Pancakes are one of the easiest things to make, with the staple Shrove Tuesday dish containing just three ingredients – flour, milk and eggs. But this year, why not try and swap out the pancake trinity in favour of something slightly more healthy – boosting levels of fibre, reducing the reactivity on your blood sugar levels and increasing the vitamins and minerals in the process. Below are four pancake recipes (one savoury and three sweet) that are not only a lot tastier than some of the crèpe ones on the market, but they’ll also be healthier too.
Tip: Before getting into the recipes themselves, just a word of warning about oil. If not using a non-stick pan I’d recommend using coconut or rapeseed oil. Both coconut and rapeseed oil are more stable at higher temperatures so the chemical structures of the fat don’t get damaged, which can lead to detrimental fat chemicals being created.
1. Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Seed Pancakes
Sweet potato has a lower glycaemic load than regular white potato, it’s higher in fibre and is better for B Vitamins, which support your energy production, female hormone balance, heart health and mood. They are also rich in beta-carotene, which is very good for eye health. To make it sweet, the recipe contains honey. Although effectively a form of pure sugar, honey is a naturally occuring variety that, when compared to refined white sugar, has small benefits in terms of vitamins and minerals. If trying to give up sugar, you need to retrain your taste buds and reduce the habit of having sweet things all of the time.
2. Courgette Feta Fritters
The courgette actually forms the main base of the pancake, which helps to reduce the calorie intake and increases the Vitamin C too. Feta is a sheep’s milk cheese, and is therefore a bit lower in lactose and sometimes easier on digestion for people. The traditional pancake’s flour has also been swapped for the quinoa-variety, which is gluten free and rich in magnesium and zinc – good for skin, energy levels and the immune system. The recipe mentions Himalayan pink sea salt, which is generally more beneficial than regular salt because of its lower sodium levels and other positive minerals.
3. Blueberry Swirl Protein Pancakes
These pancakes are made with oats, which are a soluble fibre that help to keep you full by releasing energy slowly. They also contain chia seeds, cottage cheese and egg whites to make the pancakes a bit more substantial and increase the protein content. By only using the egg whites you get the texture without the fat and calories found in the egg’s yolk. The blueberries can be fresh or frozen, with research showing that frozen fruits and vegetables may actually be richer in vitamins and minerals than the fresh alternatives.
4. Carrot Cake Paleo Pancakes
For the final pancake, the carrot forms some of the bulk to help lower the calories while increasing the levels of Vitamins A and C. The recipe calls for a combination of a whole egg and egg whites – so it contains protein but also limits the fat and calories. It’s not completely guilt free though, with fat and calories coming from the ground almonds and full fat coconut milk, but again these are rich in the good fats and Vitamin E, which is good for skin health. It also contains walnuts, which are a great source of Omega 3 – good for brain function and cholesterol levels. It’s spiced up a bit with dashes of cinnamon and ginger, which help to balance blood sugars and aid digestion. This pancake would be great for a breakfast with some natural yoghurt and fresh orange segments, or as an indulgent dessert with a spoonful of coconut ice cream on top!