They’re Nutritious, But Delicious: The Healthier Pancakes You Can Cook this Pancake Day
It’s Shrove Tuesday, and we’re celebrating Pancake Day!
When you think of this tasty breakfast treat, you might think of stacks of fluffy American-style pancakes or thin layers of French crêpes laden with melted chocolate, Nutella, maple syrup, bacon, butter, or even whipped cream… We’re not saying they’re not delicious, but we can probably all agree that too many aren’t going to do our health any favours.
So, this year, we’re giving you the inspiration you need to create the perfect tasty pancake stack of your dreams with nutritious, satisfying ingredients and toppings that support good gut health and are utterly delicious.
Let’s get flipping!
To get your pancakes off to a good start, you want an easy, tasty batter full of all the good stuff.
- 125ml oat milk (any other milk you have is fine!)
- Two eggs, separated
- One small banana
- 100g rolled oats
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp vanilla extract
1. Put the oat milk, oats, baking powder, egg yolks, banana, and vanilla into a blender and whizz until you get a smooth mixture.
2. Whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
3. Whisk 1-2 tbsp of these egg whites into the blended batter, then fold in the rest, being careful not to knock the air out. This will make your pancakes light and fluffy!
4. Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and spray with oil or use some kitchen roll to lightly wipe oil over the surface of the pan.
5. Depending on how large you’d like your pancakes to be, spoon or pour roughly 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and cook for 1-2 mins, until the bottom of the pancake has set and bubbles have appeared on the top.
6. Flip the pancake and cook the other side for roughly a minute until set and golden in colour.
7. Repeat in batches, keeping warm using a very low heat in the oven or on the side under a clean tea towel.
8. Make sure the top of each pancake looks dry before you try to flip it otherwise the middle of the pancake will collapse.
Pancakes: sorted. Now for the toppings! We’ve got 3 for you to choose from:
The Berry One:
- Mix some blueberries into the pancake batter before cooking.
- Warm some frozen berries through on the hob until you’re left with a hot berry sauce. Add some honey or maple syrup if you need a bit of sweetness!
- To dress: Stack your pancakes with a spoonful of kefir yoghurt between each one before finishing off with more kefir, spoonfuls of hot berry sauce, and a drizzle of honey.
The Berry One: The Nutrition Lowdown
✓ Blueberries are high in polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids – they protect our bodies from the damage free radicals (unstable molecules) can cause, which can lead to diseases like cancer. They are also thought to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, and prevent heart disease.
✓ Kefir is a cultured, fermented form of yoghurt rich in a diverse range of probiotic bacteria that can help balance and support your gut health and improve your digestion. Good gut health is key to overall physical health as well as mental health. Not only this, kefir is an excellent source of calcium and vitamins A, D, K, and B.
✓ Honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. To get more from your honey, opt for manuka – it contains a range of active compounds which make for a much more nutritionally beneficial option than regular honey.
The Nutty One:
- Mix a teaspoon or two of ground cinnamon into the pancake batter before spooning into the pan.
- To dress: Spread each pancake with a thin layer of almond butter before piling them up and topping with chopped banana, crushed walnuts, and a final drizzle of almond butter.
The Nutty One: The Nutrition Lowdown
✓ Cinnamon is a really exciting spice: not only does it taste delicious, but it also offers blood-sugar-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant properties. There is also some limited evidence to suggest that it could help protect against cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, so a teaspoon or two in your breakfast is an easy yet healthy (and delicious!) choice.
✓ Bananas are full of fibre, which supports appetite regulation and can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. They also contain antioxidants and high levels of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
✓ Walnuts contain an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid – this can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 10% when frequently incorporated into meals and snacks on a daily basis. Amongst many other health benefits, walnuts have also been proven to improve memory and cognitive abilities by reducing inflammation inside the brain.
✓ Almond butter contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps fight against radicals that damage the skin. Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and L-arginine also all improve heart health and lower heart disease risk level.
The Savoury One:
- Mix a couple of teaspoons of milled flaxseed into the pancake mix before spooning into the pan.
- Toast some pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until they’ve just started to change colour, and you can smell their nutty aroma. Keep an eye on them – they’re easy to burn!
- Poach or soft-boil an egg, aiming for a set white and runny yolk.
- To dress: Top your pancake stack with sliced avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, poached egg, and some kimchi.
The Savoury One: The Nutrition Lowdown
✓ Flaxseed is high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can help lower inflammation in the body, reduce cholesterol, and thus reduce your heart disease risk level. Amongst plenty of other benefits, flaxseed also contains lots of fibre and can aid blood sugar regulation.
✓ Similarly to flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid and have blood-sugar-regulating properties.
✓ Did you know that eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet? They contain a little bit of lots of different nutrients our body relies on to help us feel our healthiest, including vitamin A, vitamin B12, selenium, protein, and fat. They also contain choline, an essential nutrient in the construction of cell membranes and signalling molecules inside the brain – and something that a lot of people don’t get enough of.
✓ Because kimchi is a fermented food, it contains lots of probiotics. These can improve the balance and diversity of bacteria in your gut and, amongst other conditions, are also connected to the treatment and prevention of some forms of cancer, the common cold, and even some mental health conditions.
Time to Mix, Flip, and Stack
Pancakes often feel like an indulgent treat, and although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a little bit of what you fancy every so often, our delicious, nutritious pancakes will support your health and wellbeing while still giving you the Pancake Day hit you need!
With just a few simple swaps, tweaks, and changes, you can still eat the foods you love whilst supporting your gut health and giving your body the nutrients it needs to keep you feeling happy, healthy, and ready to tackle whatever your day brings to the plate.