Hands up, who likes pancakes for breakfast? Yeah, me too. Who is also put off of healhy food because it doesn’t taste so good? Hmm, me too.
Just this past week, I got into a discussion with my mother about health and dieting. My mother revealed to me that she’s cut out sweet treats entirely, and to be honest, I felt kind of sad. I know from experience that as soon as you quit these crash diets, the pounds just pile back on. Cutting out sugar to lose weight is great, but as soon as you put it back on the menu, your body goes for it, big time. I know this, I went from 10 to 15 stones in one year after my anorexic episode. If it was sweet and indulgent, my body wanted it. It was just making up for lost time.
This time around, I’m not telling my body what it can and can’t have. My body can have anything it wants, it just has to have them in moderation. If it wants something sweet, it can have it. If it wants something healthy or something savoury, it can have that, too. I don’t eat anything deep fat fried, and processed foods are kept to a minimum. The key for me now is compromise, compromise, compromise – all the way from hear on out!
One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced was breakfast. Because of my fast-but-sedentary lifestyle, I was eating breakfast biscuits with tea (with sugar!) while I blog. Not only was I eating 22g of sugar for breakfast alone, but I was skipping out on the fruit and low-fat yogurt recommended to accompany Belvita biscuits and with my sedentary lifestyle, I also wasn’t burning all of that energy off. Needless to say, all of those unused energy stores were incredibly bad for my health.
For me, the key was finding something filling. The Belvita biscuits left me feeling full, but on some days, that feeling was all over within two-and-a-half hours, rather than the promised four. When that happened, I was having a mid-morning tea and biscuits not too long after my sugary Belvita. Yep, even more sugar!
One of the things that I’ve been set on with my new weight loss goals is cutting down, not cutting out. Cutting our carbohydrates and sugar before left me feeling week and tired and gave me terrible cravings when I stopped, so the key was to monitor how much I had and to eat simple, minimally-processed foods. Set on trying to find a new, healthier breakfast, I installed the One You Easy Meals app and scrolled through.
A lot of the breakfast options left me feeling unenthused. Bananas came up often, so did savoury options, and apples just once. Refusing to give up hope, I hopped over to their ‘puddings & snacks’ section, and that was where I saw this delightful little recipe come up.
When I cooked them up, I encountered a few problems. First of all, the batter was a little too thin and quite flat, so I improvised on that to make it slightly thicker and fluffier. Third, there just wasn’t much apple per person, so I included an extra one. Finally, no spice?! Oh lovelies, you just know I had something to say about that!
So let me share with you my breakfast pancake recipe 😉
Prep time: 15 mins
Equipment needed: 28cm frying pan, small mixing bowl, whisk, sharp knife, spatula
For this recipe, you will need:
- 300ml skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
- 120g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 apples
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder (but don’t let me stop you adding a little more, if you like!)
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- Sunflower oil, for frying
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, egg and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk until smooth with a consistency of heavy cream. Don’t worry if it’s a little bubbly – it just makes for fluffier pancakes later on!
- Heat your frying pan over a medium-low heat and add 3-4 drops of sunflower oil.
- Once your pan is hot, pour in a quarter of your batter and tilt the pan slightly on all sides to coat the bottom of the pan. Return to the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the pancake comes away easily from the sides.
- Flip the pancake and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Turn the pancake out onto a warm plate and repeat the previous three steps three more times, so that you have four pancakes.
- While your pancakes are cooking, slice and dice your apples. Leave the skins on as this is where all of the fibre is!
- Once your pancakes are cooked, increase the pan to a medium heat.
- Add your diced apples, lemon juice and sugar to the pan and cook, moving gently with the spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until your apples are beginning to brown and caramelise – don’t burn them!
- Once your apples are ready, remove from the heat and add the cinnamon powder. Stir them thoroughly to evenly coat each piece.
- Divide the apple pieces between the pancakes and arrange in a row down the centre of each pancake. Sprinkle the raisins over the apple and roll the pancakes into a cigar shape. Serve immediately.
These pancakes are wonderfully filling and a great alternative to sugary breakfast biscuits or bars if you’re trying to lose weight. What healthy fillings do you enjoy in your pancakes? Why not share them in the comments?
Until next time!
Stay safe and hafe fun,
Helen & Matt xx