Nowadays I feel like we’re all so conscious about healthy eating and stressing about what we can and cannot eat. So why not, at least for one day get rid of all those pesky anxieties and food guilt and treat yourself to some tasty breakfast treats. Let’s have our cake and eat it too…Pancakes that is. Below are some of my favourite toppings to have with my pancakes that also have the added benefit of being compatible with helping aid some of your menopausal symptoms. Also since I know a lot of you out there have food intolerances and some of you are vegan (my daughter included!) I’ve shared a vegan pancake recipe for you at the end!
Dark Chocolate, Shaved Coconut and Strawberries
Dark chocolate is brilliant for the menopause as it contains lots of antioxidants. For all of you suffering from inflammation and heart disease, an antioxidant rich diet can help with these symptoms greatly. Antioxidants help improve your blood flow. This means the blood can flow better around your heart, your brain and your whole body. So for all of you suffering from foggy brain, dark chocolate has been linked to improving memory. And of course chocolate has been proven to boost the serotonin levels As a general rule, the higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants it contains. You can either melt the chocolate in a microwave on a low setting in one minute bursts, or you can put it in a bowl and melt over a pot of boiling water. Be careful not to have the temperature too high, as chocolate burns very quickly.
Shredded coconut is a great source of fibre, iron, and zinc. Having a diet high in fibre means that your metabolism gets a boost meaning you’ll gain weight slower. I know a lot of you ladies have emailed in concerned over your changing bodies due to the menopause. While this is completely normal as the lack of oestrogen changes how and where our bodies store fat, eating foods that can slow down any weight gain always helps. The iron and zinc in shaved coconut also helps you feel more energised as they combat weakness and fatigue. It’s also great for diabetics as the natural sugar helps maintain your blood sugar levels. You can buy coconut flakes at your local supermarket and sprinkle them over your pancakes as you like.
Did you know one cup of strawberries packs 150% of your daily vitamin C intake? Vitamin C is great for the menopause as it helps balance out your hormones. Vitamin C along with B-complex vitamins, Vitamin K and E all act as a good foundation which can help control your fluctuating hormone levels.
Strawberries also contain collagen which is great for maintaining our skins elasticity.
Cinnamon, Honey and Banana
Cinnamon and honey are both great for their anti-inflammatory properties. This is because like dark chocolate, they are packed with antioxidants. Honey has been known to reduce bloating and give you more energy. I would recommend Manuka Honey the most as it is known for having more anti-bacterial properties.
We already know that bananas are a fantastic way to get potassium. What you might not know is why potassium is so important for the menopause. Potassium helps regulate a normal blood pressure. Blood pressure typically rises as we age and when women begin the menopause they can begin to develop the risk factors for strokes. Potassium combats this by combatting the effects of salt and sodium in our diets. Of course we should always try our best to cut back on salt, but having a potassium-rich diet helps a lot as well. For your pancakes, I would recommend cutting up one banana and garnishing them on top. Personally, I find the banana and cinnamon go great with each other.
Natural Yoghurt and Fresh Berries
Calcium is so important when you’re going through the menopause because when female hormone levels drop, there’s a higher chance of developing bone problems such as osteoporosis. The vitamin D in yogurt (and dairy if your not a vegan) will also boost your mood, helping prevent depression. You can add a few dollops of this on top of your pancakes and asdd in a handful of your favourite berries.
For these pancakes I’ve used raspberries and blueberries. These are a great source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol. Anthocyanins are great for helping your memory stay sharp and resveratrol promotes anti-aging in our bodies. Blueberries especially are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Like all antioxidant-rich foods, blueberries can help reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol and help regulate blood pressure.
- 1 cup of plain flour (125 g)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (or Stevia as a sugar alternative)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of soy-milk (240 mL)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients; soy-milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. It’s important not combine step 1 and step 2 as the ingredients won’t be able to mix properly in the batter and you won’t have an even mixture.
- Put the contents of both bowls into an electric mixer, or whisk by hand until smooth
- Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes. This will allow all of the ingredients to settle properly with each other.
- Pour about a ladle’s worth of the batter onto a non-stick pan over a medium heat.
- When you see the top of the pancake begin to bubble, it’s time to flip. (This is my favourite part).
- When both sides are a golden brown, serve onto a plate with any of the toppings above!
Author: Erica Fraser