When you think of healthy eating, the picture of sweet delicious pancakes slathered in juicy cinnamon apples may not be the first thing that comes to mind. While eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables is crucial to a healthy diet, there are some surprising benefits to indulging in such a delicious treat.
There are some who seem to effortlessly maintain a gluten free, healthy diet. I am not one of those people. It takes great effort on my part to make the commitment and to stick to it. I’m a lover of all things sweet and savory, so the idea that I cannot have certain foods . . . well, it didn’t go over so very well.
One of the best ways I’ve found to help me overcome this lack of control is to allow myself to enjoy treats that are made with the right ingredients. I don’t have to ban myself from sweet delicious apple pancakes when there is almond flour, apples and cinnamon available! Factoring in plenty of meals like this make a real difference in my ability to set my mind and commitment to healthy eating.
Hidden Benefits of Almond Flour
There are some terrific benefits hidden within the healthy ingredients of this deceptively delicious recipe. Almond flour is the base of the pancake recipe and is simply made with ground almonds. Protein; CHECK! Almonds also contain carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Micronutrients like vitamin E, iron, calcium, and potassium are all included in ground blanched almond flour. According to Karen Curley, Nutritionist and author at SFGate/Healthy Eating,
“One ounce of almonds ground into flour adds 6.8 milligrams of vitamin E to your daily vitamin intake. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, heart disease and stroke. Almond flour also gives you 0.8 milligrams of iron, 65.2 milligrams of magnesium and 57.4 milligrams of calcium in a 1/4-cup serving. Calcium helps strengthen your bones and teeth, and helps your circulatory system carry enzymes and hormones throughout your body. Another mineral in almond flour is potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure — 1/4 cup of almond flour adds 160.4 milligrams of potassium to your diet.”
In simple terms, those small nuts pack a powerfully healthy punch!
An Apple A Day
Apples are much more than a yummy treat. We’ve all heard the old adage “An apple a day – keeps the doctor away”, but as it turns out, there is some real truth behind it. Prevention Magazine recently sited a food chemistry study which found that eating apples promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut, even leading to weight loss.
Additional research links apples to everything from a healthier immune system to a reduced risk of stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. The phytonutrients in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar. The flavonoids in apples inhibit enzymes which turn complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Polyphenols in apples can help to block absorption of glucose in digestion and can stimulate secretion of insulin in the pancreas.
Apples are a decent source of fiber and of vitamin C and there are currently studies in place with regards to their effect on aging and even cancer fighting abilities. To get the most benefit from eating apples, other than as a raw, whole food – consider leaving the skin on (or nibbling on some of it while you make your pancakes). You don’t want to overcook them either. The boiling process of making applesauce can steal some of the nutrients.
This recipe is a terrific way to enjoy apples! Using coconut oil in the skillet, and adding freshly ground cinnamon and ginger are additional healthy touches. You can even change out the brown sugar for a tablespoon of honey to make it extra healthy and still so delicious.
Gluten Free Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Oil in pan for cooking (coconut oil or butter)
- 5-6 large crisp apples (peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized chunks)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- Splash of lemon juice (2 TBS)
- Pinch of salt
- *See sugar-free option below
- With a fork, blend eggs, water, vanilla and honey
- Mix in almond flour, pinch of salt and baking soda until well combined
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat
- Use a spoon to scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the skillet to make
- When pancakes show little bubbles all around, flip pancakes over and cook other side and remove
- Repeat process with remaining batter
- Mix apples and ingredients thoroughly in large bowl.
- Cook on medium high heat, in large pot, covered, until soft.
- Stir regularly, you may add a pat of butter if needed.
- Serve over warm pancakes.
Gluten free is healthy, delicious and can be a fun treat as well – Enjoy!
Sharing at Growing Hands-On Kids, Eat Drink & Be Mary, Giving Up on Perfect, True Aim, Saving 4 Six, Grace and Good Eats, The Jenny Evolution, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Pam’s Party & Practical Tips, Dear Creatives, Crafty Moms Share, Denise Designed, It’s Overflowing, Mommy on Demand, Create with Joy, and Life with Moore Babies.
Kelli Becton is a homeschool mother of three boys. She and her husband Mark, live on the coast in southwest Florida. Kelli has been battling Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 13 years. She loves sharing tips, recipes and encouragement with others who are raising families and/or fighting chronic disease. She has a homeschool blog and a frugal family blog where she writes to encourage families to get out and enjoy the outdoors and to explore the world around them. Abundant Living on a Budget is her goal. You can find her at Frugal Mommas and Adventure Homeschool.