laden herbicides are not used on this wheat and it only has 14 chromosomes, not 42 like most modern wheats.  (And some info from the wheat council about why they think this is a GOOD thing?) There is a lot of research out there on the benefits of ancient grain (Einkorn isn't the only one). Do your own research. PLEASE, I'll tell you the same thing I tell my own students - don't ever just take someone's word for something. Do your research. Find the healthier options, which I believe Einkorn Flour is.

The first thing I decided to try was pancakes. My family loves pancakes. They obsess about fluffy goodness on their plates smothered in creamy butter and sweet, sticky syrup. Over the years, I have tried and tossed out many recipes. I finally found one I love for buttermilk pancakes and decided to try it out with Einkorn.

The first thing you need to know about Einkorn is this is NOT your mother's or even your grandmother's flour. It is "wetter" and a little grainier. The feel reminds me a bit of commercial cake mix. It sticks together when you squeeze it. I read the cookbook that came with my flour and took to heart the warning to lessen the liquid added. Remember, this wheat does not have the wheat germ oil removed in the processing. This is true WHOLE wheat flour. All the parts are still there. Wheat naturally has it's own oils that are used to nourish the seed as it begins to grow. All that goodness is still part of the flour. Be prepared that this looks and feels different. And recipes will need to be adjusted.

Healthy(er) Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups Einkorn Flour    (272 grams)                                        
2 cups well shaken buttermilk (473 ml)
2 TBSP sugar (you can use baking Stevia)                              
2 large eggs, room temp & beaten
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder                                       
1/8 cup coconut oil, melted (30 ml)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, eggs, and coconut oil.  Using a fork, add the wet to dry ingredients. Mix only enough to completely combine the wet and dry. Over mixing will cause your pancakes to be rubbery.

Make sure your eggs are room temperature. Also, do not melt the coconut oil in the microwave and then add it. Not only will it start cooking the eggs, the microwave also kills the good parts of the oil. Use a double boiler or a Pyrex measuring cup in a shallow pan of water.

I cook my pancakes on an electric griddle at 350° F (176°  C). If you are using a stove, medium-high heat. Check the pancakes until they are brown on the bottom, then flip. Because this flour is darker, the brown will be darker, too.

Yummy goodness!

My family was all skeptical. The first bite was taken hesitantly and with a puzzled look. But then they started eating them enthusiastically. They all, including my youngest who is VERY picky, liked them. The great thing? My husband usually eats 5-6 pancakes. He ate 3 and said he was full. The consensus, not only were the pancakes good, but they were much more satisfying. No one was hungry for another 4-5 hours. (WOW!)
The true test for me, however, was how my youngest's digestive system responded. Every hour, for the rest of the day, I checked with him. He was so happy that there were none of the usual side effects that he gets with eating pancakes. He is begging me to make him some bread out of the flour.

My family has a long way to go to be eating the way we should. To do what I REALLY want to do will require moving to a farm and raising everything organically and using heritage seeds and breeds. My vision is to make this a reality for Rei and my future grandkids and great grandkids. And I want to help my son support his body with good, nutritious, non-harmful foods, supplements, and oils that will help his body better cope with his disorders. He's a husband and daddy now. I need him to be as healthy as he can be.

My reasons to finally change

To order your own Young Living Essential Oils, Thieves Cleaner or Einkorn flour, start here. Learn about our $25 back offer when you buy a Premium Starter Kit from the Anointed By Abba team.

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