dreamstime_3041081When we were writing our book Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility,we found ourselves repeatedly stressing the importance of eating whole grains and a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Here in America and in the UK, where I come from, we mostly eat refined grains because they are more convenient. Refined grains have had their bran and germ stripped away which means they cook more quickly than whole grains and can be stored for much longer without going rancid. Sadly, however, they have been robbed of important minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. I encourage my patients to get into the habit of choosing whole grains where they can. There is a whole world of interesting grains to explore from teff to quinoa to amaranth but for a start try buying wholegrain flour and using it to replace the white flour in your favorite recipes.

Below is my favorite wholegrain pancake recipe. My recent post about healthy ways to start your day inspired me to cook it for my husband this morning. It’s not a recipe I would use during the week partly because its high in calories and partly because I don’t have time. However for a nutrition-packed Sunday treat its hard to beat and always gets a big thumbs up from my family.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
A pinch of sea salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup blueberries

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a jug beat together the buttermilk, egg and melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix and don’t worry too much about lumps. Add the blueberries to the mixture.

Heat a pan or griddle and spray with oil. Make pancakes using 1/4 cup of batter for each one. Fry until little bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and the bottom is golden then flip them over and fry on the other side.

Serve with natural maple syrup. We are big fans of this maple syrup that is made in the traditional way on a small family farm in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. This natural syrup is a source of minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, proteins, amino acids and trace vitamins such as Niacin, B5, B2 and, unlike honey or corn syrup, it only has 80 calories per ounce.
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