Aim: Refuel the macros, with an immune and metabolic boost to boot.
Per Serving: Based on average nutritional values of ingredients. Actual values will vary: Protein 38g, Fat 27g, Carbs 42g, Kcal 562
After a heavy morning workout, this breakfast provides the much-needed protein, fat and carbohydrate to replenish energy stores, repair muscles and enable hypertrophy (muscle growth), and maintain all the other organ systems recruited and impacted by exercise. More than this, it also provides a healthy dose of other good stuff your body needs to do all these things, and function effectively. Some the key ‘goodies’ are:
- Banana, which provides chromium, which enhances the effect of insulin and assists with glucose and fat metabolism.
- Eggs, which provide choline, which supports the formation of healthy new cells (membrane and DNA synthesis), as well as vitamins A, D and E to support immune function, energy production, and bone health.
- Ricotta, which provides calcium (5x as much as cottage cheese gram for gram), as well as significant amounts of phosphorous, riboflavin, vitamin A, zinc and vitamin B12. These support bone health, immune and nervous system function, detoxification in the liver, and red blood cell production, amongst other things.
And, as I discussed in the introductions to the ‘Warming chicken stew’, both weekend warriors and elite athletes should be mindful of boosting their immune system and antioxidant levels through their diet. This is provided by the cinnamon, honey, ginger, almonds and blueberries in this recipe, as well as through the vitamin A and E provided as described above.
This recipe makes two thick fluffy American style pancakes, topped with ALL the flavours and deliciousness :).
- Pancakes (makes 2)
- 1 large banana, roughly chopped
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 scoop whey (flavour of your choice – I usually use vanilla or unflavoured)
- Generous pinch cinnamon
- 5g butter
- 4 slices proscuitto
- 100g ricotta
- 2 tsp good quality honey*
- Small grating of fresh ginger (approx. 0.25cm stem)
- 100g blueberries
- 30g almonds
*Many brands of honey are highly processed, resulting in a loss of the compounds that give the health benefits. Look to purchase raw honey that has been minimally processed.
- 5-10 mins prep
- 15 mins cooking time
- Whip the ricotta together with the honey and ginger and leave to the side, ready to dollop on the cooked pancakes.
- Dry fry the prosciutto in a frying pan over a high heat, until crispy.
- As the proscuitto is cooking, make the pancake batter by beating together the banana, eggs, whey and cinnamon with a fork until well combined. Do not worry is some small lumps of banana remain, as these will ‘melt’ into the pancakes as they cook.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, spoon the pancake batter into the pan to form two pancakes.
- Cook the pancakes until bubbles start to form on the top of the batter (usually 1-2 mins), and then flip with a spatula to cook on the other side. Cook until the pancake feels light and fluffy when pressed gently.
- Once the pancakes are cooked, turn them onto a plate and top each with half the ricotta mix, a slice of crispy bacon, the blueberries and the almonds.
- Eat and enjoy!!
Variations to consider:
- If you are not a fan of bacon, but don’t want to lose the protein and fat content it provides, consider replacing with a teaspoon of your favourite nut butter. And if you are not sure which to choose – gram for gram almond butter is the most nutritious, providing a good amount of riboflavin, vitamin E, magnesium and manganese.
- Similarly, if you are not a fan of ricotta you could replace it with full fat Greek yoghurt, which has a similar macronutrient profile.
- If you are following a low-fat diet, the ricotta can be swapped for fat free yoghurt, and the nuts and bacon can be omitted. This will reduce the fat content by around 20g per serving.
- If you are looking for a low carb option, use 125g banana and 50g coconut flour in the pancake mix, and omit the honey from the ricotta topping. This will reduce the carbohydrate content by around 16g per serving.