Root vegetables in sweet pancakes? Sounds like a crazy combination until you try my beetroot pancakes with summer berries.
Your antioxidant status is one of the most critical determinants of your ability to fight disease. Your body is continuously being bombarded with free radicals, either from the food you eat, the standard processes going on in your body or from the environment. These free radicals can injure your cells and DNA and lead to undesirable outcomes from premature ageing, Alzheimer’s and heart disease to cancer.
Your body needs antioxidants to prevent damage from free-radicals. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols, flavonoids, and beta-carotene are molecules that neutralise the effects of free-radicals.
Unfortunately, since your body is unable to manufacture these micronutrients, it is essential that you get them from food. Whole plant-based foods are naturally rich in these compounds, but some foods have more concentrated amounts of these nutrients than others. Beetroot and berries are some of them, and luckily they are in season right now.
There is no better time to indulge in beets and berries as you’ll be getting the most nutrient-dense produce. I’ve never really been a big fan of the beetroot, and to be honest I’m still not. For the sake of health, however, I am willing to keep finding different ways to eat them until I genuinely love them.
There are different varieties of beetroot, ranging in colour from deep red (Detriot dark red) to pink (Chioggia), and yellow (Burpees golden). The darker the beet, the higher its content of highly bioactive compounds known as betalains. Betalains have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful in many conditions related to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Beetroot is also a rich source of vitamin C, magnesium, iron, folate and other beneficial phytochemicals including flavonoids, phenolics and carotenoids. It may help to lower the risk of hypertension, modestly improve mental clarity and athletic performance in inactive and leisurely active individuals, and reduce inflammation.
We all know by now that berries are nutritional powerhouses. They’re not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but contain an array of phytonutrients including anthocyanins that have positive effects on the heart, immune system and general wellbeing.
If you’re looking to boost your antioxidant status in one meal, you need to add this meal to your weekly menu.
Yield (6, 4-inch pancakes), Prep time: 5 mins, Cook time: 25 mins
For the pancakes
- 85g self-raising flour
- 150g unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- ½ tsp egg replacer powder (or 1 flax egg)
- 1½ tsp powdered beetroot
- 50g blackberries
- 50g strawberries halved
- 50g blueberries
- 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp vanilla soy yoghurt
- Put all of the ingredients except the egg replacer in a food processor and blend until they form a smooth paste. Then add the egg replacer and stir gently until fully combined.
- Gently heat a non-stick frying pan, then pour in about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time for each pancake. Cook slowly for around 2 minutes over low heat to stop the pancakes burning or being undercooked. Once the pancake is firm on top with little bubbles all over, flip and cook on the other side for around 2 minutes. Repeat until you use up the batter.
- Serve the pancakes with the yoghurt, berries and pumpkin seeds and enjoy!