Updated: Jun 24, 2019
Well, after 5 years of dreaming about it, I've finally started a blog. Although I have wanted to start a blog for some time now, it has always been pushed to the bottom of the To Do list. I have finally realised I have too much to share to sit around blog-less anymore.
This blog is a combination of my recipe creations, my thoughts around nutrition and mental health, and musings around current research in the field of nutritional psychiatry. My purpose is to take nutrient dense ingredients and turn them into something special, full of flavour. I am a strong believer that healthy does not have to equal boring, and my recipes will be a testament to that statement.
I am also a strong believer that what we put on our plates can strongly influence our state of health - both physically and mentally.
Therefore, I would like to present to you my first recipe of this blog: Hemp and Chickpea Pancakes with Stewed Pear and Tahini Maple Sauce.
Now, this recipe came as a result of using what I had in the fridge and pantry at the time. However it turned into a wonderful creation that I need to share because it boasts so many health benefits whilst also being equally delicious.
Hemp is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. Hemp is one of the varieties of the Cannibis sativa L. ("cannabis") plant species. Now, before you think you're about to get high, let me differentiate: marijuana contains more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of the plant. Meanwhile, hemp contains little to nil of these psychoactive properties, so we can all enjoy it and the nutritional benefits without worrying whether we're going to get high or not.
The main reason I love using hemp in cooking is because it's a great source of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein source. And, because hemp has such a mild flavour, it can be sprinkled onto, or used, in literally anything.
The other major reason I love hemp is because it is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. The oil, which makes up half of the weight of the seeds, contains 75% essential fatty acids, of which 20% are omega-3, Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and 3% is gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). The unique ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 ensures that you can consume hemp without needing to balance it with any other food rich in fat.
The other star of this recipe is the chickpea (or besan) flour. Chickpeas are a rich source of protein, fibre and micronutrients. Half a cup of chickpea flour contains an impressive 11 grams of protein, 5 grams of fibre and nutrients such as folate, iron, magnesium and zinc. Not only this, chickpeas also nourish our microbiome, feeding our gut bugs much needed resistant starch, polyphenols and galactooligosaccharides (GOS).
Combined with the stewed pear and tahini maple sauce, this recipe is not only nutrient dense and great for our microbiome but so warming for these crisp winter mornings.
Hemp and Chickpea Pancakes with Stewed Pear and Tahini Maple Sauce
Time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon hemp flour
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 tablespoon almond milk
1 tablespoon collagen
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medjool dates (optional)
1 pear, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon almond milk (only if needed)
A dash of cinnamon
First, chop your pear into 2cm squares (skin on). Place the pear in a small saucepan and fill the bottom with around 1cm of water. Sprinkle apples with a dash of cinnamon. Place on a stove top on a low-medium heat with the lid on and leave to stew for about 10-15 minutes.
Combine the hemp flour, chickpea flour, baking powder and collagen together in a small bowl.
Blend the almond milk, egg, dates and vanilla extract thoroughly. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until well combined. The mixture should be relatively thick. If too thick, you can add more almond milk.
Heat a pan on medium-high heat over the stove. Use 1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil to create a non-stick environment.
Pour pancake mixture into the heated pan. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles appear. Flip and repeat on other side.
Whilst pancake is cooking, mix sauce ingredients including the tahini, maple, almond milk and cinnamon. If the sauce is too thick, add more almond milk.
When the pancake is ready, place onto plate. Top with 1/3 cup stewed pear, and pour your tahini maple sauce on top. Enjoy!