Sunday, 2 September 2012

Chewy, nutty, delicious pancakes

I have IBS. It's an absolute pain, sometimes literally. I have to be careful what I eat and often eating dairy produce can make me blow up like a dirigible and causes painful abdominal cramps.

One of the ways that the symptoms of IBS can be reduced is by increasing consumption of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is, as it suggests, partially soluble in liquid and helps your intestines better process the food that you're eating through your system and improves digestive transit.

The most common way that people with IBS boost their intake of soluble fibre is by taking suppliments. Psyllium husk or ispaghula husk are two good sources of dietary fibre that you can get in powder form from health food shops but I have a problem with them. Once dissolved in liquid, they take on an almost gelatinous texture that makes me gag when I try to consume it. I was advised that you can get it in a capsule, but unfortunately capsules mean gelatine and I'm vegetarian which means I don't want hooves in my pills!

I visited a health food shop yesterday and had a chat with the assistant about this problem and she recommended milled flaxseed. Also high in soluble fibre, it doesn't have quite the same texture as the finely powdered psyllium or ispaghula and is more palatable. When I looked at their range, I came across this one:

(Image from

Seeds with nuts? Perfect! Not only does it up my soluble fibre intake, it also gives me a way to increase my intake of protein which, given I'm a veggie who has a problem with dairy, is not always great.

Today, I had my first go at using the stuff to make pancakes. To further increase the soluble fibre count I substituted half the flour for rolled oats that I blended in the food processor to chop up smaller.

So, this is the recipe.

Chewy, nutty pancakes
50g rolled oats
50g plain flour
35g Linwoods milled flaxseeds with nuts (you could substitute any flax-seed product for this one)
1tsp baking powder
One egg
150ml milk (I used almond milk, which worked beautifully)

Put oats, flour and flaxseeds in the food processor and whizz for 30 seconds to chop the oats down to size.

In a bowl, beat together the milk and egg. Add the flour, oats and flaxseeds with the 1tsp baking powder and mix to a batter with a loose dropping consistency. Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so to allow the oats and seeds to absorb the milk. When you return to it, it should be firmer dropping consistency.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Using an ice-cream scoop, add one scoop per pancake to the oil. When I'm making them, I can fit three pancakes in the pan at a time, but this will depend on the size of your pan.

Cook on the first side until the top is almost set, then flip using a plastic or silicon fish slice. Cook for a couple of minutes on the other side until there's no batter that comes from the sides if you press the top with the flat of the fish slice.

Serve warm with maple syrup. Makes 6-8 palm-sized pancakes.