Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, whatever you want to call it is here again. This means that, across the country, millions of us are raiding our fridges and cupboards for flour, eggs, milk, oil, butter and various other less-than-healthy ingredients to make these delicious treats before subjecting ourselves (well, some of us, anyway) to the dietary austerity of Lent.
But, for those of us who are watching what we eat already, it can be a day of misery, trying to resist temptation at every turn; never a fun experience. So, what can you do to make them healthier and less calorific, but without ruining the great taste? Read on to find out…
Ditch the plain white flour
Plain white flour is a key ingredient for some of the most delicious things in our modern diet – white bread, cheese sauces, all manner of sweet baked goods and pastries, crispy batter and, of course, pancakes. It’s not, however, particularly good for us, being heavily processed, bleached and full of all sorts of bad things.
So, this pancake day, why not swap it out for wholemeal flour instead? This is far less heavily processed, with more fibre, fewer calories and, some would argue, more flavour. It will give exactly the same smooth texture to your pancakes, but with fewer calories.
Use skimmed milk
This may seem like an obvious one, but using skimmed milk, instead of semi-skimmed or whole milk in your pancake batter will drop the calories in your pancakes significantly. We know that skimmed milk may not be particularly appealing on your morning cornflakes, but when it’s just being used to bind all your pancake batter, the flavour doesn’t really matter and it works just as well.
Cook with low-calorie oil spray
Instead of reaching for the butter or the bottle of oil when it comes to cooking your pancake, get yourself some one-calorie oil spray and a good non-stick frying pan. Not only will this reduce the amount of fat used when making your pancakes, but it will stop them sticking to your pan and ensure you get them beautifully thin every time.
Pay attention to your fillings
Instead of the traditional lemon and sugar, replace the sugar with low-calorie sweetener, while sliced banana also makes a fantastic filling. Fresh fruit of any sort makes for a cracking filling, while you can stew it down with a touch of water and low-calorie sweetener to make it that little bit more luxurious, mix this with some fat free Greek yoghurt for a truly delicious pancake. Finally, you can now get reduced fat squirty cream in most supermarkets, which makes for a great lower-calorie alternative to the full-fat stuff.
Follow these tips, and you’re sure to be able to enjoy a guilt-free, low-fat and, most importantly, absolutely delicious Pancake Day. Enjoy!