Wellness With Pancakes:
5 Tips for Healthier Pancakes
My mother always said there is nothing like homemade buttermilk pancakes. As a child, I was in charge of greasing the griddle and whisking the egg whites until they looked like clouds. My mom taught me how to delicately fold the egg whites in the batter, so that the pancakes would be light and fluffy. I was terrified at the thought of never having fluffy pancakes again. Transitioning to a plant-based diet means no more fluffy egg whites!
I found myself flipping through my mom’s old cookbook that she gave me to when I first attempted being a vegetarian in 2012. The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook by Judy Krizmanic has a six-ingredient recipe for vegan pancakes. These pancakes came out absolutely amazing and fluffy! Flour, baking powder, salt, milk (I use soy milk for my B12 or almond milk), oil, and honey (or maple syrup for the vegans who do not do honey). Below I will share five tips on how I make my pancakes healthier!
1. Switch Up The Flour
My treasured six-ingredient pancake mix actually calls for a half cup of whole wheat flour and a half cup of unbleached white flour. When I first tried this recipe out, I used one full cup of white flour and no whole wheat flour. Once I bought whole wheat flour (for the first time in my life), I tried the half and half. To be honest, it does taste a little better using only white flour. However, I cannot deny the health benefits of switching to whole wheat and I don’t mind switching it up! Whole wheat flour leads to:
- Higher intake of fiber, vitamins, and protein
- Lower risk of obesity
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Lower risk of inflammation
2. Add Fruit
Speaking of chronic diseases, I tend to have a chronic sweet tooth. I am constantly combatting my cravings for candy, pastries, and ice cream. One of my biggest weapons is fruit. I can taste nature’s candy without all the guilt of actual candy. Adding fruit in your pancakes adds even more nutrients. Some of my favorite fruits to throw in my pancakes consist of:
- Blueberries – High in antioxidants
- Bananas – High in potassium and fiber
- Strawberries – High in vitamin C and manganese
3. Use Real Maple Syrup
Like many of us, I grew up using Mrs. Butterworth’s or Aunt Jemima’s syrup. Before I even discuss the health benefits to switching to maple syrup, I feel uncomfortable with companies benefiting from using “Mammy” as a mascot. That’s a story for another day though. Although real maple syrup contains more sugar, it doesn’t contain artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and preservatives. Real maple syrup may cost an arm and a leg, but it’s straight from the maple tree.
4. Add Flax and Chia Seeds
The beauty of adding flax and chia seeds to my pancakes is that I do not even notice the difference in taste. They are just as delicious with or without these superfoods. Flax seeds are packed with antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. These lists go on and on. These nutrient-rich seeds help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
5. Add nuts
Sprinkling ground walnuts or almonds gives pancakes a little crunch for some contrast. This is a great way to add even more protein to pancakes. To make sure my vegan toddler gets her protein, I even smear peanut butter (her obsession) on her pancakes.
These five tips take very little additional time and effort. The pancakes are just as delicious, and in some cases, even tastier! You can choose to try one tip, some, or all five! These tips are not just for those on a plant-based diet either, of course! Feel free to make these small changes to your buttermilk pancakes made with egg white clouds! Whatever floats your boat. Please comment with any other ideas you have to make pancakes healthier or how you liked or not-so-much liked any of my tips.
Love and Light