Soaking and fermenting your oats in yoghurt overnight, or for an hour before eating assists the digestion process. Perfect prep for these oat & flax pancakes.
I’ve been riffing oat pancakes for breakfast for weeks now (if you follow me on instagram you’ll know this!), and because I’m so often asked for the recipe I though they actually deserve a special place on my blog. I make very many different versions of these pancakes, with all sorts of different ingredients (sometimes with buckwheat groats of flour), but these oat and flax pancakes are the simplest, and make the most of ingredients anyone can easily buy in a supermarket.
Before you make the batter, the oats are ideally soaked overnight, but if you’re not that organised you can get away with just 1hr. For example If I forget to do the night before I might do this as soon as I get up, then either go for a walk, go to yoga, or just do some household chores and have a shower, before making the pancakes. These really are no effort at all so can be enjoyed on weekday mornings, I promise!
The reason the oats are soaked overnight is to make them easier to digest, soaking them essentially starts to break them down, before they enter your body. In order for this breakdown process to be effective you need an acid medium in with the oats. Here I’ve chosen yoghurt, but you could easily use lemon juice instead. The baking soda + lemon in the batter react to help give the pancakes a lighter fluffy texture, but it easily works without if you don’t have any to hand. So really this recipe isn’t that much different from what you might find in a porridge bowl – except there is the addition of 1 whole egg per person which is perfect as an added source of protein and sustenance to start the day.
Since oats are naturally sweet and creamy there is no need to add sugar (unrefined or otherwise) into the pancake batter, instead I choose to add a few berries into the batter for bursts of sweetness with each bite. So frozen berries? Yep. They aren’t in season year round in the UK, so I’m happy to choose frozen ones instead, which were harvested in season. You can top these pancakes with whatever you like. I just so happened to have a lovely ripe (and British grown) fig in the fridge and some pomegranate seeds left over from a salad earlier in the week.
I’m including oats and flax in my diet in one form or another a lot at the moment, because they are superb for hormonal health. I’ve been working with top hormone nutritionist Nicki Williams from Happy Hormones For Life on a series of seminar/cooking demos on hormonal health for women over the last few months and its inspired me to come up with some fun ways to eat these hormonal friendly foods. Since I am merely the chef I asked Nicki for some words on why oats and flaxseeds are so beneficial for hormonal health:
“Oats are a good source of many nutrients including B vitamins (for energy, hormones, detoxification, brain health), Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, iron (all essential for metabolism, thyroid, immune system), and magnesium (vital for energy, nervous system, stress and muscle relaxing). They are also packed with fibre, which can help balance blood sugar and reduce insulin, which helps to balance all hormones”
“Flaxseeds are rich in fibre, omega 3 fats, protein and essential minerals – all essential for hormone production, storage and transport. They also contain compounds called lignans, which have been shown to help regulate oestrogen levels. Several studies have shown that consuming lignans reduces the risk of oestrogen dependent cancers, such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart disease.”
In the meantime enjoy these light and fluffy pancakes!
- 40g rolled oats (gluten free if required)
- 10g ground flax
- 2 Tbs sheep (or other) yoghurt (not low fat)
- 3 Tbs almond milk + 1-2 Tbs extra for after the ferment.
- 1 free-range egg
- pinch salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- juice of ¼ lemon
- ½ Tbs coconut oil
- a handful of frozen berries
- 1 Tbs sheep yoghurt
- Handful of seasonal fruit, a few nuts
- The night before, or 1hr before breakfast combine the oats with the flax in a bowl with the yoghurt and milk. Stir well and cover. Leave at room temperature in a cool dry place.
- The next day transfer the oat mix to a food processor, and add the egg, salt, baking soda and lemon and blend into a sloppy batter. If the mix is too dense loosen with 1-2 Tbs milk, you are looking for a pourable consistency.
- Heat ½ Tbs of coconut oil in a large wide frying pan on a medium heat, and dollop in the pancake mix, roughly a heaped Tbs of batter per pancake. Sprinkle 4-5 blueberries into each pancake, and push into the batter with the back of a spoon.
- After 2-3 minutes the underside of the pancake should have formed a nice crust and you will be able to flip the pancake over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then drain on some kitchen towel while you use up the rest of the batter. You should be able to make 3 large or 4 small pancakes.
- If you have any frozen berries left throw them in the warmed pan to defrost, while you plate up your pancake stack and drizzle with yoghurt, extra fruit, some nuts for crunch, then finally the defrosted berries. Eat straight away.
If you’re rather partial to a pancake how about trying these other gluten free recipes too?