7 (ish) Grain Pancakes and an Explanation

I've had this recipe in the waiting list of blog posts for at least a month. Or two. Clearly, I need to get it together, people. Any takers and helping me do that? It requires a LOT of energy. And some schlepping....I'm hiring for a personal sherpa.

Fact is, I've been dialing down the amount of posts on this blog. You may have noticed? Don't worry, John and I aren't going anywhere. We love this blog! We love you, whoever you are, who read it (thanks, Mom). But sometimes in life we need to make choices. Choices about where to direct our energy and focus.

Recently, I have made such a choice. Last year, you may recall that I competed at the Age Group National Championships in Burlington, Vermont for Olympic distance triathlon. This year, I'm doing it again. This is a qualifying race for the Age Group Worlds that takes place in London. How does one qualify? You have to place in the top 18 of your age group at Nationals (see rules here). 

Placing in the top 18 is not an easy thing to do. Last year, I was 54th. 54th! Humbling. Anyway, I'm making a play for it, but it's going to take a lot of work, determination, support and healthy doses of the above pancakes (I swear the recipe is coming). 

I won't be ignoring you. I encounter so much good food through training and racing, that it would be unkind of me not to share it with you. Like....

These sparkly cookies from the Runcible Spoon in Nyack, NY. Swarming with bikers, this bakery keeps a healthy supply of protein bars and recovery drinks as well as enormous mouthwatering muffins and the above bedazzled cookies. Watch out for the bathroom line, it's long. 

And speaking of cookies....sometimes I just need one. And there's not a cutesy bakery in sight. OK, this is New York, so there are probably 20 cutesy bakeries in sight. But sometimes the corner bodega must suffice. These cookies from Alternative Baking Company are my current bodega-staple favorite. I downed one before the NYC Triathlon last year. 

Another new favorite, is Fat Tommy's Cookhouse in New Milford, CT. Their cornbread and biscuits are served with an addictive maple butter and the pulled pork sandwiches are stuffed with their house made slaw. They also have four levels of hot sauce.

At my recent Montauk race, I encountered this lovely sushi roll: spicy salmon wrapped delicately in mango and served with a dollop of mango sauce. I had been to Inlet Seafood for my very first Triathlon, and made it a point to revisit.

Sometimes I get lucky and get a post-ride home cooked meal, like this very fluffy and perfectly buttery crusted quiche, brought to you by my teammate Caitlin's mom. Maybe if we all ask her nicely she will give us the recipe?

Sometimes the post-activity food is not very glamorous...just a turkey club sandwich. But the bacon in the below sandwich from Johnny's Deli in Yorktown Heights, New York, gets points for glamour. So does mayo, and I'm not usually a fan of the 'naise.

Even McDonald's can be a welcome recovery stop. Try dipping your french fries directly into your soft serve vanilla cone. And don't forget the real fountain soda. 

You'll have to forgive me for the above meal. Generally, I keep it pretty healthy. I have to, or I'd end up like this: head down in a Thai restaurant.

Likewise, if I keep up a fury of posts while I training and working I might also end up like the above. Or worse. So, I gotta dial it back. For about two months – the big race is August 18th. Who's on Team Elana?

Anyway, to get you geared up, your energy high, here (FINALLY) is the recipe for 7 (ish) Grain Pancakess.

They're loaded with great stuff - tons of good for you grains. Some of these grains are even packed with protein (like the quinoa and the farro). If you want to make this recipe gluten free, just leave out the whole wheat flour and add more millet or rice flour.

What You Need:

1/2 cup rolled oats (the real stuff)

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked farro

4 tablespoons chia seeds

4 teaspoons ground flax seeds 

1 cup almond or soy milk (you can use regular milk if you like)

2 eggs, beaten

a few swirls of agave syrup for sweetening (you can also use honey)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sea salt 

Butter, oil or non-stick cooking spray for you frying pan or griddle.

What To Do:

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (don't forget the salt and cinnamon!). You can even use a food processor if you like. 

Add in the milk, eggs, vanilla and agave syrup. 

Blend until well incorporated. If the mixture appears too dry or sticky, you can add more milk.

Heat up your frying pan or griddle and grease with oil, butter or spray.

Ladle the batter onto the griddle in 1/4 cup sized scoops. Keep in mind, you might like to make mini pancakes, or HUGE BIG AS YOUR FACE ones. Go nuts, I'm not gonna stop you.

Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes on one side. Break out your spatula and give those suckers a flip. Let them toast up on the opposite side for about 2 minutes.

Flop them onto a plate and serve with cinnamon butter (I used Ronnybrook's) and more agave or maple syrup. You can also store these in the frigde for quite some time and use them as pre or post-workout energy pancakes.

Feel free to add fresh fruit and nuts! And also feel free to come out and cheer. I am not opposed to big sparkly signs, people. Just a suggestion...