Pancakes are the ultimate comfort breakfast food and a Sunday morning staple in many families. But now that so many of us are looking forward to eating a little healthy food in the new year, do we need to get a little picky off the menu? Absolutely not, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Smoothies & Juices.
“We make pancakes a lot in our house, so I’m always looking for ways to up the health factor,” she told TODAY Food. “One easy way to do this with any pie is to top it with fresh fruit, like berries or fresh figs for more fiber and antioxidants.” Largeman-Roth also keeps nut butter on the table, which adds protein and healthy fats and helps you feel fuller than pancakes usually do. “Crushed walnuts are another thing that’s always on our table because they add fiber and heart-healthy plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to their delicious taste,” she said.
When it comes to the drink, avoid the fake sugar-free kind. “We always have real maple syrup,” she said, adding that the “pancake syrup” you see on the shelves is nothing but corn syrup with caramel coloring.
Make your pancake batter healthier
Largeman-Roth said there are plenty of ways you can make pancake batter even healthier.
“You can simply take your favorite mixture and add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds or hemp seeds for some ALA omega-3s,” she said. “Or you can get super healthy and make buckwheat pancakes, which are high in fiber. Buckwheat is actually not wheat at all and is gluten-free.”
If you’re looking to cut back on refined carbs, you can always make pancakes out of anything but grains. Largeman-Roth suggests her butternut squash pancakes, which use steamed walnuts and almond flour as a base. “It’s delicious!” She said. “And you can also add some extra fiber and iron to pancakes easily by blending the mixture in a blender with 2 large handfuls of washed baby spinach. It’s a great color and so much fun for St. Patty’s Day!”
If you’re looking for something a little healthier, but still feels like a treat, make the batter out of wheat flour. “I use Flourish because it has more prebiotic flour than regular wheat flour mixed with almond flour, plus mashed bananas for a muffin that tastes like banana bread,” she said. “It’s up to you if you want to add chocolate chips.” (Of course you do!)
Read on for some healthy pancake recipes that deserve a spot on the breakfast table.
Pancake paper with berries
These one-sheet wonders are great for serving a crowd and can be topped with anything you want!
Joy Power Protein Pancake
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
These delicious pancakes will make you feel worlds better than traditional starchy pancakes.
Healthy protein pancake
Quick, healthy and super tasty, try putting some yogurt and granola on these kids’ head.
Healthy banana and cottage cheese pies
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
These pancakes are full of protein and fiber and the banana adds just the right amount of sweetness.
Blueberry Swirl Protein Sheet Pancakes
Frances Largeman Roth
Pancakes that look pretty and can be eaten by hand on the go are a winner any day of the week!
Katy Lee Banana and Walnut Pancake
The delicious oats in this recipe make this recipe delicious and filling.
Joy Power Apple Protein Pancakes
High-fiber ingredients like oats and chia make it a hit.
Delicious pancake with yoghurt sauce with herbs
Serve these pancakes for lunch or as a unique side dish.
Rocco protein pancake
A spoonful of protein powder in these pancakes will keep you energized until lunchtime!
Double Chocolate Chip Pan Cake
Lucy Schiffer / Fast food to enjoy food
Yes, even chocolate chip muffins can be made even healthier when Joy Bauer is on the griddle!