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Ayurvedic Buckwheat Pancakes
By Nadia Marshall
Ayurvedic nutrition is intricately linked to digestion. When preparing any meal, we look at how it is going to affect our digestive fire (Agni in Sanskrit) and how we can prepare it to bring it more in line with the qualities of our digestion.
The qualities of Agni are WARM, LIGHT and SLIGHTLY OILY. To create healthy, balanced digestion we need to simply introduce more of these qualities through our food, drinks and other sensory impressions because ‘Like Increases Like’. These qualities are also balancing to all constitutions – they are Tridoshic.
Buckwheat is often thought of as a cereal but is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb. From a western perspective it is gluten free, low GI, alkalising and high in antioxidants, insoluble fibre, magnesium, iron and protein (it even contains all essential amino acids). From and Ayurvedic perspective, it is Astringent, Pungent, Sweet, Heating and slightly heavy. So, its qualities are – heating, heavy and dry. It is used as ‘food medicine’ in the treatment of diabetes, excess weight, heart disease, capillary health, dull Agni and excess Kapha (mucous/fluid) conditions. It is also used for grain-free fasts or cleanses.
So how do we prepare Buckwheat to make it as balancing to our Agni and our constitution as possible? To make it lighter, we can prepare it as a pancake from buckwheat flour. To ensure it isn’t too heating we can add cardamom, ghee and maple syrup which are all cooling. And to make it less dry, we add ghee to the cooking process. This creates a pancake that is warm, light, slightly oily, super easy to digest, balancing to our constitution and absolutely delicious!
Buckwheat Pancake Recipe
1 cup organic buckwheat flour
1.5 cups water (or a dash more)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Ghee for cooking
Mix all ingredients into a batter except the ghee. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium flame. Pour enough batter to make a thin, evenly spread pancake (about ¾ of a ladle). Add a little ghee around the edge of the pancake. Let it cook for a little while until the edges start to lift. Now use a thin spatula to ‘unstick’ the pancake from the pan. Continue to cook until the edges of the pancake go slightly golden and the top looks dry and cracked in appearance before turning the pancake over. Cook the other side for 30 seconds or so until it is golden brown. Serve hot with organic maple syrup. Delicious!! Serves 2 (4 pancakes each)
Watch the Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68RcbrUGpGQ
**Organic buckwheat flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ghee and maple syrup
are all available from Santos Wholesale in the Byron A&I Estate**
Nadia Marshall is an Ayurvedic Consultant, Cook, Health Writer and Managing Director of the Mudita Institute & Health Clinic in Byron Bay (www.muditainstitute.com & www.muditaclinic.com ). She is a Nutrition Columnist for Nova Magazine and writes a blog on Ayurvedic food and lifestyle (www.agniblog.com). The Mudita Institute cookbooks, “WARMTH: The Ayurvedic Cookbook” and “The Ayurvedic Kitchen” are available from Santos Wholefoods.