Add a Health Boost to Your Pancakes

By Amy Reid

Pancakes have been a breakfast staple for almost 2,500 years.  References to this popular breakfast dish date back to Ancient Greece, and people have been calling them by the name “pancake” since the Renaissance.  However, traditional pancake recipes are falling out of fashion because they don’t reflect modern ideas about healthy breakfast choices.

But there is good news for pancake lovers.  Even in the age of avocado toast and overnight oats, there’s still room for a pancake breakfast.  You can boost the health (and flavor) of your favorite pancake recipe by making any of these simple changes.

Use Whole Grain Flour
Try replacing one cup of white flour with ¾ cup of whole-wheat or multi-grain flour in your favorite pancake recipe.  This adds extra vitamins and minerals, and the added fiber will help you feel fuller for longer.

Toss in Some Berries
Add a cup of fresh or frozen berries to your favorite pancake batter.  This simple addition increases the amount of antioxidants and fiber in the pancakes without adding too many extra calories.  The natural sweetness of the berries can take the place of sticky syrups as well.

Add a Super Food Supplement
You can mix super food powders in with the other dry ingredients.  Start with one teaspoon and adjust accordingly.  Maca is an adaptogen that helps regulate hormone levels while adding a mellow flavor similar to vanilla.  Beetroot powder will turn your pancakes a bold shade of pink and is packed with Vitamins A and C.  Add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder for a kid-approved, chocolate-flavored mood enhancer.

Increase the Protein
If you follow a plant-based diet or don’t eat very much meat, you can help reach your daily protein goals by adding a scoop of protein powder to your pancake mix.  Add one scoop of protein powder for every one cup of flour without impacting the texture of the pancakes.

Ditch the Mix
Pre-packaged pancake mixes often contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and artificial colors. If you don’t have time to make pancakes from scratch during the week, then batch cooking might be right for you.  Double or triple your favorite pancake recipe, allow them to cool, and then freeze them in a resealable plastic bag with a piece of wax paper between each pancake.  For two perfect, mid-week pancakes, just reheat them in the microwave for forty-five seconds on high.

There’s no need to throw out your griddle or restrict yourself to boring cereals.  With these simple changes, you and your family can enjoy delicious, healthy pancakes for breakfast anytime.

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