healthy chia seed pancakes

Although I love to eat out and throw calorie-counting out of the window a lot of the time, I do believe that a good balance of healthy and indulgent food is what makes me feel the best. Life isn't always so helpful in that regard - sometimes things get busy and I end up resorting to less than ideal choices, and not bothering to prepare healthy meals for myself.

But I try to remind myself that the extra effort is small in comparison to the health and happiness benefits, and it's worth it every time! Why is it so easy to forget that?

Anyway, so you know that I am a big fan of brunches. And while usually, brunch = indulgence in my opinion, if you feel your healthier habits slipping but still want to have that weekend treat, this is the recipe for you!

C and I are forever grossing out our partners with our passion for the "hippie" alternatives to certain ingredients - you know, the kind of things you see in your local health food store. E, being French, is horrified at the idea of anything replacing dairy - "What do you mean, Almond milk?! Milk that isn't milk isn't milk!!" - and so you can imagine his reaction to the weird looking chia seeds, that gel up to a slightly odd consistency.

If you're remotely interested in popular health trends, you'll know what chia seeds are. They're full of protein, fibre, omega-3 fats - all that good stuff. When mixed with water, they become a jelly-like form that you can use to replace eggs, for example, as well as lots of other uses. In this recipe, they do replace one egg, but their main purpose is for the addition of all those nutrients.

These pancakes are a recipe from C, and since she's made them for me a few times and I loved them, I asked her for the recipe. When I made them the first time and sent her a photo, she said, "Are they worth a blog post?" Well lovely, yes they are!

They are extremely filling, can be topped with anything your heart desires, easy to make and very customisable. I made them with wholemeal spelt flour, and they are definitely not the fluffy american pancakes nor the thin ones you might have on Shrove Tuesday, but they are delicious nonetheless. 

Ingredients (3-4 servings):
300g wholemeal flour (I use spelt)
1 large egg
2 large tablespoons (25g) chia seeds, mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
about 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk, soy milk, whatever you fancy)
toppings of choice

To make:
1) Mix the chia seeds with the water, leave for a few minutes to gel up.
2) Just to make life easier, sieve the flour into a bowl so you avoid lumps later.
3) Mix in the egg, chia seeds, agave nectar, and gradually add the milk so you get a fairly thin consistency.
4) Cook them as you would normal pancakes - with a bit of (real, not margarine) butter on the pan. A bit of butter never hurt anyone! 
5) Top them with whatever you like. If the pancakes are healthy, bacon is justified...