It’s been a busy few weeks, but they’ve been quite exciting, and some very cool things have been happening!
I recently was given the opportunity to develop some sports nutrition smoothies for the Canadian Health Food Association, and it’s been a total blast learning about the food styling, photography, and all the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into creating a final product. Conducting the nutrient breakdown and analysis, as well as taste-testing and developing the smoothies from scratch, gave me a new appreciation for product development, and I learned a ton! The smoothies are loaded with fresh fruits and veggies, and include some trending bioactive ingredients, intended to enhance performance and power in athletes. Keep your eyes peeled on the CHFA website and their magazine in the coming months, and be sure to check them out!
All that product development inspired me to tweak another recipe to improve its nutritional quality, while retaining the deliciousness factor. I discovered these great vegan pancakes (http://www.partylikeavegan.com/?p=273) during my second year of University, and they’ve been my “go-to” Sunday morning breakfast food item when I want to treat myself.
Although these pancakes are already the bomb diggity just as they are, I figured I’d enhance them just a bit, and make them my own.
I used Khorasan wheat, specifically the KAMUT® brand wheat, as the basis of my pancake batter. Khorasan is an ancient grain with some pretty neat health benefits. While it has been gaining a reputation amongst health-enthusiasts for its delicious nutty flavour, it must be noted that recent studies have eluded to the potential of its ability to counter-act oxidiative damage in the body (1).These findings have been shown in both animal trials, as well as human studies (2). Certain research has shown there to be anti-inflammatory properties in the Khorasan wheat as well, but of course, further research is required to fully validate the above findings. Nevertheless, Khorasan wheat has some serious potential in the management of cardiovascular diseases and the improvement of over-all human health, and is one ancient grain to keep your eye on.
Another unique ingredient swap in these pancakes is the sugar-to-xylitol switch. Because sugar has been getting such a terrible rep in the world of nutrition lately, I figured this would be a great time to introduce my new, favourite alternative sweetner – xylitol! Xylitol is an easily obtainable natural sweetener that is extracted from various fruits and vegetables, or else it can be synthesized by the chemical hydrogenation of xylose (3)(4). What makes xylitol so unique is the recent research demonstrating the positive effect it has on the prevention of cavities (5). It is oftentimes used in toothpastes, gum, as well as certain confectioneries. With xylitol yielding 40% less energy than sugar, it’s a pretty sweet deal (6) ! Additionally, an interesting study published in 2005 showed the potential for using xylitol in weight management, as it demonstrated (when used in combination with polydextrose) a decreased energy intake and appetite suppression by subjects, post-ingestion of the two alternative sweeteners (6).
So with that in mind, this super-power pancake mix is sure to fuel your morning and give you something to smile about. Hearty and filling, and just sweet enough, get ready to unleash the secret power of khorasan flour.
Khorasan-flour Pumpkin-seed Pancakes
- 1 cup KAMUT® flour
- 1 cup Omega 3- enriched whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp Vegetable or other oil (I used avocado oil)
- 2 tbsp Xylitol
- 1 tsp Chia seeds
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Almond or Skim milk
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
- Water, if needed to thin it out Top with fruit of your choice ( I used local NOTL Strawberries!), yogurt, or other tasty things! Enjoy!
(1) Sofi, F., Whittaker, A., Cesari, F., Gori, A. M., Fiorillo, C., Becatti, M., … & Benedettelli, S. (2013). Characterization of Khorasan wheat (Kamut) and impact of a replacement diet on cardiovascular risk factors: cross-over dietary intervention study. European journal of clinical nutrition, 67(2), 190-195.
(2) Benedetti, S., Primiterra, M., Tagliamonte, M. C., Carnevali, A., Gianotti, A., Bordoni, A., & Canestrari, F. (2012). Counteraction of oxidative damage in the rat liver by an ancient grain (Kamut brand khorasan wheat). Nutrition, 28(4), 436-441.
(3) MÄKINEN, K. K., & Söderllng, E. V. A. (1980). A quantitative study of mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and xylose in wild berries and commercial fruits. Journal of Food Science, 45(2), 367-371.
(4) Prakasham, R. S., Rao, R. S., & Hobbs, P. J. (2009). Current trends in biotechnological production of xylitol and future prospects. Current Trends in Biotechnology and Pharmacy, 3(1), 8-36.