Athlete Food: Cardamom Pancakes

In preparation for my half ironman last weekend, I did my first ever carb load. This involved eating a huge breakfast the day before the race. My coach wanted me to eat pancakes, eggs, toast…the works. When I arrived in Florida, I loaded up on carbs at Publix and was psyched to find a box of frozen gluten-free pancakes. The next morning, when it was time to eat this big breakfast, disappointment set in. I opened the box of pancakes to find them pale and crumbly. Cooking them in my hotel room microwave made them spongy. I had to dump half a jar of honey on my sad stack of pancakes to disguise the blandness. As I was choking down almost entire box in order to meet the requisite number of carbs, I thought, never again.

Why not just make my own pancakes, freeze them, and pack them in my travel bag? That would make for a much more pleasant carb load. So when I returned to NY after my trip to Florida, I spent one of my recovery days filling my freezer with flavorful, golden brown pancakes. I started with gluten-free pancake mix and added a teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom for an extra flavor punch. Amy couldn’t get enough of them so we sat down and enjoyed a midday breakfast in bed. 

--Bec

BYO Cardamom Pancakes

Cook:

  • Start with a good gluten-free pancake mix (we recommend purely elizabeth because of its unique blend of flours, but if you can’t find it, Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix is also a favorite)
  • Cook according to package directions, substituting melted coconut oil for vegetable oil, both in the mix and for cooking.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom to the batter. You can buy cardamom ground already or grind your own. Whole Foods sells jars of whole cardamom seeds already out of the pod. I bought these and ground them in an old coffee grinder. 
  • Store in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in the freezer.  

Pack: 

  • Remove a stack of frozen pancakes from the freezer and cover them with tin foil. Put this in a Ziploc bag. 
  • Toss the pancake bag into your travel bag right before leaving for the airport.