With so much attention on the gut in mainstream health currently, we have seen at the JCN Clinic a rise in the diversity of people looking into their digestive issues with the aid of functional testing. No longer is this type of testing dismissed as alternative and a ‘waste of money’ (well there are still some head in the sand clinicians we come across, but let’s hope they are becoming far and few between), but more so being embraced as a powerful tool to take charge of ones digestive health.
Not so long ago if you had gut issues and you took yourself off to your GP you would be generally be told you had IBS and just had to learn how to manage your stress. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have heard these words from my client’s mouths when they are relaying their health story in their initial appointment (it generally makes my blood boil). If lucky, they may have been sent off to do some general blood pathology and a standard stool test to rule out any unruly bacteria or parasites at play and anything untoward in the blood pathology. If nothing turns up, they may have been referred to a gastroenterologist where the prognosis was either IBS, or there was further exploratory surgery to rule out digestive inflammatory disorders such as Coeliacs, crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, polyps and so forth. More often than not these test results come back negative, with the gastroenterologist coming full circle back to an IBS diagnosis and some recommendations to handle stress better. There may be some Nexium prescribed for bad reflux or some stool softeners for constipation. Otherwise, that’s it, thank you very much have a nice day.
Now I know this is a generalisation but it is a very commonly seen generalisation. I know that practitioners reading this in a similar field to us at the JCN Clinic will be nodding their heads in agreeance and even more so, I know many of you reading this will be proclaiming ‘that’s exactly what happened to me!’ I get it. I see it day in and day out.
My hope with all of the exposure in mainstream media pertaining to comprehensive stool testing using DNA/PCR methods is that we will start to see a shift in this ongoing paradigm. We are surly in a world now where we understand that microbiome diversity and beneficial species abundance holds a strong relationship with wellbeing that can no longer be ignored. My hope is that no longer will the day-to-day treatment protocol for those seeking digestive health in the standard model be met with outdated investigations and judgments. We need to see a shift towards embracing and educating ourselves on the current research in this space and use this to guide those in our care to a greater level of health. Knowledge is power and continuing to educate ourselves outside of the final years we finished our degree’s/masters/PHD’s is vital for continual growth. We cannot rely on the pharmaceutical reps (and natural medicine reps for that matter) to be our only point of learning and growth. We need to take charge of our own education and keep our head in the game.
What does this all have to do with pancakes? Well, when it comes to using food in a therapeutic and functional way to support gut health we need to work with individualised ingredients to cater for where the gut is at in its stages of treatment. Often at the beginning of treatment at the JCN Clinic, once we have received our clients stool test results we find that there may be a need to manipulate the dietary intake to favour some foods over others. These pancakes are based on this gut treatment model and are really a reference point for many of our clients in this stage of their treatment protocol. So in a way I made these pancakes to make my life easier, as well as to guide you! #winwin
Gut health protocols aside, these Pumpkin Pancakes are divine! They are naturally sweetened with the cooked pumpkin, which is delicious with the warmth of cinnamon. I enjoy them quite simply as pictured here with loads of berries and a drizzle of honey. They are also wonderful topped with raspberry & red grape almond yogurt and I know I will be personally repeating this combination many times to come.
gut friendly pumpkin pancakes
- serves 2
- preparation time
- 20 minutes
- cooking time
- 20 minutes
- 1 & 1/3 cups cooked mashed pumpkin (300g raw cubed pumpkin)
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
- 2 teaspoons slippery elm powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup almond meal (or nut/seed meal of choice – see below for low FODMAP option)
Preheat your oven to 100c.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the pumpkin. Leave on a low boil until the pumpkin is nice and tender. Drain water and set pumpkin aside.
Add the pumpkin to a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend well until a thin batter is formed. Allow the mixture to sit in the blender for at least 5 minutes.
Heat a medium sized frying pan to a moderate heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pour in enough batter to create a pancake around palm size. You may need to use the back of a spoon to push it into shape slightly.
Allow the pancake to cook on the underside until golden brown, then very carefully flip it over to continue to cook through on the other side. Once ready, place on a plate and put into the preheated oven to keep warm.
Continue to cook the pancakes using up all the batter, placing the cooked pancakes into the oven as you go to stay nice and warm.
Once finished, serve the pancakes with toppings of choice. I have served them here with warmed stewed blueberries, rice malt and cinnamon. Lovely also with yogurt.
- The gut friendly pancakes are gluten, grain and dairy free. They do not contain any added sugars and are therefore tolerated well by most on low starch protocols, especially for SIBO and FODMAP based plans. Depending on your sensitivity levels you may need to use an alternative nut meal to almond meal (sunflower seed meal works well). If you are not concerned about the level of starch then these pancakes are also nice made with sweet potato in place of pumpkin.
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Jessica Cox is a qualified practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over 15 years of clinical experience. She is the founder and director JCN Clinic, published author and established recipe developer. Jessica is well respected within health and wellness space for her no fad approach and use of evidence-based nutrition.