How to make pancakes a part of your healthy lifestyle

I love pancakes! Always have. When I was growing up in Nigeria, my sister made the best pancakes on weekends, and her artistry with those little fluffy, flowery clouds got me started with my obsession for pancakes. The obsession is still strong today to the point where my weekend breakfasts are always pancakes!

But this hasn’t always been true.

When I started losing weight, I thought I was going to have to give up pancakes. At the time, I was in college and my only source of pancakes was the university cafeteria. And they didn’t make them in a way that worked for my weight loss goal so I did the “give them up” then “binge on them and swear not to have them ever again” dance.

I didn’t like how this lack of commitment made me feel, so I learned how to make pancakes and experimented till I created a healthy recipe that I felt good about.

So in this post, I’m going to share my favorite whole wheat pancake recipe along with an option you can try if you can’t get your hands on whole wheat flour or are sensitive to it.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Serves Two (makes 6 – 8 pancakes depending on how you pour the batter)

How to make pancakes part of your healthy lifestyle - Team by EJ

You can easily scale this recipe to make the number of pancakes you need. Halve it to make enough for one person, and double it to make enough for four.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour*
  2. 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) brown sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 2 cups buttermilk (you can use 2% milk)**
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. Cooking spray

*I use whole wheat pastry flour. The pancakes are light and don’t taste as “mealy” as you would expect if you were using regular whole wheat flour.

Method

To Make the Batter

  • Combine ingredients 1 – 4 in a large mixing bowl and mix well
  • Add the milk/buttermilk and whisk to fully mix the dry and wet ingredients
  • Crack both eggs in and whisk hard to break up the egg and fully mix your batter (alternatively, you can whisk in a separate bowl, add the eggs to the batter, and then mix. But I like to save the dishes so I do it all in one)

To Make the Pancakes

  • Put a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray it three times with cooking spray
  • Pour the batter into the pan and spread it around (I use 1/3 cup measuring cup to make sure the pancakes are about the size I want, but you can pour freestyle)
  • When bubbles start to appear on the surface and the edges start to brown, the pancake is ready to turn over
  • Let it cook on the other side till its brown
  • Transfer to a plate
  • Spray it once between pancakes or as needed and cook the rest of the pancakes
  • Enjoy with maple syrup, fruit puree, or by itself (see below)

I enjoy this with 1 teaspoon of Maple Syrup for added sweetness and a teaspoon of butter. If you want to skip including that much sugar/fat with your breakfast, you can make a fruit puree with whatever overripe fruit that you have on hand.

To make the fruit puree

Bananas, mangoes, or peaches work really well for this.

  • Cut up the fruit
  • Put it into a pot with a little water
  • You can choose to add 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • Bring it to a boil and use a fork to mash up the fruit
  • Enjoy with your pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves Two (Makes about 6 – 8 pancakes)

When I first graduated, I used to wake up at 4:30 AM to practice yoga and make Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes. Over time I refined the recipe to skip the cottage cheese and it’s a great alternative when I’m not feeling whole wheat.

The flour that you make from grinding the oatmeal has a really mild flavor so the sweetness of the sugar really comes out. Personally, I’ve found that this means that it needs no syrup like the whole wheat version. Anyways, enough talk. Let’s get to the recipe.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup uncooked rolled oats, ground into a flour
  2. 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) brown sugar
  3. A dash of cinnamon
  4. 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  6. 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds
  7. 2 cups 1% milk**
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. Cooking spray

Method

To Make the Batter

  • Put the oatmeal in a blender or a small grinder like what you use to grind whole egusi or other seeds and grind to a fine flour
  • Combine ingredients 1 – 6 in a large mixing bowl and mix well
  • Add the milk and whisk to fully mix the dry and wet ingredients
  • Crack both eggs in and whisk hard to break up the egg and fully mix your batter

To Make the Pancakes

  • Put a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray it three times with cooking spray the inside of the pan so that you can make the pancake without oil
  • Pour the batter into the pan and spread it around
  • When bubbles start to appear on the surface, the pancake is ready to turn over. Be careful as these pancakes are quite delicate+
  • Let it cook on the other side for a minute or two to allow the pancake to cook thoroughly++
  • Transfer to a plate
  • Spray the pan once between pancakes and cook the rest of the pancakes
  • Enjoy with a tsp of butter for a little indulgence

+Start on one side to see if you can get the pancake to lift easily from the pan. If not, take the frying spatula around the pancake till you get that easy lift and slide can slide the spatula under the pancake to flip
++All stoves are different so lift up on one side to check the color so that it doesn’t burn

Featured Image Credit: Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash