5 Healthier Pancakes To Try And Tips For Making Them
Words Heather Ramsdell
Pancakes are a good way to prove to yourself and your instagram friends that you are living the good life.
If there’s a pancake in the skillet, happiness can’t be far off. In the brand new year, happiness takes a slightly serious turn as many of us resolve to clean up our diets and to be better people in general. Some foods are not invited to this new version of us, but what about pancakes? Can’t they still come to the party?
Everyone has a different set of rules about what healthy means, but whether eating paleo, avoiding gluten, becoming vegan, or ditching sugar, I’d like to say “yes” to pancakes. One of these recipes is bound to fit into a healthy New Year plan.
Pancakes are easy to make, and the availability of alternate flours like gluten free and grain free or multigrain flours make them easy to adapt to popular eating trends. The fun thing about cooking with alternative flours is that they provide new flavors and textures. Even if you’re not changing your way of eating you’ll want to try a nutty apple ring pancake, or the tender yogurt blueberry recipe where the yogurt replaces traditional buttermilk. All of the recipes below can be doubled. No matter what your pancake, a tasty, golden brown, same-size stack of cakes is in your future. Here are a few tips to help you get there.
The first pancake is usually sort of messed up and that is okay. You should still eat it. As you practice you’ll notice that they will inevitably become more consistent and easier.
Adjust the heat as you cook.
Keep your pancakes from scorching or taking too long by adjusting the heat in your pan. Moving the skillet on and off the heat or adjust the dial as you go along.
Flip pancakes as soon as you can pick them up with a spatula. A wide, thin flexible spatula is best.
Use a nonstick or seasoned cast iron pan and very little butter or oil to create a cake with a smooth, golden-brown surface. The first side of a pancake is always the most even looking.
Pancakes that are the same size make nice looking stacks. If your batter is thick use an ice cream scoop to keep it consistent. If you can pour it, use a cup with a spout or the wonderfully mess-free batter dispenser to get them onto your skillet.
Don’t crowd the pan.
Crowding make pancakes run together and less pleasing to look at (though still good to eat.)
Keep them warm.
Set these in a 200-degree oven if you are making a big batch and want to serve everyone at the same time.
If you want to prepare pancake ingredients ahead of time, measure and combine all of the wet and all of the dry ingredients and combine those together right before cooking.
5 Pancake Recipes to Get You Started
Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes
Yogurt Blueberry PancakesMakes 12 pancakes: Recipe courtesy Heather Ramsdell
3/4 cup oat flour
½ cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
½ cup milk
2/3 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon melted butter plus more for oiling pan
Agave or maple syrup for serving
- Whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
- In another medium bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and butter. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir gently to just combine, leaving a few lumps, stir in the berries.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brush with butter. Scoop batter by ¼-cupfuls into the skillet and cook, adjusting heat as needed, until the edges of the batter are set, a few bubbles rise to the pancake’s surface, and the bottoms are golden. Use a thin spatula to flip, and continue cooking until the the flipside is golden and the batter is cooked in the middle, 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining and batter until all is used.
- Serve with agave or maple syrup.
Lemon Cream Cheese PancakesMakes 8 pancakes, serves 4: Recipe courtesy Heather Ramsdell These sturdy low-carb lemony pancakes are substantial and satisfying. They are gluten free and grain free and have more protein and fewer carbs than traditional pancakes. To make these extremely fluffy you can separate the egg whites from the yolks, and whip them with an egg beater to soft peaks before folding them into the coconut, yolk, and water batter.:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour
Zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons carbonated water (seltzer)
¼ cup blackberries and raspberries
¼ cup full fat greek yogurt for serving, optional
- Put the cream cheese, eggs, coconut flour and lemon zest into the container of a food processor. Melt the butter in a skillet and pour it into the processor. Don’t wipe out the skillet. Process until the ingredients become a liquidy batter. Let rest 5 minutes to let the coconut flour soften and plump up. The batter will thicken slightly.
- Heat the same skillet over medium low heat. Stir the selzer into the batter. Pour the batter into the pan in 3-inch disks. Cook, adjusting heat if needed, until the edges are dry to the touch and few bubbles form on the cakes, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the flipside until golden, about 2 minutes. Continue until all of the batter is used. Serve with berries and a dollop of yogurt.
Buckwheat PancakesMakes 4 servings. 30 small or 12 standard pancakes: Recipe Courtesy Heather Ramsdell Earthy and nutty like the naturally gluten-free buckwheat flour they are made from, these pancakes can go sweet or savory: toasted pecans and maple syrup, or sour cream and smoked salmon are equally at home here. If you have no buttermilk, add a teaspoon of vinegar to a cup of milk:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup-lowfat buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Maple syrup for serving
- Whisk together the buckwheat, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, egg, sugar and vanilla together in another medium bowl. Put the buckwheat mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
- Melt a little bit of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and spread to coat the pan evenly. Pour batter one tablespoon at a time for small pancakes, three tablespoons at a time for standard size pancakes, leaving enough room so they don’t touch. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching, until the bottoms and edges of the pancakes are set, and they can be flipped without breaking, about 2 minutes. Cook until the pancakes puff and cook through to the center, another 3 minutes. Continue until all of the batter is used.
- While the pancakes cook, toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat, tossing and stirring constantly, until they become brown at the edges and smell toasty, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Do not walk away while cooking because burned pecans are sad.
- Serve pancakes topped with toasted pecans and maple syrup.
Sweet Potato Paleo PancakesMakes 12 pancakes: Recipe courtesy Heather Ramsdell These pancakes are surprising because there are so few ingredients and they are so sweet and satisfying. They contain no grains:
1 1/2 cups pureed cooked sweet potato
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional
Coconut nonstick spray
Coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, diced mango for topping
- In the bowl of a food processor or mini chopper, combine the sweet potato puree, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in the walnuts. Thin with water if needed until pourable consistency.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Scoop or pour pancake batter and spread into 4-inch disks onto the skillet and cook until the edges set and dull, the bottoms turn golden brown and they can be turned without breaking, about 4 minutes. The pancakes are relatively fragile before they are cooked. Flip with a thin spatula, and continue cooking until golden and cooked through, another 3 minutes.
- Keep warm in oven until all pancakes are ready to eat. Top with unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted pumpkin seeds and diced mango and enjoy.