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  • Sylvia Meo, R.D.

Hemp & Coconut Sourdough Starter Pancakes

This easy pancake recipe is not only made with my 144 year old sourdough starter but contains both hemp and coconut flour, as well as organic yogurt, resulting in protein packed, high fiber, tender and fluffy pancakes that are healthier than conventional recipes yet still fulfill all your (and your family's) pancake wishes and cravings!


Pancake stack topped with almond butter, flax seeds, banana slices and a drizzle of maple syrup

I especially love this recipe because it is easy, quick and let's me use up any excess sourdough starter I would otherwise have to discard. Believe it or not, I have yet to discard ANY of my sourdough starter, when I have too much, it's either waffle or pancake time, or an excuse for me to make some crumpets, English muffins, banana bread or chocolate chip cookies!!



Why you should start baking with a sourdough starter?

Ohhh...where should I begin? My sourdough love affair is real friends! I mean, when I open that jar that I keep in my refrigerator and inhale the vinegary yeasty fumes, something inside of me just sparks and quietly bursts with excitement...and all those times when I think I've just really pushed my luck and left my starter unfed for way too long or when our refrigerator recently broke down and we had to live out of coolers and I thought the too cold temperature from the ice might have killed it, and then I attempt to feed it and patiently wait for the time to pass to see whether or not it's still alive and then those perfect bubbles start popping up everywhere...there are just no words!

Sourdough starter discard in a jar

I suppose the idea that someone 144 years ago simply mixed together some flour and water which created this liquidy, doughy mass that I've managed to keep alive and thriving for the last two years and has allowed who knows how many people to, literally, break bread together simply fascinates me! And then when I see what I get to create with it, the flavors and texture this starter imparts on my recipes, and the look on people's faces when they try one of my sourdough based foods, especially those that swore to dislike the taste of sourdough, well, I mean there's just nothing more incredibly gratifying (of course other than my daughter)!



Sourdough's Health Benefits

Now for the nutritional and health reasons why you should consider dropping the commercial yeast and bread and start making your own sourdough starter (or get it from someone you know that has some or buy it like I did) and bread :

  • this flour and water mixture (aka fermented sourdough starter) adds a secret ingredient to whatever baked good you prepare with it: live yeast cultures. This is what gives anything sourdough its characteristic flavor, but these live cultures are also what we call probiotics, those gut-friendly bacteria that I often encourage you to eat more of. Although, once your sourdough bread, pancakes, focaccia or bomboloni are baked, the probiotics die off, but the lactic acid they produced is also very beneficial to our health.

  • Lactic acid for instance helps reduce phytic acid levels in bread. Because phytic acid binds to certain nutrients (iron, calcium, zinc) it prevents your body from absorbing them. Therefore by reducing these acids, sourdough enhances the bioavailability, digestion and absorption of many important nutrients found in food and better supports our body's numerous functions and overall health.

  • Bread and other products made with sourdough also have a lower gluten content. The fermentation process partially breaks down the proteins including gluten, making it easier to digest than conventional baked products for people with gluten sensitivity (not celiac disease)

Of course you don't have to make your own sourdough bread or baked goodies to reap all of these benefits, but when buying sourdough products your best option is doing so in artisanal bakeries, farmers markets and even specialized health food stores.


Finally, bread is bread...even if choosing sourdough is healthier and more beneficial, it still contains calories and keeping your portions in check is important!




Hemp & Coconut Sourdough Starter Pancakes

This delicious pancake recipe is my go-to on lazy weekends when I get to take time to indulge in making breakfast and eating with my little family.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12-15 (5 inch) pancakes


INGREDIENTS


2 large eggs

1 cup milk (I use 1 or 2% organic milk)

1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use whatever I have which is usually 2 or 3.5% organic yogurt)

1 1/2 cup sourdough starter stirred

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (coconut could also work wonderfully here)

1 cup all-purpose, organic flour

1/4 cup organic hemp flour (I use Orijin)

1/4 cup organic coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp organic coconut sugar

2 Tbsp organic salted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled (if using unsalted

butter or the coconut oil, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt)



HOW TO MAKE THESE FLUFFY, PROTEIN AND FIBER-RICH HEMP & COCONUT SOURDOUGH PANCAKES:


1. Break the egg yolks in a medium bowl, reserving the egg whites in another clean bowl, then stir in the milk, yogurt, sourdough starter and vanilla extract until well incorporated.


2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and sugar directly into the above mixture, and combine all the ingredients well. Stir in the melted butter and let the dough rest about 30 minutes to let the sourdough starter working.


3. Right before you are ready to start making the pancakes, preheat your griddle (or pan) on medium-low heat. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks then gently fold them into the rested pancake batter until just incorporated.


4. Lightly grease the hot griddle with coconut oil or unsalted butter. Using a ladle drop the batter onto the hot griddle and cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface and the bottom turns light brown, then flip and cook the other side. Flipping should happen only once.




FOODFUL TIPS

  • Depending on the consistency of your sourdough discard, you may need to add a little more milk if the batter seems too thick.

  • For an extra protein boost you can use plain Greek yogurt instead of regular.

  • Don’t cook these pancakes on too high heat. They contain more fat than pancakes made with only all-purpose flour due to the hemp and coconut flour which can cause these pancakes to burn a bit more easily. Medium-low heat works best for my gas stove!

  • These pancakes are perfect for freezing and serving up a tasty and nutritious breakfast on hectic weekday mornings. Simply pop them in your toaster on medium-low setting and enjoy!

  • I sometimes love to give this recipe some extra fermentation time by starting the batter the night before and letting it ferment overnight. Simply mix the milk, sugar, flour and sourdough starter in a bowl, cover and leave it out at room temperature the night before. In the morning add in the baking soda, baking powder, melted butter and vanilla. Crack the eggs separating the egg yolks from the whites, slightly break up the yolks and add them gently to the mixture. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them in right before making the pancakes.



DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I'd love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below or share a photo of it on Instagram. Tag @thefoodfullife on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag it #foodfuleats #foodfullife #foodful


All text and images © The Foodful Life.

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