gingerbread pancakes: Holiday Traditions

I've been waiting for weeks to do this! Although I'm the girl who thinks it's perfectly stylish to eat spaghetti for breakfast and cereal for dessert because I don't believe in conventional food practices, I do declare that this is one tradition that deserves an honorary date. These are two traditions that are an undeniable pair, breakfast, and Gingerbread!  December, winter, holidays and baking, what's that spell?! Gingerbread! Let me back up a smidge, conventional meaning, breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 12 noon, dinner at 6 pm. Schedules differ for everyone; my practice is to teach my clients how to plan around their life. Now, that being said, can a bowl of pasta with veggies and sausage be breakfast fare? Also-flipping-lout-ley!  I am not taking away points for the ingredients, if that plate meets the balance requirements for your style of life then we are good.

First, what about the ginger? Don't we want a little background on this fantastical superfood, this wonderous adaptogyn, this splendid spice? Great! I thought so, here's how the story goes. I have warm, comforting memories of ginger from childhood. Remember when you were a kid with a tummy ache?  Did mom give you soda crackers with a glass of ginger-ale? As I was growing up I was still a bit confused about what this weird root was exactly; I didn't see it hanging around the house. It was probably mixed in some noodle dish at my fave Chinese take-out, but I was a kid, I didn't care bout anything but the fortune cookie. Then I got older, and my epi-curiosity peaked,  I wondered, what're those blush colored slices next to my wasabi?

This quirky shaped plant has come a long way. Once indigenous, primarily found in India and used in traditional Ayurvedic practices, ginger is available all over the world and used daily in all cultures. No longer hidden by sugar in a glass of bubbly water, this healer is now a must-have health buffs staple. Zingiber officinale (it's scientific name) is medicinal and versatile. In its authentic state it looks as if you just pulled it up from under the ground, it's intimidating yet interesting from known as a rhizome, aka the roots.  Ginger beyond the root comes in many varieties. Tea, powered, capsules, oil, pickled, candied. After today's tutorial, you will see that the benefits far outweigh its abstract costume. My feelings on using foods as medicine are strong, to say the least. The evidence is overwhelming in regards to health issues and using food to heal thy body. Adding a seasoning like ginger to your culinary regime is not only smart and utterly delicious but functional. From enhancing flavors of meals, calming the common cold to reducing risks of diseases. I have elaborated on why ginger is such a powerful important addition to your diet with my friends at Beyond Yoga, read more on my blog here.

So, back to the main event, the favorite holiday bread.  Spicy, sweet, maple syrup and butter. Gingerbread flavor is so distinct, so rather than mask it's identity, pair it with something to complement its authenticity.  Since we are going in the direction of breakfast, I'd suggest keeping it real and straightforward with maple syrup.  I'm very pleased with how mine turned out and my house still smells like I've been practicing for the holiday baking challenge. Looking for a hostess gift idea? Package up the dry ingredients in a mason jar with "add wet ingredients list," and your friends can share in your gingerbread joy.

Gingerbread Pancakes with Hazelnuts & Maple Syrup

1 1/2 C. Flour- I like to split flours/ Whole Wheat & Coconut is what I used this batch. Super fluffy!

1 Tbs Cinnamon

1/2 Tbs. Ground Cloves

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp. Salt

2 1/2 Tbs Molasses (unsulfured)

4-5 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar 

1 Whole Egg + 1 Egg white, beaten together

1 1/2 C. Almond Milk

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

Maple syrup-Grade B or a dark A

Ghee/butter for cooking

Toasted Hazelnuts

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir that up. Add the wet and mix until thoroughly blended, no lumps. I made about eight medium sizes from this batch. 

I love using Ghee to cook these lovelies in; coconut oil spray tends to evoke that burnt flavor. Toast hazelnuts or nut of choice. I made maple pecans for snacks, lightly brushed maple syrup then sprinkled with some of the gingerbread spices. Bake in 300 oven for 10-15 minutes. 

It's my first winter holiday season with my Food Athletes, and it's even more snuggly then I imagined! I don't have a favorate season; I feel equally excited about all of them. With the changes in weather and colors of nature comes familiar emotions and memories that are special to each month not to mention the unique flavors and choices of culinary delights that go with the ever-evolving revolving days of the year. I'm very excited to see where this upcoming year 2017 brings to my palate and my roster of nutritional knowledge. I hope you find yourself on your Holiday morning cuddled up with someone you love, eating gingerbread pancakes by a warm fire. It's an exciting duel celebration this year as Christmas morning will be shared with the first morning of Chanukah. I find this very comforting and also appropriate for the state of this World at the moment. Combined cultures, religious beliefs, and simple traditional morning pancake breakfast.

Happy, Merry, Everything, Food Athletes! May your Monday be merry and bright!

xo Jessi (Your Food Athlete) xo