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5 ways to have your healthiest pancake day

blueberry pancakes

Everyone knows that an ordinary Tuesday is so much more exciting when pancakes are involved!

If you want to enjoy your Shrove Tuesday in keeping with a healthy lifestyle, health, nutrition and wellbeing experts offer us top 5 ways to make Pancake Day as nutritious as possible:

Add Some Protein Powder

coconut oil

If you want your pancake to keep you feeling fuller for longer, sprinkle a bit of protein powder into your mix.

Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns, explains:

“Including protein in your meal helps slow down digestion, leaving you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. This in turn can help with weight loss, as you’re less likely to have as many calories.

“To ensure you’re getting your daily dose of protein try a plant based protein powder. They are easy to digest and can be kept low-calorie. They can be used to make smoothies or shakes, and also added to savory foods such as stews and soups. I’d recommend Natures Plus Sunflower Protein (£22.50, naturesplus.co.uk)”

Choose Your Toppings

blueberry pancakes

It’s easy to make a healthy choice when it comes to pancake toppings. Instead of piling on the sugar and lemon, go for some berries which will give you at least 1 of your 5 a day and put you on the path towards glowing skin. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com says:

“Berries such as blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants are excellent sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is vital for the formation of collagen, which gives our skin structure and elasticity. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, protecting our cells from damage; and berries also contain many other plant nutrients that may work as antioxidants in the body, such as the quercetin, catechins, and resveratrol. Another advantage of berries over most other fruits is that they are lower in sugar (a diet high in sugary foods can speed up skin ageing). Berries are great added to plain yoghurt, with some chopped nuts – an ideal snack or breakfast option”

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Can’t stay away from the chocolate sauce? Switch it up this year with a healthier option of cacao, Cassandra says:

“Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium – a mineral that many of us don’t get enough of in our diets. Magnesium is essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles, and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure. The Magnesium in raw cacao also makes it a natural energy booster; OMBAR (RRP £1.99, Ocado) is especially effective as an energy booster as it contains small amounts of unrefined coconut sugar, which provides slow-releasing, sustained energy without the sugar rush. Cacao is also a source of iron, which builds the blood and helps to transport oxygen around our body, as well as potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.”

Go Crazy For Coconuts

coconut oil

Take a leaf out of Miranda Kerr’s book and make the swap to coconut oil! Not only will it give your pancakes an extra sweet taste, you will feel the benefits long after you’ve finished your pancakes. Shona says:

“Coconut oil has gained popularity in recent years, and with good reason.  Although it is a saturated fat, it behaves differently in the body to saturated fat from animal foods. One of the most well known ways of using coconut oil is in cooking.  This is because it can be heated to high temperatures for baking, frying and roasting, without the fats being damaged. This makes it different from vegetable oils, including olive oil that can become damaged or ‘oxidised’ – at high temperatures.  This then makes the oil a source of free radicals that may be detrimental for our health.”

Switch Up Your Flour

Chocolate whey protein powder with a filled scoop

The central ingredient to any good pancake is the flour however instead of reaching for the plain flour why not opt for a healthier alternative like Buckwheat flour instead.

According to nutritionist Cassandra “Clearspring Organic Buckwheat flour (RRP £2.59, www.clearspring.co.uk) is naturally gluten-free and very nutritious. Like dark chocolate, it’s rich in magnesium, known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’. It’s also a great source of iron, zinc and B vitamins to support energy and your immune system.”

RECIPES

Gluten Free Pancakes with Berry Mousse

arctic-berries

By Arctic Power Berries http://www.arcticpowerberries.com/recipes/

Ingredients for pancakes:

  • 2 tbsp teff flour
  • 3 tbsp oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp plant milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Berry mousse:

  • 1/3 package (120g) silken tofu
  • 2 tsp Arctic Berries Lingonberry or Cranberry Powder
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries
  • 1-3 tsp liquid sweetener of choice

Method:

Blend all ingredients for the Berry Mousse in a small bowl until smooth. Add sweetener to taste and place in the fridge.

Mix all of the dry ingredients for the pancakes in bowl and fold in the wet ingredients.

Feel free to add more flour if the mixture feels too wet, and more liquid if it feels to dry.

Let sit to thicken for a few minutes, then fry small spoonfuls of the batter in a non-stick pan over medium to low heat. Serve with the Berry Mousse and fresh fruits of your choice!

PMS Pancakes from betty.me

Walnut, banana and dark choc chip pancakes

Ingredients:
2 tbsps natural walnut butter
¾ cup oats
2 Bananas (mashed)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 eggs

Method:

1. Mash 2 bananas in a mixing bowl and add in 2 eggs – mix together

Bloating before and during your period is pretty common, and consuming too much dairy can exacerbate this. Milk contains omega 6 fatty acids which can increase inflammation and cause cramping – therefore it might be a good idea to steer clear of the traditional buttermilk recipe and opt for a two-ingredient banana and egg batter instead.

Bananas are packed with vitamin B6 and potassium, which can stop you from retaining water and feeling bloated – consuming too little potassium can also lead to muscle cramping, so try and build it into your diet where you can!

2. Add in 2 teaspoons of walnut butter along with the oats. Stir into the mixture

‘Oats are a great food to eat when you’re on your period, simply because they provide B vitamins which should help boost your energy levels and fight off the tiredness you’re likely to be suffering from,’ explains nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed.

3. Add in the chocolate chips for extra sweetness

When we have our period, a lot of us find ourselves craving chocolate or something else that’s sweet. If you’re going to indulge when your period is nearing, opt for the dark stuff. ‘Dark chocolate with a minimum of 65 per cent cocoa solids contains magnesium to increase energy and endorphins to improve your mood’ explains digestive health expert Linda Booth.

4. Fry the mixture in coconut oil and flip until golden on both sides

Avoiding trans fats can help with reducing period pain – use a teaspoon of coconut oil to fry your pancake as opposed to other alternatives containing trans fats, such as vegetable oil.

5. Serve and top with desired amount of toasted walnuts and chopped banana. Drizzle with a small amount of natural honey if you feel you need an extra sweet kick!

Adding in the walnut butter and topping with walnuts will provide a good dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, which can significantly improve menstrual pain according to Omega 3 expert, Tom Oliver. If you need to satisfy those sweet cravings, opt for a small amount of natural honey.

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