(Post updated August 26, 2018)
Did you just finish a long workout, or a particularly intense one? An endurance row like a 10k or a marathon? There’s nothing better after a long, hard workout than getting a little sustenance from a great post-workout recovery meal. And what’s better for recovery than pancakes … or waffles?
We have three great recipes for you, all of which are served often in the UCanRow2 kitchen. All of them taste great, and provide a combination of carbs and protein, both of which are important for proper post-workout recovery and rebuilding the muscles you’ve taxed in your workout.
The first option, plantain pancakes, is grain, nut, and dairy free, made with green plantains and a perfect paleo recipe. The second is made with oats, a favorite recovery food with many athletes.
We thank Certified Indoor Rowing Instructor Leeny Hoffman for pointing us to the plantain pancake recipe. Leeny authors the Paleo Curious blog and teaches indoor rowing at CrossFit St. Louis. She’s tried her fair share of Paleo/recovery pancakes in her time and says these cakes, which came from the Paleo Mom, were some of the best she’s had. We agree!
The second recipe, for more traditional oatmeal pancakes, comes from UCanRow2’s very own Terry Smythe. For years these cakes have been both on her training table as an elite rower, and that of her Michigan Tech Crew.
Our third and newest option, chickpea flour pancakes or waffles, comes from Chef Dawn Ludwig of the Always Hungry? eating plan. These are not Paleo as they use chickpea flour as their base ingredient. They are, however, delicious and gluten-free since they contain no wheat. They are also incredibly satisfying, freeze beautifully, and make your house smell amazing. Truth be told, they’re our go-to right now, served with berries on top and a little unsweetened whipped cream.
Regardless of your nutritional template, these pancakes will give you the nutrients you need to rebound from that hard workout, without spending hours in the kitchen. Whip up a batch in less than an hour (with leftovers to eat or freeze), maybe add some extra protein, such as plain Greek yogurt or a couple of eggs, and take on the rest of the day like you own it.
All of these recipes would be great to make ahead of time and grab on your way to the gym, so you can instantly start replenishing yourself in that golden window of the first hour or two after your workout. Give them a try and let us know what you think in the comment section below!
Post-Workout Recovery Pancakes
Green Plantain Pancakes (Paleo Version)
1 large green plantain (about 200g cut up without skin)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla (I like Mexican vanilla)
1 ½ tablespoons of melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon of baking soda
Peel plantain and cut into cubes. Place in food processor or blender and puree. Add eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, salt and baking soda and continue to process until it looks like pancake batter. In a small skillet, heat up a teaspoon more of coconut oil on med to low. Add pancake batter and cook about 3-4 min on that side, until it is bubbly and starting to dry. Flip over and cook about 1 more minute on the other side. Enjoy with almond butter, pure maple syrup or honey. Makes about three 7-inch pancakes.
Vermont Oatmeal Pancakes (Non-Paleo Version)
2 ½ cups of milk
1 ½ cups of rolled oats (uncooked)
1 cup of flour
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup of oil
Pour milk over oats and set aside, let them stand for 5 minutes. Sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add eggs to oat mix. Quickly mix in flour combination. Add oil last. For the best experience, top with real Vermont syrup.
chickpea flour pancakes/waffles
(From Always Hungry? As printed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Makes 6 to 7 (6-inch) waffles
2 cups chickpea (garbanzo) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
½ cup unsweetened soy, almond or whole milk
½ cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil, plus more for waffle iron
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fruit, whipped cream or a little maple syrup for serving
Preheat waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, salt and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, yogurt, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with a whisk or hand mixer until they hold firm peaks. Gently fold whipped egg whites into batter — it should be on the thick side.
Cook batter in heated waffle iron following manufacturer’s instructions. Serve warm with fruit, whipped cream or maple syrup.
Yum! Which one are you going to make? Tell us in the comments.