I’m a firm believer in whole, nutrient-dense foods to maximize training and recovery, so most of my meals look like meat or eggs, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. That being said, every once in a great while, you may want something to mix up your routine. Carbohydrates are an important dietary macronutrient for athletes, especially those athletes training for high-intensity or endurance sports. Partitioning a big chunk of carbohydrates to the post-workout window (somewhere in the range of fifty to a hundred grams) works well for many athletes – and these pancakes fit that application.
Sweet potatoes are probably the most famous paleo source of nutrient-dense carbs, but one of my favorites is the lesser-known plantain. Plantains are far starchier than their banana doppelgangers and must be cooked before eating. You can recognize plantains because of their more angular, less curved shape and really tough, thick skin. They take several days to ripen, so if you’re going to make this recipe, plan ahead. You’ll know your plantains are ripe when the skin turns dark yellow and develops black patches. It’ll feel softer than when you bought it, but not as mushy as an overripe banana. To achieve a smooth batter, you’ll need to run the ingredients through a food processor, though a blender will also work.
For an optional protein boost, add half a scoop of your protein powder of choice, but it’s definitely not a mandatory ingredient. The entire batch is approximately 130g carbs, 30g protein and 15g fat (not including cooking fat). This recipe makes approximately ten two-inch pancakes.
Plantain Protein Pancakes
- 2 ripe plantains
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/2 scoop protein powder, optional
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or your fat of choice
- Peel the plantains and cut them into large chunks. Load all the ingredients into a food processor. Run the processor until all the ingredients are smooth and a batter has formed.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add about 1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil or your fat of choice to the pan and let it melt. Form pancakes using about 2 Tablespoons of batter. Cook approximately 3 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
- Serve with fresh berries and a side of eggs and bacon for a complete breakfast.
Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock.