For me, Pancake Day is the best day in the short but sweet month of February. Sod Valentine’s Day and its mushy romance, it’s all about stuffing your face and then regretting doing so hours later when your bloating could be mistaken for several months of pregnancy. Growing up, all I was familiar with on Shrove Tuesday was the thin crepe style pancakes you can buy from the supermarket (a poor excuse I’ve now learnt) and it’s not until delving into the world of Instagram and its portrayer of perfected breakfast flatlays that I’ve been eager to try out something new for myself. Baking’s not something I’m particularly skilled at but I can master a few pancakes when I put my mind to it. Last year I whipped up some nutella and banana pancakes (the desired kind) but this year I wanted to venture out into, should I say, healthier options. Turns out you can be a little less naughty and still devour a treat! Not that I don’t enjoy allll the sugar and flour but I’ve found joy in these lighter, mixed away from your typical recipes and I wanted to share my magical (lol, who am I kidding) masterpieces with you on Pancake Day especially.
ONE: Golden Syrup Protein Pancakes
You can eat pancakes and still get lean? Say whaaat. It’s 100% truth and ridiculously simple. Some may think evening out the fatty ingredients with high protein rids of the taste but in fact, it almost doubles the sharpness and it’ll keep you full for longer which means combining health food with guilty pleasures is a brilliant idea after all.
1-2 bananas, roughly chopped
1 scoop of protein powder (or in my case, specially flavoured protein pancake mix)
1 large egg
1 tbsp coconut oil
a handful of oats
your topping of choice (I chose golden syrup and blueberries as the perfect combo)
What You’ll Need:
large frying pan
Step One: Measure up the needed ingredients, then whiz the banana, chosen protein powder, oats, a smidgen of coconut oil and a freshly cracked egg into the blender and power on until transformed into a full load of batter making sure there are no visible lumps.
Step Two: Whilst transferring and pouring over the mixture into an empty bowl, pre heat a dollop of coconut oil into a non-stick frying pan on a medium setting.
Step Three: Once the oil is melted, use a ladle, a large spoon or pour puddles directly from the bowl into the pan sieving until round. The amount used depends on what size you’d like – I managed to get three pancakes from half of the mixture.
Step Four: Cook for about 1 minute on each side, checking the corner of the pancake to see if the edges are crispy enough and the colour has turned a dark golden brown. Once the first batch is done, remove and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Step Five: Pile stack by stack on to a big enough plate and serve up with your favourite topping (whether that be fruit, syrup, chocolate, nuts, yoghurt and so on). Enjoy the mouth-watering goodness!
TWO: Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes
These pancakes are literally made from just banana and eggs, albeit they don’t appear as appetising and are trickier to make but they taste surprisingly yummy. If you’re not a banana lover, they’re probably not for you as the taste is very distinctive but it seems to me, even if you’re not a fan of bananas, throw them into any home-made dessert and the rich flavouring changes your mind. These are super light and make the ideal indulgent pancake snack and can be nutritious if left plain. Of course I had to even out the healthy with some milk chocolate chips, vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon but the combination was too nice to let go.
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
coconut oil (for the pan)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
(optional extras): 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/8 tsp salt, vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, brown sugar
What You’ll Need:
non-stick frying pan/skillet/griddle
Step One: Preheat your choice of pan on a slow to medium setting. Break the banana(s) into several chunks into the mixing bowl, and using a dinner fork or a potato masher, thoroughly mash the banana until it is a liquid, pudding-like consistency.
Step Two: Beat both eggs in a separate jug until yolks and whites are entirely combined and pour into the banana mixture. Add any extra ingredients you’d like depending on how sweet you want them, including the boosts such as brown sugar and baking powder – at this point I sprinkled and stirred my preferred amount of chocolate chips, vanilla and cinnamon. Make note the batter will be a loose and mushy density, far from regular pancake batter.
Step Three: Melt a little coconut oil into the pan to prevent any sticking. Using a large spoon, drop the finished mixture into the pan and keep a close eye out for small bubbles forming and the texture rising as this is when it’s time to flip. Due to the difficulty in flipping due to the creaminess, the pancakes are best kept small.
Step Four: Leave to cook for around minute and once the bottom becomes crisp and browned, very carefully and gently hoist the pancake with a thin spatula and flip. The middle of the pancake should still be a soft, yielding texture at this time and some of the batter will probably spill over – continue to sizzle the pancake until completely golden and nudge any excess back under.
Step Five: Transfer to a serving plate, and continue cooking the remain (you can leave them in the oven to keep warm as you finish off). The pancakes are best served piping hot and fresh from the pan. If you’ve not added any toppings such as chocolate chips or chopped nuts beforehand or on one side before you flip, you can dust them on top. These pancakes also work well with fresh fruit, granola, jam, maple syrup, powdered sugar etc. You can dress them how you want!
THREE: American Style Fluffy Nutella Pancakes
Although I’ve found a new love in protein pancakes, these American style thick, spongy and fluffy pancakes remain a firm favourite. They’re a step away from your regular classic lemon and sugar crepe and are absolutely delicious. The possibilities are endless – they can be served at any time of day; breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper and can be topped with anything edible but they’re certainly a once in a while treat as they can be stodgy and too many can easily make you feel sick. If you don’t want to make as many as I did (approx 10-12) just minimise the ingredients shown.
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp caster sugar
30g melted butter
225g plain flour
2 large eggs
a pinch of salt
butter or oil for the pan
What You’ll Need:
Step One: Measure and sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl, followed by fully whisked eggs and a knob of butter placed into the flour mixture.
Step Two: Beat with strength until you have a smooth batter with no recognisable bumps. The batter should be nice and heavy now; don’t be alarmed by the thickness, the thicker, the better.
Step Three: Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a smidgen of butter, coconut oil or any other chosen oil. Once melted, start to add a good section of the batter with a large spoon or a ladle – you can even duplicate the mix if your frying pan is large enough.
Step Four: The dough should react quickly to the heat of the pan which means you only need to fry the first side for around 20 seconds or less. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to glob and then slide the spatula underneath to flip. Each side should be subtle golden brown shade and have risen to around 1cm.
Step Five: Once again stack on a separate plate, keep warm in the oven if required and repeat the last step until all batter is used up. If you are intending on using Nutella, spread each individual pancake with a generous amount as you transfer on to the plate – that way when you cut into them the chocolatey goodness will be embedded inside. Complete your pancakes with any other toppings of your liking – I love to chop some bananas and strawberries on top, although next time I think I’ll turn it around and have some crispy bacon! Mmmm.
Happy Pancake Day, guys! Let me know of any other recipes you may hold to your name, whether they’re unique or ordinary and I hope I’ve inspired you to try something new. What pancakes will you be having today?