Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut

Poor Man's Silver Dollar Pancakes

Posted on 17 Jan 2015 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

When I was on holiday in Suriname, I mistakenly bought a packet of bitter apricot kernels, thinking they were almonds. Imagine my surprise when I hungrily popped a few of them in my mouth and chewed... *blegh, WTF?!* They were extremely bitter!
I later found out that they use it to make almond cordial, a sweet syrup known as 'Orgeade'. It was originally introduced in Suriname by the Jewish planters and made from a barley and almond blend. Nowadays it's made from bitter almonds (aka 'poor man's almonds' or 'apricot kernels'), regular almonds, and sugar. Back home I recreated something similar using a ratio of 2:1 of regular almonds to bitter almonds, honey, and dessicated coconut. Soaking the bitter almonds removes the bitterness and leaves a nutty marzipan flavor. It makes for a wonderful almond milk!
If I hadn't bought that packet of bitter almonds, I would never have delved deeper into the world of apricot kernels. Thus one mistake led to one discovery after another. For instance, did you know that apricot kernels contain amygdalin, a compound that when metabolized by the body, releases cyanide? There also exist sweet apricot kernels, which contain much lower levels of amygdalin. Processing either type of kernel, for example by soaking or heating, reduces the levels of amygdalin.
Bitter apricot kernels are renowned for their therapeutic value: they are consumed to prevent or cure cancer. Whether or not they are actually effective in cancer prevention/cure, is a debate in which I'll not involve myself. The purpose of my research into apricot kernels was to discover if they are safe to eat, since both varieties are sold with a warning on the label: 'Do not consume more than 10 apricot kernels per day.' The safety of consumption is also debatable and I think it is up to oneself to determine whether one is comfortable consuming apricot kernels. I myself have consumed more than 10 raw sweet apricot kernels on a given day and experienced no adverse effects whatsoever. I have no medical reasons for consumption, I simply adore the marzipan flavor they add to recipes, like these Poor Man's Silver Dollar Pancakes:

Silver dollar, because they're more or less the size of a silver dollar... *I made mine a bit larger ;-)*
These pancakes are yeast leavened, making them light and fluffy. Hence the many tiny holes.
Perfect for pancake syrup/sauce absorption ^^

Poor Man's Silver Dollar Pancakes Recipe (serves 8)

Nutritional info per serving (out of 8 total):


  • 250 g (1 cup) sweet apricot kernel butter (either store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 banana
  • 40 g (about 1.5 scoop) 100% whey protein powder, unflavored
  • 14 g (generous tbsp) psyllium husk fiber
  • 480 mL (2 cups) water
  • 6 egg whites
  • 0.5-1 tsp yeast


  1. Blend the first five ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the yeast.
  3. Cover and let rise in a warm place for at least an hour. The mixture will be nice and bubbly thanks to the sugars in the banana.
  4. Bake mini pancakes and enjoy!


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