When I coached alpine skiing in New Zealand, I worked with a Scottish guy. He was really funny, and a bit insane.
Instead of starting his fires with a bit of newspaper and some kindling. He’d throw a bunch of wood into the stove, light one piece of paper, and then toss a can of diesel into the mix.
The whoosh it made was pretty impressive. And you could see flames coming out the top of the chimney like an after-burn on a jet engine.
That’s the story that always comes to mind when someone asks me to explain the Shapeshifter concept of “good carbs” and “bad carbs”.
Bad carbs explode into your system—like my friends diesel stunt—and cause all sorts of nasty things to happen. Great examples are white bread, refined sugar, white pasta and even white rice or potatoes.
Good Carbs are more like newspaper and a handful of kindling. They gradually catch fire and the flames spread slowly throughout the stove. My favourites are sweet potatoes, oats, butternut squash and quinoa.
The measure that’s often used to determine good carbs from bad is the glycemic index. But basically, anything that’s been highly processed is a bad carb. That means anything that’s bright white is probably bad.
Here are a few reasons you want to avoid “bad carbs”…
- They spike insulin and make you store more fat
- They cause inflammation—associated with chronic disease
- Inflammation also disrupts fat cell metabolism (and makes you fatter)
- Gluten and other lectins in many “bad carbs” damage the gut
- A damaged gut weakens your immune system, raises cortisol & makes you store fat
OK, so bad carbs are… well… bad.
So let’s get back to the Good Carbs! One Good Carb that we don’t talk about much—and that I’ve been playing around with lately—is buckwheat.
Did you know it’s not a grain at all? It’s actually related to rhubarb!
So if you are sensitive to gluten, it’s a great choice.
And that’s exactly why I’ve started experimenting with it.
I recently had the whole family tested for food intolerances. And both my daughter and I came up positive for an intolerance to gliadin—one of the two proteins in gluten.
My daughter also turned out to have problems with a few other grains. But we’re good to go for buckwheat…
One of my best creations so far is buckwheat pancakes. The first few tries were horrible though. So the recipe you’re about to get is the result of much trial and error.
It’s crazy how hard it is to make a pancake without the gluey effect of wheat flour!
Anyhow, here’s what I came up with…
- 1 ripe banana
- 2/3 can coconut milk
- 3-4 tbs honey
- 3-4 packets of stevia powder (or equivalent)
- 5 scoops Prograde Protein (Chocolate)
- 5 scoops buckwheat flour (same scoop as protein)
- 1 scoop tapioca flour*
- 1 tsp baking soda
Mash the banana up thoroughly then add all the dry ingredients and start stirring them up. Gradually start adding in the coconut milk and whisking until it forms a uniform batter. Add the honey and whisk again.
The batter makes 5-7 pancakes depending on the size. I keep it in the fridge and gradually use it up over the course of a week.
To make the pancakes, heat a small non-stick pan (I prefer ceramic since it doesn’t leach nasty chemicals) over medium heat. Add about a tsp of coconut oil to the hot pan and then pour your batter into the centre and let it spread to the size pancake you want.
Cover the pan and keep checking until the surface starts to bubble a bit and looks fairly solid. Slide a spatula all around the underside of the pancake to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and then flip. I sometimes also add a smidge more coconut oil at this point to make sure my second side doesn’t stick to the pan.
It only needs to cook another minute or so and it’s done. Remove it to a plate and, if you want to live on the wild side, add a small amount of genuine maple syrup to finish it off. But it’s already fairly sweet on its own, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth you may not even need it.
I hope you give those a try on your next good carb day!
Let us know below if you have any of your own buckwheat flour gems you’d like to share.