I wish I could say that my last weekend was a lazy weekend. The kind where you sleep for the better half of the morning and then spend the afternoon on the couch with a good book and some tea. But no, my weekend was jam-packed with celebrating #activenationday in Zurich and taking workout videos with Vic (watch this space, we'll be posting weekly workout videos soon!). This weekend I won't be hitting the snooze button either; I have planned to do a last big 30km run before my first marathon on the 25th of October. I've never ran this long before - so just in case I won't survive it, I wanted to let you know that I love you all dearly.
Also, I would not be able to leave you without sharing this one last recipe with you : warm, rich and moist banana and maca power pancakes. And power do they have! Thanks to the Peruvian superfood, these babies are an energy power house and will fuel you for the day. Note to self: Have a full stack of pancakes before going on this dreaded run.
In case you have never heard of maca before, here's a quick introduction to why you should have it stocked in your pantry
Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in Peru for at least 3000 years and it's roots have been used for centuries to make medicine. It is a great mood balancer, hence it's the perfect thing to add to your breakfast if you wake up feeling a little cranky. Let's take a look at why else we should all pimp our smoothies, pancakes & co. with this little powder:
- Like most superfoods, maca is rich in vitamins B, C and E as well as being a good source of calcium, zinc, iron and other essential minerals and nutrients. Hello immunity, bye bye winter flus!
- If you often find yourself tired or low on battery, a little bit of maca is probably what you need. It’s a great energy booster and lots of people report a significant change in their energy level after a couple of days. Who needs coffee if you have maca? For the same reason, the superfood is popular among athletes for building endurance.
- Maca is a hormone balancer - an adaptan really, meaning it 'adapts' or adjusts your body depending on your individual needs. It basically helps your body create the hormones it needs, how perfect is that please? It is also called an endocrine adaptogen, which is a fancy way of saying that the herb itself does not contain any hormones, but is made up of nutrients that are essential to support normal hormone production. It supports both the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which are two very important controllers when it comes to regulating hormones. These two send signals in your body to control other glands that in turn influence the adrenals, thyroid, pancreas and sex hormones in both men and women. It's no wonder then that maca helps with moods (ie depression or post natal depression), fertility issues, menopause, PMS and other types of menstruation pain.
- Let's get groovy behind closed doors - Maca has a centuries long reputation for being a great aphrodisiac. Thanks to it's effect on our hormones as mentioned, it is also a great libido booster.
- Also linked to it's hormonal effects, maca can be great for people dealing with skin issues. For those coming off the pill and having issues with acne, this is one superfood you don't wan to miss out on.
I personally had a bit of a love-hate relationship with maca in the beginning; I didn't particularly like the taste but loved the positive effect it had on my skin. I could hardly put more than a dash into my smoothies without being overwhelmed by the taste, but by now I can mix a whole teaspoon of goodness into my breakfast. My advice is to start slow and work your way up over time. Too much too soon can have you bouncing off the walls in terms of energy, and we wouldn't want that either. If you want to learn even more about maca and it's many effects, I recommend reading this.
I've come to love this particular recipe and make it a lot as a recovery, post workout breakfast that keeps me well satiated until lunchtime comes around. I know it's not vegan (it's the first non-vegan recipe I have posted on the blog), but for reasons that I will cover in a later blog post I have started incorporating more eggs into my diet again. What's so great about this recipe is that it requires very little ingredients and still has a sublime, nutty taste to it thanks to the maca. They are simply macalicious!
The bonus is that the pancakes are gluten free. Jackpot! I won't claim for this recipe to be a pancake impostor, since neither the flavor and texture mimic that of a traditional pancake, but hey, at least they don't break apart the second you try to flip them. Who else has the same experience when attempting to make gluten free pancakes? If so, you definitely have to give this recipe a go. Moist and rich in flavour, this alternative will brighten up your weekend for sure. Sweet, filling, easy - t0 - make, guilt - free, awesome pancakes. Enjoy my friends.
Banana & Maca Power Pancakes (Serves 1)
1 tbsp. maca powder (optional, but highly recommended)
½ tsp. cinammon
1-2 drops vanilla essence
Place all ingredients (except the coconot oil) into mixer or food processor. Pulse until well incorporated and smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I do this to keep the pancakese warm until served, but it's not mandatory.
Place skillet over medium heat. Add half a teaspoon of coconut oil to skillet and swirl around until evenly distributed.
Once pan is hot, pour about ¼ cup of batter per pancake onto skillet (you can make them as small or big as you went them to, but I prefer them small so that I can stack them nicely #instagirl). Once burst bubbles appear on surface of the uncooked side, about 2-3 minutes, flip to cook until underside until browned, about another two minutes. Place the cooked pancakes into the oven, on a baking sheet, in order to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Repeat until all batter has been cooked, adding more coconut oil onto the pan as needed.
Serve with a drizzle of organic maple syrup or honey, seasonal fruits (I used more bananas + some blueberries) shredded coconuts and a dollop of organic peanut butter if you're feeling extra naughty.