• Teff Pumpkin Craisin Pancakes

    As originally posted on June 16th, 2018 on LifeThroughtheOtherLens…  

    There’s a ton of talk everywhere about what you can’t eat! I’m really sick of it! Whenever there’s a social media post about summer, you’re immediately bombarded with diets, get fit fast plans, and then lists of everything you can’t have! I don’t know about anyone else, but the constant onslaught of what I can’t have is exactly what makes me think about those things and then want them all the more, even if I never did in the first place. This was very true while I was modeling in my early twenties. I was modeling in Europe and New York and I was constantly being told to lose five or ten more pounds. It’s the only time in my life where I think I’ve had an issue with food. And inevitably, I ended up gaining weight, losing it again, and having an unhealthy diet/binge attitude towards food. The minute I stopped that, feeding my hunger for life and for active fitness, and thus fueling my body to be able to do what I wanted to do, I developed a healthy mind and a healthier body.

    Even with a healthy relationship towards food, we can get into routines, or be short on time, and fall into habits or forget to try new ideas. With my activity level, running, parenting, and the stress of life, I think that I could always use a little extra help. I have battled anemia off and on my entire life, and as I get older I find I’m short on minerals and other nutrients with my running and workouts.

    Back then when I was modeling in my twenties, I was also working in a gym for martial artist Billy Blanks, I went back to school to study for my certification in physical training and nutrition. I had the idea that if I was going to battle the modeling industry in dieting, or at least a few model roommates with eating disorders, I was going to have the knowledge to back it up. Since then, I have wholeheartedly maintained the beliefs in food and nutrition that my Danish mother raised me with, eat whole foods, listen to your body, don’t get swept up in fads, and don’t eat anything that you can’t pronounce (chemicals. Not for example, “quinoa!” haha!)

    With these things in mind, I am currently obsessed with the cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow, by NY Marathon Winner, Shalane Flannigan, and her running-chef co-writer, Elyse Kopecky. It is exactly what I love, fueling and nourishing your body with the whole foods that it is craving! I couldn’t believe when I flipped the pages, it was filled with every food that I can’t get enough of, beets, nuts…. I think I’m doing a Julie and Julia type day-by-day page-by-page trial of the entire book! Stay tuned!

    These Teff Pancakes are the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever had! Teff, a whole grain flour made from the smallest grain in the world, has a much higher percentage of bran and germ, a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports and Nutrition concluded that the regular addition of teff to the diet of female runners “showed significant improvements in total iron intake and modest improvement in iron status.” I chose to fill my pancakes with dried cranberries, craisins, something I thought was an odd option in the recipe, but turns out to be amazing! I’m not a pancake person, but these are delicious. And… my picky gourmet food-crazy Charlie, gave them a thumbs up! Growing kids can always use extra iron and fiber! These will be a weekend staple from now on! Focus on what you can eat, what’s nourishing your body and soul, you’ll end up thinking of those foods, listening to your body, and feeling great!

    Recipe: Teff Pumpkin Pancakes with Craisins

    Serves: 2

    Adapted from Run Fast Eat Slow  by Shalane Flannigan and Elyse Kopecky


    In a large bowl, whisk together:

    3/4 cups teff flour

    1/2 tbsp. baking powder

    1/2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

    In a separate bowl, whisk together:

    1 egg

    1/2 can pumpkin puree (I choose organic)

    3/4 cup milk-alternative (I use oat milk, you can also substitute milk or almond milk)

    1/4 cup plain yogurt (I use Oat or Cashew yogurt)

    1 tbsp. honey

    Fold together the dry and wet ingredients, and add:

    1/4 cup dried cranberries or “craisins.”


    Cook on a hot pan as you would regular pancakes, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. These pancakes are darker in color naturally, so be sure to cook thoroughly through, the color can deceive you in thinking they are burning. Serve with a good maple syrup, and add some fresh fruit to top!! Yummmmmmm!!!