During February, everyone has managed to get back on track after the Christmas indulgences, with the aid of a winter boot camp to rid yourself of the festive excess.
However though spring is almost in sight, Pancake Day looms to set all your hard work askew. Though historically it was a day to use up everything in your cupboards ready for lent, that doesn’t mean your pancakes have to pile on the pounds or be unhealthy. Whether you are looking for a sweet treat that won’t hurt the waist, or something to placate the kids but still fit in with your diet, here at Champneys HQ we have you covered with the perfect pancakes.
The age old pancake conundrum used to be choosing between scotch, crepes or American. Now however, people are more focused on calorie and sugar content, and choosing healthier alternatives that don’t require a list of obscure ingredients or more than fifteen minutes to make.
Thankfully chefs and bloggers alike have been creative with the humble pancake so there are lots of healthy choices to keep us satisfied on Mardi Gras.
Ancient grains have grown in popularity in recent years due to the nutritional advantages they have over processed flours. Sneaking quinoa into your batter is a great way to make your pancakes healthier without compromising on taste.
Monique at Ambitious Kitchen has a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes that need no additional toppings. Don’t be put off by the ingredients, as they can all be found at the supermarket and are so easy to make. Taking a mere 5 minutes to prepare and the same to cook, these scrumptious pancakes are sure to be a hit.
Buttermilk pancakes hark back to American and Irish traditions but once tried, people are often converted to these silky delights. The dense buttermilk can leave you a little stuffed but Amy from Amy’s Healthy Baking was not put off and has come up with a beautifully light recipe. Buttermilk may sound deeply unhealthy, but it is what is left after churning butter out of cultured cream and thus is not actually buttery. Though unusual, buttermilk can be found at all high-street supermarkets.
For those looking for the healthiest possible base, this gluten free recipe from the Wholesome Fork required four ingredients and an open mind. The texture is different from traditional pancakes but this super healthy batter takes a mere 5 minutes to prepare and just 10 minutes to cook.
Regardless of if you stick to a traditional batter or try out an alternative, often the toppings are stacked full of unhealthy sweet stuff. Slathering on Nutella, a mound of whipped cream and throwing on a couple of strawberries may be every child’s dream, but you may not feel it is worth the hours in the gym.
Seasonal fruits are always a great addition to pancakes and fresh, locally sourced berries are packed full of nutrients and firm family favourites. If you want to make your Pancake Day special, go the extra mile.
Blueberries have long been lauded as the king among berries so why not include them in your prefect pancakes. Instead of throwing them on top with natural yoghurt or incorporating them into the batter, try a blueberry butter as suggested by Not Without Salt. This can be made ahead of time to take the stress out of Pancake Day while still being tasty.
For those who feel Pancake Day would not be the same without lemon and sugar, opt for a twist on the traditional with a homemade lemon curd. Bakerita’s recipe calls for honey so it is sugar free and not as sweet as shop bought curd. The curd requires at least an hour to cool down, but takes less than half an hour to make so get ahead and whip up a batch the day before.
Skip the sweet stuff altogether and make pancakes your main meal for Pancake Day. Wrap thinner crepe like pancakes around a variety of creamy and savoury fillings. Luci Hindmarsh from Mums Make Lists suggests poached eggs and spinach.