>> Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Lately I’ve been on a breakfast kick. Especially on the weekends when I have a bit more time to prep my breakfast, then I sit back with a nice cup of americano and enjoy each and every bite of it. Nothing is quite like starting out the day right with something special and to me pancakes are one of those things.
Pancakes have always been special to me. Growing up in a Chinese Canadian home, pancakes weren’t exactly served all the time. It wasn’t until I grew a bit older and started introducing my parents to North American foods did they start embracing french toast or muffins in the morning, but even then it was never considered a true breakfast, but more so of a snack, a pre-breakfast prior to the real deal.
So when I finally got the chance to decide on what my daily meals were going to be, which is still very much Chinese influenced, pancakes along with other “treats” started popping up a bit more. How could I resist? Ok, so you’d probably say “because it’s not the healthiest thing” would be one, but I figured why not aim to make it healthier! So began the whole breakfast saga.
I found that the traditional pancake batter to be quite heavy, especially when you’re eating 3-4 of them in one sitting first thing in the morning. No amount of coffee is going to wash down all that syrupy sugar and dough. So after a little digging around I found a few recipes that used yogurt instead of buttermilk. The yogurt made the batter fluffier, moist and most importantly, lighter. Something about removing the fatty buttermilk (you could use low fat if you prefer the traditional version just to lighten it up that way) and replacing it with low fat yogurt caused the pancakes to melt in your mouth, plus what a great way to get a serving of your recommended daily intake of dairy products.
Nutritional Tidbit: Low fat yogurt (especially the Greek kind) is a great substitution for many different baking recipes. You can cut back on butter or oil in certain recipes and add in yogurt for the same creamy effect. Yogurt can also be used instead of buttermilk or full fat milk. As everyone knows, each 1/2 cup serving contains roughly 5 grams of protein and 15-20% of your daily calcium requirements.
Since I don’t have a really big sweet tooth, swapping out the syrup for a fruit compote made the whole meal even lighter while providing more nutrients and filling fiber. If you prefer to use syrup on your pancakes like 99.99% of all people out there including my husband (he’ll scoop some compote on his and then add additional syrup, I don’t know how he does it), make sure you use maple syrup and not plastic bottle kind which is pretty much pure high fructose corn syrup. Maple syrup provides you with additional nutrients like iron and B-vitamins that you wouldn’t normally get if you used the processed syrups.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy these pancakes as much as I did! Actually I know you will and won’t even miss the typical ones. You can find the original recipe and a step by step instructional guide here. I’ve added comments next to the ingredients that I’ve made changes to below as well as added the reasons why.
Low Fat Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancake Recipe
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (to up the fibre content a bit in the pancakes I opted to use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. I’ve also removed the sugar added to the batter, I don’t even taste the difference)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs (I prefer to use omega-3 eggs)
1 cup low fat Greek yogurt (Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, it’s also creamier which is perfect for this recipe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1 cup fruit (you can add in blueberries, strawberries or any type of fruit you prefer to change up the recipe)
In a mixing bowl, add in whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until dry ingredients are well blended.
Whisk eggs, yogurt and vanilla extract. If using fruit, fold it in to the batter. Do not over mix the batter. Instead let the batter sit for up to 5 minutes so it can rise.
Meanwhile, warm up the skillet with a bit of oil over medium heat.
Pour in roughly 1/4 cup of the batter and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (once bubbles start to form on one side you can flip the pancake over). You might have to turn the heat down to prevent the pancake from over browning on the outside.
Serve with your favourite topping!
Makes about 8-10 pancakes.