Most kids love pancakes for breakfast. In fact, for kids and adults alike, it’s become known as an all-American treat to flip pancakes on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Pancake restaurants and coffee shops are everywhere all featuring pancakes in every shape, taste and texture. When looking at these cakes from a health point of view, pancakes should be more of a once in a while treat, rather than a frequent breakfast.
Pancakes can be loaded with empty calories, processed with unhealthy oils and flours. Partially hydrogenated oils being the worst enemy for the body causing inflammation, elevated blood sugar, and obesity which can lead to disease and chronic illness, according to The Daniel Plan. Dump some syrup and margarine loaded with bad oils onto your already processed pancake, and one has just unwillingly ingested a fairly inflammatory breakfast.
There are some simple twists and turns one can take in his/her own kitchen to make it so the family can enjoy pancakes as a healthy and nutritious breakfast without sacrificing good health.
- Homemade pancakes with gluten-free pancake mix, mixes that do not use (partially) hydrogenated oils, or use a “whole grain” mix.
- Experiment with different fruits. Mash two handfuls of blueberries or raspberries, and mix them in. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice and a spoonful or two of ricotta cheese for a lemony, creamy texture. For delicious lemon, ricotta pancakes try the charming breakfast spot in Laguna Beach, Madison Square. Thinly slice strawberries and throw in a few dark chocolate chips for a delicious treat.
- Add organic vanilla.
- Sprinkle in some cinnamon. Cinnamon has been shown to increase and protect brain power.
- Try using Ghee, it is a clarified butter with a high burning temperature and is good to grease the pan with. If there is a dairy allergy, use grapeseed oil to coat the pan. Grapeseed oil has a high burning temperature, and is safer to use than olive oil or canola oil.
- Try mixing in healthy nut butters for some much needed protein in the morning. Almond butter is especially delicious. Other butters like Sunflower butter, cashew butter and organic, no sugar, natural peanut butter is delicious as well. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts have many great choices.
- Toss in a spoonful or two of flax seed meal. The family won’t even know it’s there.
- Use real organic butter sparingly, and stay away from butter substitutes like margarine that cause inflammation inside the body.
- Top with organic, fresh fruit.
- Use 100% maple syrup and be sure to use it sparingly. Try pouring it into a little dish and dipping the fork into it.
- Spread a nut butter over the top of the pancake.
- Squeeze on some delicious, raw or organic honey. Flavored honey like orange is tasty and can be purchased at the Laguna Hills Farmer’s Market on Fridays.
The key to modifying old family recipes to a more healthful version, is to make changes slowly. Try changing one ingredient at a time.
Tasty lemon ricotta pancakes
For a delicious twist to plain pancakes squeeze some fresh lemon into the mix. Follow that up with a spoonful or two of ricotta cheese for a creamy and tangy flavor.
Be sure to buy real cinnamon. Studies have shown cinnamon to be full of antioxidants among other healthful benefits. Sprinkle some into the mix of your pancakes and/or on top of your pancakes for a delicious spice flavor.
Nut butters are a delicious addition to pancakes. Almond, cashew, macadamia, sunflower or any other variety add a healthy dose of protein to your breakfast. Protein helps sustain your appetite when eaten in the morning.