Healthy Pancake Tuesday

by Jadwiga O'Brien on February 21, 2012

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Try adding fruit to your pancakes for a healthy twist!

Who doesn’t love Pancake Tuesday? Luckily, pancakes are a treat that can be kept very healthy so long as you’re careful with the fillings. This year, avoid slathering your pancakes in chocolate spreads or sticky syrups.

Pancakes can be a great way of getting in some of your fruity five-a-day as well as some other healthy treats. We’ve listed some ideas below to get you started.

Pancake Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t buy ready mixes – these contain unnecessary ingredients such as sugar, salt and flavourings
  • Don’t add salt, sugar or butter
  • Do make your own pancake batter

You only need 3 ingredients to make great pancakes – milk, flour and eggs. To make them extra healthy use half white flour and half whole wheat.

Fruity Fillings

Encourage your children to add fruit to their pancakes – the natural sweetness of fruit is a much healthier alternative to jams and syrups. Some of the best fruity pancake fillers are:

  • Banana – Mashed or chopped. Add with a squeeze of lemon juice to stop them going brown
  • Blueberries – Either mix them into the batter or add to uncooked side of pancake while frying
  • Strawberries – Chop them up and mix with some lemon juice to get the juices flowing
  • Apples – Stew these with some cinnamon for an apple-pie type filling
  • Pineapple – Chop up either fresh or tinned
  • Mixed berries – Use either fresh or frozen. If using frozen, either thaw them out first or gently stew them for a lovely syrupy filling

Fritters

Fritters are simply made by adding fruit to regular pancake batter before cooking. Sometimes, the batter is easier to spread on the pan if the fruit pieces are small. For example, to make apple fritters, grate some apple into the batter. To make banana fritters, use sliced pieces of banana or mashed up ones. To make pineapple fritters, you can simply dip a pineapple ring in batter before adding it to the pan.

Go Nuts

Nuts can be added to pancake fillings for a crunchy health bonus. Most kinds of nuts work with pancakes, so long as they’re not a choking hazard (chop them up!). Nuts work particularly well with certain fillings such as banana and pineapple. Try flaked almonds or chopped hazelnuts.

Cinnamon

Adding cinnamon to pancake fillings not only makes them taste delicious, it also gives them a health boost. Studies have shown that cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial food.

Lemon Juice

One of the most traditional pancakes fillings is sugar and lemon juice. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C so don’t be shy with it! Do be careful with the sugar however, a light sprinkling should take the kick out of the lemon.

Enjoy your pancake Tuesday!

Photo by: jeffreyw licensed under Creative Commons

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