It doesn’t really matter how old you are, when Shrove Tuesday, more affectionately known as Pancake Day, comes around you instantly feel like a child again. The traditional lemon and sugar pancake is now seeing massive competition from more exotic and varied recipes. Enjoying what you eat is the most important thing when it comes to your nutrition and I can’t think of anyone that does not enjoy pancakes.
The great thing is that because pancakes in their most basic form are the perfect blank canvas. Consider yourself the artist and get as creative as you possibly can. Healthy pancakes are the new kid on the block. Whether upping the protein levels, using low-fat alternatives to cow’s milk or simply by covering them in fruit, making pancakes healthier and still tasting great is what Pancake Day should be about (not forgetting the religious importance of course!).
Protein pancakes are really popular this year partly because protein supplement companies are now specifically creating products to make healthier pancakes. My Protein for example sell 1kg bags of protein pancake mix for well under £20. And we aren’t just talking about a little extra protein here. One serving, approximately 1 1/2 scoops contains 34g of protein, as well as being relatively low in both fat and sugar. Just like with regular pancakes, you are left with the same blank canvas. A protein pancake can still be covered in lemon juice, raisins, strawberries or whatever it is that you like.
You might want to try switching to whole-wheat flour for a change this year too. This way you will be getting far more nutritious fibre and will also be cutting down on the amount of fat that you will be getting. Then there is the other base ingredient, milk. Well you don’t have to use cow’s milk if you don’t want to. Soy milk is a much healthier alternative and can even be flavoured with vanilla to add great flavour to your pancakes.
They don’t even have to be sweet. Personally I wouldn’t dream of having a savoury pancake on Pancake Day but it is all down to personal preference. If you prefer a crêpe or a potato pancake then they are a great alternative too. You can still use soy milk and whole-wheat flour and just use savoury ingredients to add flavour instead, like lentils for example.
Peanut butter is another ingredient that is growing in popularity over here in the UK and it is perfect for Pancake Day – packed full of both flavour and protein! Not to mention it can be a just as tasty alternative to chocolate spread or Nutella.
If you tend to leave the egg yolks out of your omelettes then you can do exactly the same with your pancakes. I have previously discussed the pros of cons of eating just egg whites but the decision is yours. Like I say, today is when you can be as weird and as wacky as you like with your food!
Of course there is always the option of saving Pancake Day to be your cheat day and that is perfectly fine as well. Just remember though, it is better to think of it as a cheat meal, otherwise you could spend all of today eating tens of pancakes covered in sugar and syrup.
To me there are two essential questions that need to be answered:
- Is it packed full of flavour?
- Can you still toss it?
As long as the answer to those questions is still yes then feel free to make your pancakes as healthy as you want! No one ever enjoyed following the crowd, so be a shepherd and not a sheep. If you think your friend has a weird recipe, make one that is weirder. Then use some of the alternative ideas that we have just discussed and be ready for what could be the best Pancake Day of your adult life!