Shrove Tuesday means for many of us we get to enjoy pancakes. But despite what you might think if you choose your toppings carefully, they can be a healthy option.
Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares some delicious and healthy pancakes to whet the appetite!
Pancakes themselves are not necessarily unhealthy. It’s mainly the toppings that can add additional calories.
A twist on the traditional pancake
Try loading up your pancakes with berries for their super food properties. Berries are packed with anthocyanins – powerful antioxidants primarily found in their coloured pigment. These antioxidants can help protect us from degenerative diseases and also support healthy skin. Add a spoonful of live natural yoghurt and you’ll be giving your digestion and immune system a boost too.
If you like your pancakes light, fluffy and airy, separate the egg yolk and white, and beat the whites until they form soft peaks (just like meringue). If you fold them carefully into the self-raising flour and egg mixture, the air won’t be squashed out and your pancakes will rise to the occasion!
Buckwheat pancakes with raspberries
Not just for people with gluten intolerances, buckwheat pancakes are amazingly popular in the US and becoming more so in the UK. Buckwheat flour tends to produce lovely, light, fluffy pancakes with a slightly nutty taste. Buckwheat is one of those ancient grains, delivering lots of B-vitamins, plus some trace minerals, and it’s not going to give you any digestive upsets often associated with gluten.
Use 75 grams of buckwheat flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, one egg and 75 ml of milk for four to six people. And for that all-important healthy topping, use raspberries and a little Greek yoghurt. Raspberries are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, great for this time of year. If you need some added sweetness, then treat yourself to a drizzle of Agave syrup.
If you’re vegan, you don’t have to miss out on pancakes, and more importantly, you can gain some nutritional wins. Vegan pancakes can easily be made without eggs and using plant-based milk. Choose from soya, oat, almond or hazelnut; they all have nutritional merits. Soya can help with hormone balancing while oat milks are generally well fortified with a range of vitamins and minerals. Hazelnut and almond milks will provide energising protein.
You might also want to try an alternative flour to wholemeal flour such as coconut, to keep up energy levels. Add some baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract, plus a little chopped banana to make truly delicious pancakes.
There’s nothing to say that pancake fillings need to be sweet and that pancakes have to be eaten later on in the day. You can have a wonderfully sustaining and nutritious pancake breakfast: the quality protein you get from eggs is going to keep you full throughout the morning without any energy dips.
Use the traditional pancake base mixture (preferably with wholemeal flour), poach one egg per person, chop up some ham, add a few rocket leaves for a breakfast that will power up Shrove Tuesday and beyond.
The keto pancake
For those following the keto diet, you don’t need to miss out either. In fact, these pancakes will really enhance your plan as they contain around 10 grams of fat, but only about 2 grams of carbs.
Mix together almond flour, eggs, cream cheese and lemon zest to create the batter. As a topping why not add a little peanut or almond butter or you could even top them with cheese.
So, whichever pancake you choose, enjoy creating new pancake recipes this Shrove Tuesday.