Pancakes are so delicious, but so unhealthy, right? Wrong. These healthy pancake make-overs aren’t your mother’s white flour pancakes. They’re packed with healthy goodness, so you can still enjoy pancakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner without feeling guilty.
Make your pancakes healthier by trying these tips:
People enjoy pancakes all around the world. But they have different names across the globe. In the United States, we might call them flapjacks. Australians call them pikelets/ The French enjoy a thinner cake, crepes. To create a pancake, you need flour, a liquid, and some leavening agent. They’re cooked in a pan or on a griddle and flipped to cook them on both sides.
Once you understand how the ingredients in pancakes work together, it’s easy to substitute alternative flours and ingredients in the batter. Whether you’re mixing up savory pancakes or fruity ones, the possibilities are endless.
1 – Flour substitutes
Binding agents hold your pancakes together. Flour and eggs are traditional binders. The flour also adds taste, texture, and volume to your recipe. Flour, whole grain flours, and gluten-free flours are packed with proteins. Also, starch is essential to give your pancakes structure and fats for flavor.
Flours that are low in protein have less gluten, while flours with high protein have more. If you’re making pancakes without wheat, you’ll need to use a mixture of high- and low-level protein flours. So, gluten-free flour blends should be around 70% high protein flour to 30% lower protein or a high starch flour. You can also add extra eggs to the pancake recipe to help give your pancakes more structure. If you add extra eggs, be sure to reduce the liquid a bit, say by two tablespoons.
2 – Almond flour
Almond flour doesn’t have gluten, so you’ll need to add extra eggs if you use this kind of flour in your pancake recipe.
3 – Amaranth flour
Amaranth flour is also a healthy flour substitute. It has more protein than most gluten-free flour and even more than whole wheat flour. It has a nutty flavor. In a pancake recipe, combine it with another flour in a 1 part amaranth flour to 3 parts other flour. You can substitute 1 cup of amaranth flour to replace 1 cup of wheat flour.
4 – Oat flour
Oat flour doesn’t contain gluten. It makes your pancakes moist and tender. Because oat flour is dense, it’s important to combine it with another flour so the pancakes will rise.
5 – Binder and leavening agents
If you’re making gluten-free pancakes, you’ll need to add xanthan or guar gum for binding, structure, and elasticity in your pancakes. Another good binder is eggs. Besides giving structure and being a binder to your pancake batter, eggs also act as a leavening when they’re beaten with sugar and butter.
If you don’t eat eggs, you can use mashed bananas to replace them. Baking powder and baking soda are also good leavening agents for your pancake batter. Use 1 teaspoon of baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to leaven one cup of flour in your pancake recipe.
6 – Buttermilk or yogurt
Buttermilk and yogurt are acidic ingredients that help pancakes stay moist and tender. These ingredients also add some leavening to your pancakes. Baking soda and buttermilk do well together but don’t substitute buttermilk for regular milk. It will flatten out your pancakes.
7 – Plant-based milk
Plant-based milk is a perfect substitute for regular cow milk. You can use the same amount of plant-based milk in your pancake recipes as you would regular milk. You can use rice, almond, soy, or cashew milk in your pancake recipes for added nutrition and taste. Just be aware that some plant-based milk will add extra flavor. You can create buttermilk using plant-based milk.
Plant-based buttermilk: To make 1 cup of soy milk, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir and let stand for five minutes. Then add to your pancake batter.
8 – Healthy fruit toppings for your pancakes
What is a pancake without some toppings? These healthy topping ideas fill the bill, giving you good nutrition, but without compromising flavor.
Any fresh, organic fruit adds extra nutrition to your pancakes. The list is endless, but these are especially tasty and good for you.
- Blueberries, raspberries
- Sliced bananas
9 – Dark chocolate
Yep, dark chocolate is the real deal to boost your pancake makeover. Dark chocolate helps fight inflammation, balance your blood sugar, and increases the blood supply to your brain. Eating dark chocolate is thought to lower stress and help improve your memory so you can better focus.
10 – Turkey bacon
Leaner than pork bacon, turkey bacon is also lower in calories and fat. But, because it’s an animal product, you still get important vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium, and B vitamins. Cook the bacon, crumble it and add it to your pancake batter.
11 – Add nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, Vitamin E, phosphorus, and selenium. They’re packed with antioxidants that boost your immune system. They’re high in fat, but it’s the healthy kind of fat that helps lower your cholesterol. Chop, saute or process into healthy nut butter for pancake toppings.
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
12 – All-natural, organic maple syrup
Maple syrup gets a bad rap. This is mostly due to the fake maple syrup sold at many grocery stores that amount to nothing but sugar boiled in water. But a 2017 study found that dark-color maple syrup actually inhibits gastrointestinal cancer growth.
Following ancient tradition, maple syrup is made by boiling the sap collected from sugar maple trees. Maple trees have been used for centuries by Native Americans as traditional medicines and tonics.
Maple syrup contains phenolic compounds that work as antioxidants, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating maple syrup hinders the growth of cancer cells.