Huckleberry Thinn’s Flour Free Blueberry Coconut Flapjacks
inspired by Green Kitchen Stories
2 banana-bread-ripe bananas
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs ground flax seed
coconut oil (~1 tbs / frying batch)
smash 2 super-ripe bananas in a bowl > add 4 eggs and mix well > add 1/2 cup of finely shredded unsweetened coconut, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tbs ground flax seed > spoon sand dollar size flapjacks into melted coconut oil on a hot skillet and let brown > top with warmed 100% pure maple syrup and crushed walnuts for a magical morning.
Nutrition Facts Thinn Style: Defining Antioxidants
We are humans. We eat and breathe. We have separate food and air pipes, but deep in our molecular world, our air and food meet to generate energy to sustain life.
We breathe air from the atmosphere that diffuses from our lungs to our blood, and ultimately, each of our trillions of cells.
In chemistry, oxygen is prized for its electronegativity… think grabiness. It is a nearly perfect atom (7 electrons) and only needs a single electron to be super stable (8 electrons). The closer an atom is to perfection (full valence shell of 8 electrons), the more desperate it is.
So overbearing oxygen is big and boisterous and powerfully attracted to single electrons… Now you see why our bodies choose to breathe oxygen; a true biological bad ass.
Like me, oxygen is fulfilled by food; an electron source. To live, each of your trillions of cells must convert energy from food into a form of energy they can use. Oxygen drives this process.
Food is digested and absorbed in your stomach and gut, then transported by your blood to your cells where oxygen is anxiously waiting.
One thing leads to another…food is stripped of its electrons. Technically, the food undergoes a series of chemical reactions that transfer energy from chemical bonds like a relay race. The energy is collected and reassembled into a new form of energy our cells can use to generate life (adenosine triphosphate or ATP).
Sitting at the bottom of this funnel of chemical reactions is big ole oxygen waiting to get some electron action. Oxygen, all wide-eyed, wants to be electrified. Oxygen creates a force that drives this chain of chemical reactions.
Without oxygen, this reaction wouldn’t occur. You wouldn’t have energy. You would die.
So oxygen is vital to sustain life. Then why eat antioxidants (literally “anti-oxygen”)???
Although we need oxygen to live, high concentrations of oxygen and other oxidant (electron-stealing) species are corrosive.
Oxygen has grips of wild single girlfriends called free radicals. Like oxygen, free radicals just need one electron for chemical stability. In a quest to pair up with another electron, free radicals are highly reactive and destructive.
Free radicals come from the environment (pollution, smoke, UV rays…) and can be made in the body as byproducts of metabolic processes. Regardless of the source, free radicals earn their name by being violently hungry for electrons.
Free radicals will snipe electrons from anything they can get their electronegative hands on. The victim–often your cells–that loses its electron to oxygen/free radicals is “oxidized”. The radical–electron stealer–is the oxidant.
Oxidation throws off the cell’s energy balance, which drastically alters a cell’s function for the worse. It can also damage DNA. This is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can manifest into a number of diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.
Fortunately, free radical food fighters can quench free radical electron appetites by giving up a spare electron to the ravage radicals before they destroy tissue. Named “antioxidants”, these generous free lovers float around handing out electrons so oxidants don’t eat tissue.
Antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, flavonoids and carotenoids.
B is for Brainberries
Blueberries are blue because they have a flavonoid called anthocyanidin–a plant pigment. Anthocyanidin is blueberry’s antioxidant. It contains properties that prevent oxidants from damaging tissue, especially in the brain.
Anthocyanidin’s electron-giving grace saves the brain from electron-scavenging oxidants. They protect neuronal integrity from oxidation-related problems like Alzheimers disease. The same way the antioxidant buffers free radical frenzy in brain tissue, it also protects and repairs DNA and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogentic properties that inhibit heart disease, diabetes and obesity–all inflammation-related problems.
Be smart. Eat smart.