Photography by Kate Duncan
Apart from having the cutest name ever, pikelets are a practical and delicious food for both children and adults. Being smaller than a traditional pancake, kids will enjoy the fun finger food aspect and being involved in the prep work to fine tune their cooking, counting and coordination skills.
But you certainly don’t have to be a youngster to enjoy these healthy pikelets. Delicious served warm as a sweet healthy dessert, filling breakfast or packed into a lunchbox for morning or afternoon tea, pikelets are so simple to make and adaptable enough, to be stored in the fridge and eaten chilled with a dollop of yoghurt or cashew cream.
I’ve added a tablespoon of chia seeds to this recipe because of their nutritional virtuousness, and despite their pin-sized nature, being rich in antioxidants and packed full of fibre, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium will help you to tick off your list of essential nutrients required by the body.
Just a thirty-gram serving of chia seeds provides over ten grams of fibre, which is almost half the daily recommendation for a middle-aged adult. Check!
Chia seeds are one of the best foods to eat for digestion to help relieve stomach spasms and feelings of bloating by reducing pressure and inflammation in the colon. They really enjoy getting things moving, as they have an incredible ability to absorb water in the colon, and expand up to twelve times their size. That means feeling fuller longer and a boost to any weight loss efforts.
Chia seeds have a mild, nutty taste and a constitution that makes them flavour sponges for other ingredients. They behave well in an assortment of sweet and savoury dishes and you can enjoy them raw or cooked, sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, or porridge and in smoothies and juices.
Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water; let it sit for a few minutes, and presto! You’ve just created a binding gel that can be used as a vegan substitute for eggs.
In this recipe, the coconut milk gives the pikelets a velvety, smooth and creamy texture. In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, or 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living' because nearly all parts of the palm can be used: the flesh, water, sugar, oil, and milk. Even the husks and leaves of the coconut palm can be used to create home furnishings and decorations.
Coconut milk is made by grating and soaking the white coconut flesh in hot water. The coconut cream that rises to the top is skimmed off and the remaining liquid is squeezed through cheesecloth to produce creamy, velvety milk.
The good health of many islander populations has been linked to their love of coconuts; a highly nutritious ingredient rich in fibre, and abundant in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose free, so those of you with lactose intolerance or associated digestive issues can use it as a milk substitute. I find that its thick, creamy texture, makes it a good plant-based milk for replacing full-fat dairy products in a range of smoothies, desserts or in baking.
Coconuts contain fat mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), in particular, lauric acid. This type of fat is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial protects the body from infections and viruses. MCFAs are metabolized in the body uniquely. The liver directly converts this fat into energy, rather than storing it as wobbly bits.
Another pikelet ingredient, and one of the healthiest foods on the planet, a whole egg contains all the nutrition required to transform a single cell into a baby chicken. While eggs are considered to be relatively high in cholesterol, let me crack open the myth that they raise blood cholesterol. We now know that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol levels in your blood. Our livers are smart cookies. They produce large amounts of cholesterol every single day. When you eat eggs, the liver simply plays a balancing act and produces less cholesterol, so eventually it evens out. Like chia seeds and coconut, eggs work to raise HDL, good cholesterol.
Did you know eggs are buff body builders?
Eggs are high in an important nutrient called Choline, an underrated nutrient often grouped with B vitamins and used by your body to build cell membranes. They’re high in quality protein, with all the essential amino acids in all the right places. Getting enough protein can help you to lose weight, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimize bone health.
While choosing eggs may seem overwhelming because of all of the marketing mumbo jumbo in the supermarket; “free range, barn laid, barn raised, roam free, grain fed, cage eggs, freshly laid, cage laid, Omega 3 enriched, organic and vegetarian… I want to house you with a couple of Supercharged tips when making your egg selections.
- Look for pastured eggs that you can purchase from a local farmer. This basically means that the chickens have lived their entire lives outdoors and their feed is unlikely to have been supplemented with anything other than what nature provides.
- If you don’t have access to local farm fresh eggs, or are time poor and purchasing from the supermarket, choose organic eggs with the highest Omega-3 and DHA content, as these essential nutrients are most commonly lacking in eggs from “battery hens”
When used in baking, eggs provide a unique, fluffy quality that will make these sweet, filling pikelets light in your tummy whilst providing high quality energy.
Feel free to experiment by adding spices, cacao nibs, fruit, vegetables such as zucchini or pumpkin or crumbled nuts to the batter. I guarantee whatever you come up with, the results will be delicious.
Make a batch and let me know what you think?
Fluffy Coconut Pikelets
- 1 TBS chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cup self-raising gluten free flour or flour of choice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 TBS coconut nectar or sweetener of your choice
- 2 TBS butter
- In a bowl place chia, flour, coconut milk, water, eggs and sweetener and mix.
- Heat a frying pan and melt some butter in the pan
- Pour in mixture and cook on medium heat until bubbles start to form
- Flip over using a spatula and cook until browned
- Continue until finished
- Serve with coconut nectar or sweetener of your choice, berries, bananas and coconut flakes