My FAVORITE Blueberry Oat Pancakes

I recently found this recipe on the Medical Medium Instagram page — they are AMAZING! Easily my favorite pancake recipe I have tried to date (even better than my sourdough pancakes). They are super filling and the addition of blueberries adds a powerful antioxidant boost.

In addition to being loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants, blueberries are low in sugar, and high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. When purchasing blueberries, be sure to buy organic whenever possible as they are often highly sprayed with pesticides. To learn what other types of produce to purchase organic, check out the Dirty Dozen list of pesticides in produce here.

This recipe also uses arrowroot powder as a thickener. Arrowroot powder is gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly. It is extracted from the root of the tropical arrowroot plant and looks similar to other tubers such as cassava. It is used in place of corn starch, which can be helpful for people with allergies or looking to avoid GMOs and foods high in pesticides. Arrowroot is high in fiber, B vitamins and iron.

The blueberry oat pancakes are so delicious and honestly, they don’t even need syrup. The blueberry topping is the icing on the cake!

Let’s get to it!

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Made with rolled oats and packed with blueberries and banana, these healthy and moist Blueberry Oat Pancakes are perfect for a hardy breakfast. Vegan and gluten-free.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet or non-stick ceramic frying pan
  • medium bowl
  • spatula
  • small sauce pan
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

Pancakes

  • 1 cup rolled oats choose gluten-free if sensitive to gluten
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • ½ medium-sized banana
  • cup organic blueberries

Blueberry Sauce

  • ½ cup organic blueberries
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder**
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbs water if needed

Instructions
 

  • Place the oats, baking powder, lemon juice, almond milk, maple syrup, and banana in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and gently stir in the wild blueberries.
  • Preheat a large non-stick ceramic frying pan over medium-low heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of the batter and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds.
  • To make the topping, combine the wild blueberries, arrowroot, and maple syrup in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and the blueberries soft. If it gets very thick then add a bit of water.
  • Top pancakes with the wild blueberry sauce and enjoy!

Notes

**If you do not have arrowroot powder, you may also use cornstarch as a thickener.
Keyword blueberry pancakes, gluten free pancakes, pancakes, vegan pancakes

If you LOVE this recipe: Try my 2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes, Double Chocolate Muffins and Berry Overnight Oats!

Your Health Matters Every Day

Hi all! And Happy New Year! To start off this New Year I have a guest on the blog — Jennifer McGregor! Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to make it easier for people to find high quality health info. She is a pre-med student who enjoys writing about health and medical topics to help the readers find reputable health resources.

♡♡♡

We all do it. We notice we’ve gained some weight, so we started dieting. Our skin starts to look bad, so we invest in makeup and face creams. But, if you take care of yourself every day, you’ll find that you don’t have to take corrective action for your health quite as often. Especially if you suffer from chronic pain. Here are some great ways to prioritize yourself all the time.

Get more sleep

The benefits of getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night are many. Your skin will look better, you’ll have more energy, and you may even suffer from fewer aches and pains since nighttime is when your body recovers from muscle strain. You’ll also enjoy the side effects of REM sleep, which is restorative to the mind. Give yourself enough time to rest each night. To promote better sleep, you should keep your room cool and dark. It can also help to do some decluttering in your bedroom and using a hypoallergenic pillow.

Take your vitamins

There are many different types of chronic pain, and no matter what you suffer with, chances are, you can benefit from keeping your body properly nourished. While this is accomplished primarily through foods, certain supplements, such as 5-HTP, riboflavin, and turmeric, may help ease symptoms. Those who suffer with daily pain might also consider solutions like taking ginger and glucosamine

Meditate

Chronic pain and stress are two conditions that tend to overlap. And there is little doubt that stress can exacerbate pain. For this reason, it makes sense to take proactive measures to reduce stress in your life. Per Mayo Clinic, meditation is one of these. When you meditate, you connect your mind and body. You gain a new perspective on the things that cause you anxiety and you can transfer your attention from negative to positive feelings. While this may not eliminate your pain altogether, it will help you cope.

Limit stress

Stress and chronic pain are definitely intertwined, and high levels of stress can exacerbate pain. While reducing stress in this day and age can feel like an impossible task, there are small changes you can make that truly add up. For example, try saying “no” more often so you’re not overextended, or you could try journaling to get worries out on paper. You could also deep clean your home and clear clutter so your home remains a refuge from stress. You can even find ways to outsource help around the house so you’re not overwhelmed. There are myriad ways to reduce stress, so find your sweet spot and make it work. 

Exercise

The thought of regular exercise when you live with chronic pain may sound challenging. However, exercise can make a significant difference in your pain levels and your overall physical well-being. Activities like walking, yoga, strength training and bicycling can be great choices to help those with chronic pain stay active. Plus, with the advent of smartwatches, you can track your exercise and even monitor your sleep so you can see the results of your efforts in real-time and stay accountable. 

Eat anti-inflammatory

You’ve likely heard of the arthritis diet, but you do not have to suffer with arthritis to enjoy the perks of eating anti-inflammatory foods. For instance, you can start eating a Mediterranean diet, which can lower your blood pressure and curb inflammation. It may even lead to weight loss, which, if you are significantly overweight, can help reduce tension and strain on your joints. A Mediterranean diet isn’t boring, and includes fish, fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, and olive oil. Rossella’s Farmacy has a number of great nutrition articles and recipes to help you develop a better, healthier diet.

When you live each day in pain, you have to do everything you can to reduce this for your mental and physical health. The changes above are easy to implement and won’t interfere with your current lifestyle. They are all simple self-care strategies that will go a long way toward helping you live your best, pain-free life.

What ways do you plan to incorporate self-care into your life this year? Share below!

How to Prevent Dry Skin & Stay Hydrated This Winter

As winter approaches us, we humans tend to neglect hydration. Some believe hydration is not as essential as during the summer since we are not sweating as much, while others opt for warm diuretic-containing beverages such as coffee and tea (guilty). However, these cold-weather months can be extremely dry, wicking the moisture from our skin. The skin on my face and hands has already started to feel the effects of it. This is all the more reason to keep the momentum going and continue our healthy hydration practices from the hot summer months!

There are several ways we can help our bodies maintain hydration besides simply drinking water. I will outline some of my favorite, winter-friendly strategies below:

Continue reading “How to Prevent Dry Skin & Stay Hydrated This Winter”

The What and Why on Probiotics

As increasingly more studies have been published demonstrating the importance of gastrointestinal (GI) or “gut” health on our overall well being, naturally the popularity of methods to improve gut health has also become more mainstream. Enter probiotics.  The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization defines probiotics as “living microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host”.  

We have 10x as many microbes in our body than we do human cells, and around 1,000 different species! Some species have been associated with different health benefits, and the benefits of these little organisms have been known since 1907, when Elie Metchnikoff published a report linking the longevity of Bulgarians with consumption of fermented milk products containing Lactobacilli. Ever since, foods and supplements containing probiotics have been widely marketed and consumed. 

tell me more!

Golden Latte Recipe

As winter approaches I find myself craving soothing, warm beverages I can cozy up with. This recipe is particularly wonderful because of its bright yellow-orange color and frothy texture!

Although fancy flavored coffee drinks from chain cafes may be tempting, they can be loaded in sugar and other chemicals like artificial flavors and colorings. Skip the toxin-laden (and expensive) store bought lattes and enjoy this tasty treat with all of its anti-inflammatory and digestive health benefits instead!

This Golden Latte is made with turmeric, the spice that gives curry its yellow color. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, a potent antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It is best absorbed in the body when combined with perperine (found in black pepper) and a bit of fat (because curcumin is a fat soluble compound).

Golden Milk Latte

Delicious, healthy spin on a latte, made with turmeric.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Drinks

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup turmeric
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups almond milk could also use coconut or oat milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • pepper add to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Instructions
 

Turmeric Paste

  • Cook turmeric and water for 7-10 minutes to make a paste
  • Store paste in a jar and refridgerate

Golden Latte

  • Combine 2 tsp of turmeric paste with the rest of ingredients in a small pot
  • Cook 7-10 minutes on medium heat
  • Pour into your favorite coffee cup, and top with a dash of cinnamon and turmeric
  • Sip and enjoy!
Keyword healthy beverages, latte, warm beverages

Have you had a golden latte before? If not, try this one and let me know how you like it below!

Cacao is Medicine – Eat Your Medicine

Our first week in Costa Rica my husband and I had the opportunity to do a chocolate tour! It was at a lovely place called Reina’s Chocolate and was run by Reina and her husband, Ron. Throughout the tour we tasted 16+ types and flavors of chocolate (including sipping chocolate, chocolate tea, and my favorite, lime/sea salt/tequila flavored chocolate)!

Cacao has long been boasted as a superfood, a food with significantly higher nutritional value compared to other foods. In fact, polyphenols in cacao contribute to about 12-18% of the dry weight of the whole bean! Cacao (pronounced cu-COW) is not to be confused with “cocoa”, which many of us grew up drinking in our Hershey’s hot chocolate. Cacao, on the other hand, refers to the mature fruit of the cacao tree, which can be consumed raw and is a serious superfood! It grows best in tropical regions near the equator. About 70% is grown in West Africa, while the rest is cultivated in other humid climates such as Brazil and Ecuador.

Continue reading “Cacao is Medicine – Eat Your Medicine”

Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is a tropical fruit long promoted for it’s health benefits. It has a sweet flavor with musky undertones, and a butter-like consistency. Although the papaya tree can produce fruit year round, it peaks in early summer and fall.

health benefits

  • Digestion: Good source of fiber (~2.5 grams per cup) to help enhance digestion and bind to toxins and “bad” cholesterol in your body. Fiber also helps you stay full longer! In addition, papaya contains a digestive enzyme, called papain, which helps to digest protein.
  • Immunity: It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is also helpful in reducing inflammation. It’s beautiful orange color provides beta-carotene, which converts into antioxidant vitamin A. 
  • Skin: Incredibly hydrating and packed with Vitamins A, C and E, all essential for healthy and radiant skin. As a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids, it helps rejuvenate the skin and brighten complexion.
Continue reading “Health Benefits of Papaya”

6 Reasons Why You’re Experiencing Food Cravings

We all can experience food cravings. This is one of the many methods our body uses to communicate with us. Learning how to listen to our body in order understand what it needs will enable us to adjust our habits to help prevent cravings and provide our body with what it needs to thrive.

Continue reading “6 Reasons Why You’re Experiencing Food Cravings”

Dry Skin Brushing: Benefits & How to Do It

We all brush our teeth and even hair, but have you ever brushed your skin? Perhaps you weren’t even aware this was a thing!

Dry brushing is a practice that has been gaining popularity, and for good reason! It is the practice of quite literally brushing your skin with a firm brush, typically before taking a shower. I started this habit several weeks ago and have noticed softer skin, but there are many other more significant benefits as well worth note.

Continue reading “Dry Skin Brushing: Benefits & How to Do It”

Matcha Latte Recipe and Benefits

The chilly weather over the past week has got me sipping all kinds of warming beverages, from hot water with lemon to an old favorite, matcha tea. In addition to its soothing taste, this beautiful green powder is a total powerhouse superfood. In fact, Japanese tea farmers have been growing it for over 1,000 years to obtain its health benefits! This type of tea is unusual in that the whole leaf is ground and consumed, as opposed to conventional green tea where the plant is simply seeped in water.

Continue reading “Matcha Latte Recipe and Benefits”