I love pancakes; it’s probably a throwback to living in America when I was small. So the fact that we have a whole day dedicated to them I think is brilliant! However, pancakes have a bad rep. But why?
The batter ingredients – flour, milk, eggs – are really not that bad. Yes, the flour is normally white flour (where wholemeal is better as it contains more fibre), but eggs are a brilliant source of protein and vitamin A and milk is a great source of calcium. However, it’s the toppings that really ramp up the calorie, fat and sugar content. Whether you opt for lemon and sugar or nutella and banana, they will be delicious but are to be enjoyed in moderation.
When I celebrate pancake day, I also like to give a bit of acknowledgement to the savoury pancake; this means you fill up on the savoury and save the sweet for pudding. This recipe below is seriously easy, high in herbs so you can cut down the salt, vegetarian, rich in protein and contains veg. What’s not to love? Serves 2.
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley (other herbs would do)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup skimmed milk (normal pancake recipes use a 1 cup flour to 1 cup milk to 1 egg ratio, but adding the spinach means you need a bit more milk to thin out the mixture so you are left with lovely crispy crepes)
- 1 egg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of salt and liberal amounts of pepper
- A splash of olive oil
- A selection of fillings – I use hummus, pine nuts and goats cheese
1. In a processor, blend the spinach and parsley (if you don’t have a processor, put them in a mug and chop with scissors)
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, milk, egg until smooth before adding the lemon zest, salt, pepper and spinach puree.
4. Pour approximately 3/4 of a cup of the mixture into the frying pan, rotating the pan as you do this so that the pancake batter spreads quickly across the pan. When you can see the edges of the batter beginning to lighten in colour, the pancake is about done on one side (you can see this in the picture below!). Flip it over and cook on the other side.