Are Pancakes Healthy for You?

They are if you make them yourself.  Always make your own at home, shop bought instant packets are usually very high in additives and really do miss that rugged ‘home’ cooked and prepared feeling.  Here are some tips to make healthy pancakes.

Keep sugar and salt to a minimum

Use alternative flours to the standard wheat/gluten varieties e.g. buckwheat is brilliant but there are also several blends of different ‘free from’ flours available which are great to use too.

Use loads of fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon from the bottle or any other squeezy gadget is not allowed!!!!  Lemon is so refreshing, very high in Vitamin C and has amazing cleansing and antioxidant powers.

Keep away from shop bought additive rich sauces and spreads. Keep it simple. Pancakes are so versatile, you can have them any time of the day with anything you fancy. I have just given you some extra ideas below….

However you eat yours, Enjoy them

If you are intolerant to eggs
Replace 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder  for binding purposes or there are other products on the market called Egg replacers too, all available in health food stores.

If you are intolerant to dairy/cows milk
Instead of milk substitute oat milk, rice milk or soya milk, almond milk …whatever is your personal preference… or lactose free milk if you are intolerant to lactose only.

For frying always use butter, coconut oil or a blend of butter/coconut oil and sunflower oil. These are most suitable for frying. Do not overheat the pan and burn the fats, it changes their properties and creates rancidity. This is not good for your digestion.

Traditional Pancakes Recipe (serves 4-5):

  • 225g plain flour or gluten free/ wheat free flour alternative
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 2 farm fresh eggs or 2 tablespoons of arrowroot
  • 500ml milk or milk substitute (I use almond milk)
  • 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (optional) this makes your pancakes lighter and fluffier!
  • Butter coconut oil/sunflower oil to grease the pan


Sieve the flour, salt (and arrowroot if using/ bicarbonate of soda is using) into a mixing bowl

Break the eggs into the bowl if using and whisk together drawing the flour in from the sides.

Add the milk, bit by bit. Beat until the mixture is smooth and thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. (Alternatively, combine all ingredients into a food processor and whisk together)

Allow the mixture to stand for a few hours before using. A little extra milk may be added at this stage before use if a little too thick.

Add a little butter to the pan, allow to melt over slow heat and add a couple of tablespoons of pancake batter. Spread out evenly over the pan. Once starting to brown at edges, flip over and heat until golden brown.

Repeat until all the pancake mixture is used up. To keep pancakes warm place on a place over a pot of hot water and cover with greaseproof paper until ready to serve.

Here are some great healthy toppings:

P…Pumpkin seed spread… a delicious spread to cover your favourite pancakes and it is something very healthy and tasty and easy and in my opinion is  a win win anytime!!! Pumpkins are brilliant for getting you pumping with ENERGY and glowing skin too and they are high in essential fatty acids, protein, minerals especially zinc, selenium and calcium, which are all needed for strong healthy muscles, skin and bones.

A…Almond butter spread , spread it thick or thin over your pancakes for  a healthy  zap of magnesium, manganese, protein, Vitamin E and B vitamins! You can then top this off with watercress which has a slight peppery taste and is very high in B vitamins, zinc, folic acid, iron and calcium.

N…nuts…. In any shape or size, walnuts, brazil and almonds nuts are particularly great ground up and sprinkled over your rolled up pancakes or add them to any of your favourite fillings. They go particularly well with the pumpkin seed and almond seed spread above.  Apart from their good fat content they are very high in minerals and all you need is a small handful, they make the ideal snack with or without pancakes.

C…Cherries and coconut! Wash, and pit the fresh cherries, add to a pot and a little water, stew until soft. Add a little agave syrup, maple syrup to sweeten if desired. Allow to cool slightly, spread over your pancakes and roll up, put into an over proof dish and coat with coconut milk. Bake in a preheated oven at 180.c until coconut milk starts to simmer. Garnish with fresh wedges of orange and enjoy! Coconut is fabulous for energy and stabilising electrolyte balance in the body. Rich in omegas 3 too, Cherrys are what I call a high impact fruit. They are just so good for you it is a shame if they are not part of your regular diet… they are rich in fibre, flavonoids, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Calcium and lots more! You can also lavish your pancakes too with a coating of extra virgin coconut oil, so good for you

A…Apples, stewed apple with cinnamon, yummy! This is a real comfort food J apple as are high in fibre, are great at helping to restore blood sugar balance and when cinnamon is part of the dish you have the added benefit of even sugar levels and moods. A sweet apple is also super grated with a sprinkling of lemon juice to prevent it from discolouring and it’s lovely and crunchy within the soft warm pancake. Apples are very high in flavonoids which contain anti -cancer properties and Vitamin C and K too.

K…Kiwi fruit, if you want to have a yummy sweet pancake on its own or as part of a desert include freshly sliced kiwi along with some other fruit of your choice too e.g. strawberries, raspberries.. or indeed apple as above! Kiwis are high in vitamin C, Beta carotene, fibre, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium and lots more.  They are light and refreshing!

E…Eggs them selves! Don’t go without them if you do not have to, as they are a very healthy food. My grandma and an aunt of mine too used to make pancakes with either all egg whites or all egg yolks for extra variety. As above if you do not eat eggs or do not  like them you can still have your favourite pancakes with an egg substitute. However eggs are very good for you as they are high in good fats, protein and iron. They provide loads of energy and are a great way to start your day. So when you make your pancakes at home you have absolutely no need to be guilty J

S… Spinach, is a superfood, it provides you with energy and strength and is great at helping you to trim up and keep fit. It is always best to eat spinach raw, so you can have it as part of a crunchy salad along-side your pancakes or just prior to flipping your pancake over sprinkle a handful of spinach leaves on top, the spinach will melt into your pancakes and is delicious. For that added zest go heavy on the lemon juice (to your taste of course) just before you roll them up or fold them over. Spinach is very high in minerals, B vitamins, vitamin c and had good omega 3 fats too!