Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Happy Healthy Pancake Day!!!

As I am sure you are all well aware, it is pancake day! For those of us that are trying to stay healthy, it either leaves us feeling terribly guilty for eating that huge stack of pancakes covered in sugar, or if you do have the willpower to avoid pancakes, you will be left feeling miserable and disappointed. It doesn't have to be this way. Who wants to feel guilty or miserable about eating? And who wants to miss out on pancakes? Not me, that's for sure. So, being as health conscious as I am, I always try and adapt recipes to make them as healthy as I possibly can and this is exactly what I have done with these pancakes. Here is the thing though....it was never the pancake that was particularly unhealthy in the first place. It is what you top it with that is normally every ones downfall. Whilst chocolate spread, sugar and golden syrup might seem like the perfect pancake topping, all that sugar and processed crap is no good for your health. So why not top it with healthy things, so you can still enjoy pancakes and not feel an ounce of guilt. I am sure some of you are reading this and thinking "but I don't feel guilty about eating normal pancakes with fatty toppings". That may be the case, but I am sure your insides are suffering.
How have I made the pancakes healthier? Well, a traditional pancake recipe will use butter to grease the pan. I have used fry-lite (you might be able to tell, I kind of love this stuff). It also uses all of the egg. Whilst I do love eggs, I managed to figure out how to make pancakes with just egg white. Seeing as all the saturated fat is in the yolk, you are saving loads of fat. I used skimmed milk instead of full-fat and I also used 0% fat yogurt to make them a bit creamier. The main thing that makes them healthier, is I didn't use white flour. I will blog in more detail another time about my hatred of white flour, and how I avoid cooking with it as much as possible. I used wholemeal flour instead, which is much better for you and it still tastes great.
They do taste "healthy", but I don't see that as a bad thing!

Wholewheat Pancakes - serves 2 (about 4-5 pancakes)
- 125 g wholemeal flour
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon (you can leave this out if you don't like it - but I love it!!)
- 150ml skimmed milk
- 1 egg white
- 70ml non fat yogurt

1) Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl
2) Combine all the wet ingredients together
3) Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until smooth

4) Add a couple of sprays of fry-lite into a pan and pour in some mixture. Spread it round to desired consistency.
5) Once the mixture starts to bubble (1 minute), flip the pancake over. Use a spatula if you are scared ;) I prefer to throw it in the air!
6) Put onto a plate
7) Add toppings and EAT!
I topped mine with natural peanut butter (it is just peanuts, nothing added to it), lemon juice and strawberries.
Other healthy topping choices are:
- Any fruit. Warm a banana in the oven and mash it into the pancake. Also, any berry or stewed apples work well.
- Honey or agave (will blog about agave another day)
- Light coconut milk
- Raisins
- Nuts
- Coconut flakes
- Fruit puree (kind of like jam, but just pure pureed fruit)
- Chopped nuts
- Yogurt
If you do want chocolate, buy 85% dark chocolate, melt it and drizzle a little over the pancakes and add loads of fruit.
Once again, everything in moderation. Just because these pancakes are a healthy alternative to traditional recipes, doesn't mean you can eat 10 of them and it not negatively affect you. But, if you have a couple, with healthy toppings, then they can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


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