Many people have memories of polishing off their final (seventh?) pancake on Shrove Tuesday, with their school shirt buttons ready to pop and that satisfied yet more-than-slightly nauseous feeling beginning to set in. With your teeth coated in sugar and lemon, and with traces of golden syrup, chocolate spread or jam (or both if you were especially greedy) left on your plate, you excused yourself from the table. All very lovely but largely unhealthy!
As adults many of us would still love to gorge on multiple pancakes with sinfully sweet toppings. We are more aware than ever, though, that the calories very quickly add up. So, are there healthier versions of the traditional pancake recipe along with its sugar-laden toppings?
Well, the good news is that the answer to these questions is a resounding yes!
There are actually an innumerable number of healthy ingredients out there just waiting to be tried. All of these healthier pancakes suggestions should be cooked in coconut or low calorie spray oils.
We start off with an unexpected use for one of the most popular fruits of the moment (yes, avocado is a fruit – find out more in our piece all about avocados).
Using 1 avocado (per 4 servings) alongside traditional pancake ingredients, plus a little lime juice and a little salt, you can create a more filling, nutritious – and aesthetically more interesting – healthier pancake, meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy toppings or extra helpings!
Healthy Protein Pancakes
Another option if you want to indulge a little less on Pancake Day but still get your “fix” is to add a scoop of protein powder to the mix. The extra protein will add calories, but should mean you actually eat less overall and, again, be less inclined to opt for additional unhealthy pancake toppings to fill you up.
Low Calorie Pancakes
Let’s get down to hard numbers. The average pancake sans toppings can contain anything from 80 – 250 calories depending on the size and ingredients used. It’s actually pretty simple to get those numbers right down to under 70kcal per serving, simply by tweaking the quantities of each ingredient. For 10 servings use 115g plain flour, a pinch of salt, a couple of medium eggs, 300ml of skimmed milk and 90ml of water. Adjust quantities as necessary.
Healthier Pancake Toppings
As mentioned earlier a long drizzle of golden syrup and perhaps even a spoonful or three of sugar are staples for coating pancakes. There are, however, so many other options which arguably taste just as good and will nudge the scales forward a little less on your next weigh in if you are careful with portion sizing.
We suggest trying any of the following to perk up your pancake:
- Small sliced banana with grated dark chocolate
- Powdered sweetener with lemon or lime zest
- Low fat greek yoghurt with pancake favourite blueberries (optionally, add poppy seeds for decor and texture), strawberries or raspberries
Just because you’re trying to be healthy doesn’t mean you have to abstain from the pleasures of Pancake Day!
Let us know what your favourite healthier pancake toppings and ingredients are in the comments below or on Facebook!