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I’ve been craving pancakes lately.  Well, pancakes, waffles, cookies, brownies… Anything nice and flour-y and sugary.  But I’ve also gained too much weight in this pregnancy so far and so I’m trying not to eat (much) flour and sugar.  This recipe is a great way to satisfy a little of the sweet tooth while also getting a great dose of protein, fiber, Vitamins E, A, D, magnesium, and a ton of other vitamins and minerals.

But before the recipe, a little about eggs and almonds, because they’re the two main ingredients in this recipe.

First, almonds.  Half a cup of ground almonds (which is one serving of these pancakes) contains 10-14 g protein, 60% RDV Vitamin E, plus a good amount of calcium, tryptophan, manganese, iron, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals.  The Vitamin E in almonds helps to promote healthy skin and hair, and it’s an essential nutrient for pregnancy.

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Eggs, if they’re from hens that have been pastured, contain 30% less cholesterol, twice the Vitamin A, 3 times the Vitamin D, 4 times the Vitamin E, and several times the Omega-3s as eggs from hens that have not been pastured.  (It’s also important to note that most of the vitamins are in the yolks, so if you’re pregnant, eat them!) Grocery store eggs labeled “free range,” “natural,” or even “organic” are not the same as real eggs from pastured hens.  (Read here for a description of what the extremely confusing and misleading labels on egg cartons mean.)  For example, the label “free range” just means that a tiny door in a huge hen house is opened for a certain amount of time, but not necessarily that the hens actually are able to go outside, let alone have access to grass or any decent food to eat. The organic label just means that the hens are (supposedly) given organic feed, not that they have been allowed to forage in the grass or go outside or live in decent conditions.

It is beyond worth it to find a local farm to buy eggs from.  Go there and look at the chickens.  Talk to the person who raises them. A lot of cities now allow people to raise poultry within the city limits.  Find someone who does and buy eggs from them.  You can also often find someone selling good eggs at a farmers’ market or small health food co-op. You will often pay 2-3 times the amount you’d pay for the cheapest grocery store eggs.  If you’re skeptical about whether it’s worth it, please watch this or read this.  It’s not just about providing yourself and your immediate family with access to perfect nutrition.  There are bigger issues at stake, one of which is the abject, inhuman cruelty with which factory raised hens (even “organic,” “free range” etc. ones) are made to live and die.

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I’m also aware that there are bigger problems in the world than how chickens are raised.  It’s easy for wealthy Americans (and compared to everyone in the world I am wealthy even though I drive a 1992 Corolla and rent a small apartment and have to do laundry in a cold, dark, spiderweb-filled basement) to get all up in arms about our food production system and spend insane amounts of money on organic, raw, fermented, locally crafted food while forgetting that there are people in the world who actually don’t have any food at all.  That’s a problem worth our attention.  The way food is produced in our country is also a problem worth our attention, but it’s dangerous to focus on our own food at the expense of the many, many, many who are actually going to die today because they don’t have any food or clean water.  Read a little of this to get some perspective, or listen to this, if you’re interested. (And I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts about this– how can we eat justly and compassionately in this crazy world?)

All that having been said, we still must eat food, and here’s a recipe for some high protein, gluten-free, paleo (if you’re into that) pancakes.

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Almond Meal Pancakes (makes 2 servings)

1 c. almond meal (this can be quite expensive if you don’t have a way to grind whole almonds at home, like with a coffee grinder or something)
2 eggs
2 T oil
1/2 c water (or almond milk, regular milk, etc.)
1/4 t salt
1/8 t. vanilla extract, optional
1/8 t. ground cinnamon or nutmeg, optional

Mix ingredients (batter should be runny), cook on skillet. Makes 5-6 pancakes if using 1/4 c. scoop of batter per pancake. Each serving (2-3 pancakes) should have about 10 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber, and about 16 g protein.

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Other Pregnancy Superfoods:

Yogurt with Bee Pollen and Chia Seeds

Lentil Kitchari

Sausage and Swiss Chard Breakfast Casserole

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