Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, occurs 47 days before Easter Sunday and this year it will take place on 1st March.
Traditionally, pancakes are made with flour, eggs and milk and they are fried in butter or oil. Whether you prefer your pancakes with a savoury or sweet filling, there are numerous recipes to choose from online and in cookbooks. In this tip, we guide you in how to prepare healthy pancakes and choose a tasty and nutritious filling. We also provide a healthy pancake recipe that you might want to try out.
Choose a fibre-rich flour
- By switching from white flour to wholemeal flour for your pancake recipe, you can increase the amount of heart-healthy fibre in your pancakes. You could blitz some high fibre, cholesterol-lowering porridge oats in a food processor to create tasty oat pancakes (see our recipe below).
Choose a heart-healthy oil
- Some people like to fry their pancakes in butter, however, butter is high in saturated fats which can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. We recommend choosing an unsaturated oil, such as rapeseed, vegetable or sunflower oil. Fats and oils are high in calories and should be consumed in small amounts. Make sure you add just enough oil to coat the base of the frying pan and you can remove excess oil with kitchen paper, before heating the pan.
Choose a healthy filling
- Some of the most popular pancake fillings, such as sugar, syrups, chocolate, cream, bacon and cheese, can be high in fat or sugar. Look for healthier options, such as fruit and low-fat yogurt with chopped nuts and no added sugar, or smoked salmon, spinach and low-fat cream cheese.
Oat pancakes with raspberry & pear compote and toasted walnuts
Serves 2 – 3
100g porridge oats
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon plus a little extra to sprinkle on before serving
1 orange, finely zested and juiced
1 egg, lightly whisked with a fork
120ml oat milk or skimmed cow’s milk
100g frozen berries, such as raspberries
1 pear, diced into 1cm pieces
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp low-fat crème fraiche or fat-free Greek yogurt
20g walnut pieces, toasted in a dry frying pan and chopped
Mint leaves to garnish (optional)
1.Start by making the pancake mixture. Blitz the oats in a food processor for a couple of minutes until they resemble a course, powdery flour and pour into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, 1tsp cinnamon and the orange zest, and mix the ingredients together. Make a well in the middle of the oats, add the egg and milk and mix until you have a thick batter. Cover and leave in the fridge until you are ready to make the pancakes.
2. Make the fruit compote by putting the juice from 1 orange in a saucepan with the raspberries and chopped pear and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the pear is soft. Leave to cool.
3. Make the pancakes by heating half the rapeseed oil in the frying pan. Pour a sixth of the pancake mixture into the pan and spread it out to make a small pancake. Cook over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Flip the pancake and cook for a further 2 mins. Repeat until you have 6 small pancakes.
4. Stack 2 or 3 pancakes on individual serving plates, pour over the fruit and put a spoonful of low-fat crème fraiche or fat-free Greek yogurt on the top. Sprinkle with the chopped, toasted walnuts and a little cinnamon and garnish with mint leaves (optional).
For more tips on how to stay healthy, sign up for our weekly healthy tips at www.heartresearch.org.uk/healthy-tips