Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes Made with Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour!

I love being an athlete.  This love started young, most likely watching my mom win her age group at the local 10k when sporting big hair and abnormally short shorts was cool.  It was the 80’s, and having a mother that was active, including me at age seven on her runs, started me down this incredible path.  I feel so fortunate that she did, as it’s allowed me to travel, see the world from my bike, reach into the depths of my soul to challenge myself and meet amazing individuals from all over the world who love this sport as much as I do.

 How do you like that bowl haircut I was sporting?! All the cool kids had it!  Not to mention this dress!  Too funny!

Part of being a good athlete is paying attention to details.  Detail management is a part of every workout that I’m planning, every race plan that I’m executing and even what I’m putting into my body on a daily basis. My body is a machine and I try to love it, thank it, and treat it well because I ask so very much from it.  When you nail the details, everything seems to come together.  That’s also why I love what I do as a coach and dietitian because I can help others manage the important details of their decisions when it comes to food.  There ARE better choices, and we make hundreds of them every day deciding what we put into our bodies. 

I’m a label reader and a researcher.  If someone asks me why I chose a certain product or food, I want to have an answer and know the science behind what I’m recommending.  These little choices and differences add up to BIG differences over time.  When I started working with Ultragrain Brand Flours earlier this year, I was excited about understanding the differences between these two products, Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour and Ultragrain All Purpose Flour.  I wanted to know how they could be used and why someone would use these flours over what’s currently available on the market.  What I found was surprising!

 As a dietitian, I already know most Americans are meeting the recommendations for grain in their diet, but many are not meeting their whole grain requirements.  The USDA recommends at least half of your daily grain servings are whole grains due to their higher fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content.  ConAgra’s special milling process allows the entire whole grain to be retained, which naturally provides more fiber and vitamins than unenriched refined flour.  Both Ultragrain flours have their own unique amount of whole grain and depending on the recipe, can be used in place of other all purpose flours, to add valuable whole grains to your diet.  

As an athlete and dietitian, if I’m cooking at home, I would use each flour type depending on my needs and who is going to be doing the eating!  If I’m making a recipe that calls for whole wheat flour, the Ultragrain White Whole Wheat flour would be a great choice for 100% whole grain nutrition with white flour appeal.  I don’t mind the taste and texture of whole grains, but if I were baking or cooking for a children’s presentation or just someone I knew was a bit less familiar with the taste of whole grain, this flour is a great choice.  There are also times, especially if I’m producing training food to use during workouts when I wouldn’t want as much whole grain and fiber content in a food.  A good example would be if I were creating a portable snack like a bar to use on my rides or a protein ball to replenish my muscles with glycogen after a workout.  Having more fiber can slow down the absorption process when we want to get fuel in the form of glucose to the muscles as soon as possible! In that case, using the Ultragrain All Purpose Flour would be a first choice!  In addition, if I’ve met all of my whole grain servings for the day, then the Ultrgrain All Purpose Flour provides a little less whole grain which is in line with the recommendations. 

Either way, it’s easy to recommend these two options now knowing Ultragrain brand flours offer multiple nutritional advantages over refined white flours, including:
  •   Higher fiber
  • Lower starch
  • Increased antioxidants
  • Increased nutrients 
  •  More potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, B vitamins and fiber
Luckily, I had a little less training this past weekend and I was itching to try the Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour in a recipe I’ve come to love, Pumpkin Pancakes!  Aren’t pancakes the perfect food for a Saturday morning when you’re lounging at home with the family?!  I’ve even been known to love a good pancake as “breakfast for dinner.”  Saturday was the perfect time to delve into this easy healthy pancake recipe and see how Ultragrain Flour worked to add nutrition and still allow me to enjoy a favorite.  The pumpkin really adds something to these awesome pancakes, so I was eager to try these delicious creations.

 The recipe is from a blog from Overtime Cook called  Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes.

I mixed the dry ingredients together first in a large bowl, including the Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour. 

 Once mixed with a wooden spoon, I added the wet ingredients, including the pumpkin (yum!), eggs etc.  

 Last, add the milk (alternatively you could use almond or soy milk) slowly, to your desired pancake consistency.  I like my pancakes a little thicker, but feel free to add more milk if you like them thinner. 

 I love pouring the batter into the hot pan or griddle and watching for the bubbles to appear!  That’s how you know you’re about ready to flip!  They looked so good in the pan, I wanted to eat them right then and there.  Once flipped, they had that nice golden brown color and filled the room with pumpkin spice smell. Who doesn’t like that?  I was salivating!

It was time to dress them up with REAL maple syrup that provides more antioxidants than regular syrup. This syrup was actually brought back from our homestay at Ironman Mont Tremblant as a gift and we’re still using it!  It’s wonderful!   Splurge on the real stuff – it’s worth it!  I also added dried cranberries and walnuts as a topping.  

Finally, it was time to dig in and enjoy these pumpkin pancakes made with Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour.  They did not disappoint!  

Thanks to my helper Caroline, we have a nutrition fact panel for this recipe based on it producing 10 total pancakes (which is what my recipe made with the pancakes about 4 inches in diameter).  At 5 servings per batch (two pancakes in each servings size), the calories are a very reasonable 233 per serving!  You also get 5 grams of heart healthy fiber per serving!   
 Thanks to Caroline for her help with this!

Kyle liked them as well and he’s a fan of me making anything that he knows is a healthier option and tastes as good as it looks.

If you’re striving to improve your diet, don’t feel overwhelmed.  Today is a great day to start managing a few details at a time that will help you meet your goals.  Write down a few steps you can take today, including increasing your consumption of whole grains, which will help you in the long run.  If you make these pancakes, make sure you leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed them and if it’s a recipe you would make again!

Make sure you watch for me at Ironman Melbourne this weekend at starting at 4pm EST Saturday the 22nd.  You can search for me under my number, 20, or female professionals.  

  I’ll be sporting my new Coeur Sports uniform with my 2014 sponsors and I can’t wait to get out there an compete with the other top professionals in our sport!

Disclosure:  Ultragrain Brand Flours supplied product for this post and I am a sponsored athlete.  


Unknown said...

Good luck at your race!!! I will have to give that flour a try...the pancakes look amazing :)!

Unknown said...

KIM!!! i just saw your amazing performance/results at IM Melbourne! HOLY CRAP GIRLFRIEND, CONGRATULATIONS!!! well deserved - QT2 is lucky to have you! -kim kaltreider