While I’ve complained to everyone I know, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned here that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a few weeks ago and have to test my blood glucose six times a day, so no biscuits for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to control it with exercise and diet so far, but I have been really borderline for medication as any carbs (even the plain porridge and bran flakes the NHS diet sheets recommended) have sent my blood sugar soaring- especially first thing in the morning.
This means that for the past few weeks I’ve been stuck in some kind of Atkins/Paleo diet hell. I exaggerate, lunch and dinner aren’t too bad, but pretty much the only thing I’ve been able to eat for breakfast which hasn’t upset my blood sugar is eggs- with or without a side serving of a different type of protein. And yesterday I’d had enough. I know how important it is to keep my blood glucose controlled because of the side effects for the baby, but I was so sick of eggs I spent the day searching for high protein, low carb breakfasts and while they were mostly Paleo focused, I did find these little gems on PopSugar that I just had to try today.
I adapted the recipe slightly to reduce quantities, account for what I had in the house, take into consideration some of the comments on the article and to make sure that the toppings weren’t going to trigger a blood sugar spike (no maple syrup for me!). I was actually really pleased with how they turned out. I’d definitely make them again and they are a god send for anyone who wants a “fun” breakfast that is a healthy option at the same time.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A MEDIC AND THIS IN NO WAY CONSTITUTES MEDICAL OR DIETARY ADVICE! IT’S JUST A COMMENTARY ON THE EFFECT THESE PANCAKES HAD ON MY BLOOD SUGAR ON A GIVEN DAY.
Ingredients for 3 pancakes
- 1 cup ground almonds (see notes)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup semi-skimmed milk
- Half teaspoon vanilla essence
- Coconut oil to grease the pan, but any vegetable oil would do really (see notes)
I used Yeo Valley natural yogurt because it’s the lowest in sugar that I’ve been able to find. I mashed up six raspberries to make them go further, but if you don’t have sugar issues you could probably go wild with these.
Because of the small quantities I was making, I added all the ingredients at the same time and whisked them up with an electric mixer. If you are making a larger batch, I would combine the eggs and dry ingredients before gradually adding the milk.
Heat the oil in a frying pan so that it’s hot and add about a quarter of a cup of the mixture to make each pancake, turning when the base is brown and the mixture set.
The ground almonds worked well for me, but some people have said they found the texture grainy. You can buy almond flour, but I think the price of this is extortionate. In the past when making macarons, I’ve used the grinder feature on a food processor to turn the almonds into dust which might work well here.
The biscuity smell of the coconut oil made the pancakes seem sweeter to me without actually adding any sugar, but you could probably use any vegetable oil depending on your plans for topping eg. something like sunflower oil would be fine if you were going to add a savoury topping like creamed cheese and smoked salmon.
If you do decide to go for a savoury topping- omit the vanilla essence!
Effect on blood glucose
Before breakfast I had a reading of 3.7 which was below my fasting limit of 6.0. An hour after eating these I had a blood glucose of 4.8 which is well below the threshold 7.8 after food that my diabetes nurse has set. I feel like I could have afforded a few more raspberries now!