Pancakes are one of my all-time favourite foods. The sad news is that all-purpose white flour, sugar, and butter aren’t exactly health foods. Here, I put a nutritious twist on this breakfast classic. It’s simple! All you have to do is tweak a couple ingredients for a truly healthy breakfast that you won’t feel guilty about. Substitute as many (or as few, for that matter) ingredients as you’d like.
All-purpose white flour WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR: the texture will change a little, but for me it’s for the better. I love how it becomes a little nuttier and a LOT heartier. Try sifting it first! Oat flour (grind your own from plain rolled oats) will also work. I haven’t tried other flours, like coconut flour or almond flour, but I’m sure you could play around with the proportions to make it work! Bisquick/Krusteaz Just-Add-Water Pancake Mix BOB’S RED MILL/COYOTE WHOLE WHEAT PANCAKE MIX: I found both of these at my local Superstore. Look in the organic/health foods aisle. I’ve also seen them at Whole Foods, though it’s more expensive there. Coyote’s whole wheat pancake mix has only four ingredients – whole wheat flour, buttermilk powder, baking powder, and sea salt. As with everything, the fewer the ingredients, the better. Awesome! Butter COCONUT OIL: one morning, my mom suggested I try cooking my pancakes in coconut oil, and I’ve never looked back. Who needs butter when it burns quickly and is absorbed into the pancakes rather than crisping the edges? Plus, coconut oil is a known superfood. My aunt and uncle swear by it, and for a good reason – coconut oil staves hunger, fights bacteria, reduces cholesterol (thus lowering the risk of heart disease), and more. Although its health benefits are still being studied, coconut oil is CLEARLY healthier than trans fat-filled butter. Coconut oil vs. olive oil? Now that’s debatable! Buttermilk PLAIN YOGURT: plain yogurt adds a delicious tang, just like buttermilk does. If you don’t have plain yogurt, Greek yogurt diluted with a little milk will also work. I seriously LOVE this substitution because plain yogurt is healthy + delicious. The new texture of the pancakes will be so spongy and soft. You must try this!
By the way, I always add an egg to my pancake mix, even if it is the just-add-water kind. It adds fluffiness, and I LOVE thick pancakes.
Omit these if you can!
– salt: with the Bob’s Red Mill mix, you can sift it out, then throw it in the garbage. 😛 I honestly don’t taste a difference.
– sugar: I don’t know about you, but I’ll
drizzle smother drown my pancakes with maple syrup or honey anyways. What’s the point?
– oil: most pancake mixes tell you to add a tablespoon of canola oil or melted butter. Ditch it – you won’t be able to tell a difference. Plus, you’ll cook your pancakes in more oil, so again, there’s no point!
Add these if you can!
– a big scoop of plain/Greek yogurt (see above buttermilk substitution)
– a tablespoon of ground flax seeds: ground flax is easier to absorb
– a big dash of cinnamon: I can’t do breakfast without cinnamon. You don’t have to add a lot, but I think I’m immune to the taste or something. I need to add about a teaspoon to TASTE it. 😮
– a tablespoon or two of quick/rolled oats: they lend great texture
– fresh berries
– a mashed banana: mashed banana is sweet, healthy, and bulks up the mix. If you have half a cup of prepared mix, a large mashed banana will bring it to at LEAST 3/4 of a cup. Plus, it makes the pancakes super tender and a lot sweeter. If you’re a banana hater, don’t worry – you won’t be able to taste it. If you’re a banana lover like me, try mashing it just until chunky (not totally smooth), and you’ll feel those soft banana marshmallows melt on your tongue.
– shredded coconut
– grated apple or carrot: I’ve been dying to try carrot cake pancakes!
– dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries
– low-fat ricotta cheese: I’ve done this once before. It’s really good. The texture is springy and fluffy, and the taste is practically unaltered.
As you can see, I always top my pancakes with the following:
– fresh berries
– sliced banana
– chia seeds
– nut butter: almond, peanut, sunflower, etc. The more flavours, the better!
– sometimes, a drizzle of honey. Tastes AMAZING with peanut butter and banana (I know, I know, it’s a classic)
– maple syrup on the side for dipping. I usually use one squirt from the honey container.
Aren’t berries delicious this time of year? I can’t wait to try this recipe with our fresh blackberries. Mmmm!
I hope you enjoyed this post. For more build-your-own food ideas, check our this post. I’ll show you how to make customizable desserts that are healthy, delicious, and take literally two minutes.
One more day until the weekend. 🙂 Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. Have a great Friday!