Our Sunday morning starts with pancakes made from scratch. It’s usually a family affair with the kids helping measure the ingredients, then whisking them together into a nice thick batter. The girls and I prepare the batter, then Dad cooks. Oddly enough, I don’t have the skills to cook them for the pancakes to look light and fluffy. I’ve tried and failed many times…The recipe we used was Martha Stewart’s Easy Basic pancake recipe and just like the name, it’s simple and super easy to make: Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) with the wet ingredients (milk, egg, butter or oil). Voila, pancakes for breakfast! This was our go-to recipe since we started our Pancake Sunday tradition.
Yes, the pancakes were tasty and quick to make, but lacked nutritional value. Since my physical exam last November when I received less than stellar lipid profile results (discussed in this post), I’ve been scrutinizing my diet paying close attention to ingredients, aiming for less processed and more nutrition-dense types of food. This made me realize our weekly pancake staple needed a complete overhaul to up its nutrition. So I searched for “Healthy pancake recipes” and found Sally’s Baking Addiction Whole Wheat Oatmeal pancakes. I quickly scrolled to the bottom of the post where the recipe showed the list of ingredients. BINGO, hit the jackpot. It’s exactly what I was searching for and I was eager to test it out for texture and flavor. After a few attempts, I figured out what the family liked best after a couple of substitutions, deletions and additions.
Here are the ingredients to make wholesome, healthy and delicious pancakes:
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour instead of all-purpose white flour – the Bob Red Mill’s brand is milled from soft white wheat berries (more palatable than whole wheat milled from hard red wheat flour) and provides 20% or more of the recommended daily value for fiber. I know our the switch from white to wheat especially in baked goods is a shock to the taste buds, so I started with half white, half wheat and proceeded to increase the ratio of wheat/white until it was all whole wheat. No one made a fuss about the difference!
Note: I found coupons you can print from the Bob Red Mill’s website for a $1 off one of any of their products
2. Oatmeal – I used Quaker Oats Old Fashioned – Sally’s recipe calls for quick cooking oats but I didn’t see a problem with the old fashioned kind. Oats, another whole grain source, provide additional nutrients and fiber to the recipe – more about the importance of whole grains and fiber can be found in this article from American Heart Association. As far as the texture of the pancake, the oats add bulk without having to add more sugar or fat, according to Sally.
3. Greek Yogurt instead of butter or oil – here’s an interesting article covering the 6 Myths about Greek Yogurt and the importance of reading the ingredient label to make sure of its authenticity. Greek yogurt’s main ingredients should be milk and live active cultures. We get the big 48 oz container of Fage Total Plain at Costco which contains only those 2 ingredients. Ever since our trip to Aguas Calientes (small town near Macchu Picchu in Peru) where we were served kefir and granola for breakfast , my husband’s breakfast of choice is a similar concoction of granola, Greek yogurt and berries. Greek yogurt makes a good substitute for the butter or oil in the recipe, reducing the amount of saturated fat yet still keeping the pancake moist.
4. Maple Syrup instead of white or brown sugar – Sugar is sugar no matter what form and too much is detrimental to our health. However, when used in moderation, it’s best to look for types of sweeteners that are unrefined such as pure maple syrup. I found this infographic on Dr. Axe site listing its numerous benefits. Instead of 2 tbsp of brown sugar, I used 1 tbsp maple syrup. Since it’s in liquid form, I reduced the amount of milk in the recipe by about 1/8 cup (I eyeball it), otherwise you end up with a thinned batter.
5. Add-ins – What makes Pancake Sunday extra special to my kids? The chocolate chips in the pancakes! I know it’s high in saturated fat and contains a good amount of sugar but we use it sparingly and it’s a special treat for the girls. The chips are not mixed in with the batter rather a few are placed in the individual pancakes while cooking. As for my husband and I, we add walnuts and ground flax, topped with a heaping of berries.
If you’re interested in the recipe, here’s the link to Sally’s Baking Addiction. We also omitted the cinnamon due to its strong-taste . The end result is a healthy whole grain pancake, low in sugar and fat with a satisfying flavor. We were not sad to say goodbye to Martha Stewart’s pancakes.
What’s your favorite pancake recipe?
I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run, and Cynthia at You Signed up for What for their Friday Five. This week’s topic is Food and Drink.