Banana and Chia Pancakes + a trick for using chia seeds as an egg substitute

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You’ve probably heard all about chia – the super food, but in a case it is all new to you, let me just mention some of its health benefits and usage.

It is all actually very simple – those tiny seeds are grain-free and gluten-free, rich in calcium, iron, potassium… they can be sprinkled on top any meal you want – salad, soup, smoothie…but if you know few tricks with them, they become an awesome ingredient to use.

In my recipe for Light raspberry and pistachio cheesecake I used them as a thickener to make a raw (raspberry) jam. In this recipe I am also using them as a substitute, instead of eggs. If,for any reason, you do not eat eggs, or go out of them, like it happened to me, this is the trick:

1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 2-3 tablespoons of liquid (water or milk) = 1 egg

Stir chia seeds in liquid and leave to absorb it and turn into gel. It will take about 10-15 minutes. And that’s all!

So, let’s get back to the recipe. In this version of American pancakes I am using nutritionally richer flour, but if you do not have it, use whole wheat flour. In that case, add about 1/4 cup more. On the other hand, if you are on a gluten-free diet, use millet or oat flour (declared as gluten-free, if needed). Whatever your choice is, you will have a healthy rich breakfast, which you can proudly serve to your family.

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SPELT FLOUR, BANANA AND CHIA PANCAKES (vegan option)

Prep time: 15 minutes > Cooking time: 15 minutes > Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 4-6 (makes 8-10 pancakes)

Ingredients:

1.5 cup spelt flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 ripe banana (about ½ cup of banana puree)

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 1/3 cup of plantbased milk

1/3 cup Greek yoghurt (you can sub with Greek-style soy yoghurt or Coconut yoghurt for vegan version)

2 tablespoons oil (preferably, coconut) + more for cooking

Instructions:

1. Mix chia seeds with 1/3 cup of milk and leave for 10-15 minutes. In the meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Mash banana with a fork, then add milk, yogurt and oil to it. Mix it all well.

4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir. In the end, add chia gel and stir it in.

6. Take your pancake pan (or another nonstick pan) and grease it. Using 1/3 cup drop the batter into the pan. Bake for about 2 minutes, and when it gets a nice rim and bubbles start to show on top, flip on another side and bake for another 1-2 minutes.

Serve with some fresh fruit (I used apples because they are now in season), a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like.

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