brad health update + cinnamon walnut pancakes (gluten-free)


I’m not sure why a pancake recipe feels like the best thing to accompany a quick update on Brad’s health. Maybe because every morning when we’re just waking up, still in bed, one of us will always ask, “What do you want for breakfast?” And if I ask Brad, he’ll almost always say, “Pancakes.” (If he doesn’t say pancakes, it’s only because he said “sourdough toast” or “doughnuts” instead.) So in my mind, Brad = pancakes.

January is always a weird month for us. It was January seven years ago that Brad felt the pop in his knee that started the severe onset of his symptoms. We can’t help ourselves: Every January we take stock of how far we’ve come since 2008. And in terms of how Brad feels day to day, the answer is not far. His knees are still very swollen, all his joints now ache and get stiff, his energy comes and goes, and he can’t control his body heat very well. But–and this is a huge, hopeful but–we feel like we know more now about what’s going on inside him than we ever have before. We’re working with extraordinary, curious doctors. We’ve found new ways to measure what’s happening in Brad’s body. (You can read his very organized and scientific update at his blog here.) And we even have some new, very exciting treatments on the horizon. It’s called low-dose antigen therapy and I would explain it to you except I’m not sure exactly how it works yet. All I know is that a few Lyme patients treated this way have reported 40 percent reduction of symptoms after the first treatment, with near or complete cessation for subsequent treatments. To that I say YES. And also LET’S EAT PANCAKES TO CELEBRATE.

cinnamon pecan pancakes (gluten-free)
makes, I don’t know, 12 fist-sized pancakes? Is measuring pancakes with your fist an acceptable thing?

I had cinnamon bread on the brain the morning I made these. I was aiming for pockets of sweet, spicy, crunchy goodness in the pancakes, and this hit the spot. Come visit me and I will make these for you.

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste OR 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup almond milk or coconut milk
1 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, heat the walnuts, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and cinnamon over medium heat until the syrup is thin and bubbly, and it coats the nuts. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining maple syrup, the vanilla bean paste or vanilla, and the milk.

In a small bowl, combine both flours with the baking powder and sea salt.

Begin heating a pan or griddle at this point. I use a cast-iron pan on just above medium heat with a little bit of coconut oil melted in it.

Dump into the wet ingredients and stir just until moistened. Add the nut mixture and stir until combined.

Spoon the pancake batter into the pan (I use my regular soup spoons and usually use 1-1/2 spoons of batter per pancake. Obviously, I’m very official about this whole process). Cook until the edges look dry and the center is bubbling. The bottom of the cake should be golden brown, but sometimes it won’t be depending on how much oil is in the pan. Regardless of the color of your bottom (ahem), flip the pancake! Cook it for another 30 seconds or so on that side.

Serve hot with maple syrup, extra cinnamon, and more pecans.




  1. kristin a.

    Such a great and promising update for a Monday morning. Here’s to hoping that Brad is one of the patients who sees such dramatic results!

  2. shanna mallon

    Hoping hoping with you!

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