From buckwheat flour to coconut oil, our top three healthy pancake recipes have all been injected with a dose of nutrition. We’ve taken away the sugar and added roasted rhubarb to give the french crêpe a good-for-you British twist; butternut squash steals the limelight in our version of the Eastern European ‘latke’; and we’ve also created a vegan, blueberry buckwheat pancake.
Remember, the majority of pancake batters can be made the night before (along with their toppings) and kept in the fridge, to save time in the morning.
1. Healthy crêpes with roasted rhubarb compote
Makes 6-8 pancakes
The beauty of crêpes is that they can be both sweet and savoury, without the batter changing. Here we’ve swapped traditional butter for coconut oil and substituted sugar with honey to lighten the batter.
In their simplest form crêpes can be served with jam or a squeeze of lemon and sugar. We’ve added a roasted rhubarb compote* that can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.
plain flour 300g
eggs 3 medium
coconut oil or sunflower oil 50g, plus more for the pan
honey 1 tbsp
ROASTED RHUBARB COMPOTE
rhubarb stalks 8, topped and tailed and cut into 5cm pieces
cinnamon stick 1
dark muscovado sugar 4 tbsp
maple syrup 4 tbsp
For the rhubarb: Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put all the ingredients in a large baking dish, making sure to coat the rhubarb evenly with the maple syrup and muscovado sugar. Put in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened completely.
Stir a few times during cooking to prevent the rhubarb from sticking to the dish. Once cooked, discard the cinnamon. The compote can be served hot with the crêpes or left to cool and kept covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For the crêpes: Whisk the flour and a pinch salt in a large mixing bowl, then make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl whisk the milk and eggs until they look like a pale omelette mixture (a few minutes) then set aside.
Heat the coconut oil and honey together in a small saucepan over a medium heat stirring constantly. When the first bubbles appear, whisk into the flour mixture, followed by the whisked milk and egg. Whisk the mixture until it’s smooth–use the back of a wooden spoon against the side of the bowl to dissolve any small lumps.
Once the crêpe mixture is smooth, cover it will cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Don’t worry if the coconut oil re-solidifies a little when chilled, give the batter a strong whisk and it will melt again once it hits the pan.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan. Add a splash of oil, and using a heatproof spatula, help coat the pan with oil. Using a ladle, pour a spoonful of the batter into the centre of the pan, lifting and tilting the pan to circle the batter around.
The key is to make sure the batter is spread evenly to almost the edge of the pan – remember they are supposed to be thin. Once the edges begin to curl and the centre of the crêpe starts to look doughy, flip it over and cook for another few minutes until both sides are golden.
2. Buckwheat lemon and blueberry pancakes
Makes 6-8 pancakes
Paired with polenta, lemon and blueberry, the density of buckwheat becomes a delicious base for breakfast. This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting the milk for almond milk. Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of honey, or with fresh blueberries and maple syrup.
buckwheat flour 120g
fine polenta 50g
gluten-free baking powder 1tsp
baking soda ½ tsp
coconut oil 1 tbsp, melted plus more for the pan
cider vinegar 1 tbsp
milk or almond milk 260ml
vanilla extract ¼ tsp
lemon 1, zested
blueberries 150g, plus a few to garnish
greek yogurt or coconut yogurt and honey to serve
Whisk the flour, polenta and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Create a well in the centre and add the melted coconut oil. In a separate bowl add the apple cider vinegar to the milk, stir and then let stand for five minutes – it should bubble up slightly.
Whisk the milk and vinegar into the flour mixture and until smooth, and then mix in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and blueberries.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little oil. Using a ladle, add some of the mixture to the pan (making sure to get a a few blueberries in each ladle), tilting the pan to spread the batter to about a 12cm diameter. Once bubbles start to appear in the pancake and hold their shape, use a spatula to flip the pancake.
Cook until both sides are golden brown and the blueberries have begun to soften. Depending on the size of your pancakes, the batter will make about six generous sized pancakes or eight smaller ones.
Butternut Squash, Cumin and Sage ‘Latkes’
Makes about 10-15
Latkes aren’t glamorous, but when styled correctly and paired with flavourful accessories they can be the understated belle of the feast. Traditionally made from just grated potatoes and lightly seasoned with garlic or onion, the simplicity of the Eastern European latke leaves a great amount of room to be creative.
Paired with herbs and a few spices, the latke can easily accompany scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast or add warmth to a lunchtime salad. However you choose to eat them, latkes always taste best with creme fraiche or yogurt.
butternut squash 1 medium, peeled, cut in half length ways, seeded and coarsely grated
potato 1 large, peeled and coarsely grated
red onion 1 small, grated finely
parsley ½ a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
sage ½ a small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
plain flour or fine semolina 50g
gluten-free baking powder a pinch
cumin seeds ½ tsp, dry toasted and then ground in a mortar and pestle
nutmeg ⅛ tsp, grated (pinch of ground nutmeg if you don’t have fresh)
eggs 3 medium, beaten
parmesan 50g, finely grated
Put the grated butternut squash and potato in a colander over the sink, pressing any excess liquid out then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mix in the grated onion and chopped parsley and sage, making sure they are evenly mixed throughout the squash.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, season and add the ground cumin seeds then add to the grated squash, mixing with a wooden spoon until combined. Whisk the eggs with the nutmeg and add to the grated squash along with parmesan, mixing thoroughly.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable is fine, but not olive oil). Using your hands take about 2 tbsp of squash mix and pat it into a flat circle, and carefully drop into the hot pan.
Using the back of a spatula, press the latke down slightly and allow to cook for about 2 min on both sides or until it starts to crisp and turn golden brown–don’t worry if the latkes catches a bit, it adds to the flavour. You should be able to fit three latkes in the pan at once which speeds up the cooking a bit. Serve with creme fraiche and some fresh chives.
Written by Natasha Warder
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