Whatever your reason for enjoying a pancake (or three) on Shrove Tuesday, we have a few more reasons why your family should be enjoying pancakes more often.
Pancakes are a relatively inexpensive, quick, and easy meal and can easily be stuffed with all kinds of savoury fillings, so don’t save them for a sweet treat. Pancakes are made in many variations around the world and this can be a fun way to introduce different countries and their cultures to your children. Test out a Greek pancake called tiganites, or a pooda from India, a mexican hotcake, or perhaps a blini from Russia, where they have a pancake week!
With so many healthy grains, gluten free flours, and healthy fats available in shops, along with many milk alternatives for those with allergies or intolerances, a simple pancake need not be the stodgy treat that it once was. Make a basic mix using your healthier alternatives – you can even add a spoon of flaxseed meal (for added Omega 3 Fatty Acids) or oat bran for an extra dose of fibre. Add berries to the mix too – big fluffy blueberry pancakes with maple syrup are a favourite in our house.
Basic Pancake recipe:
110g/4oz plain flour - 2 eggs - 200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water - pinch of salt
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Gradually add the milk and water mixing until the batter is smooth. You can experiment with the amount of liquid that you add to the mix. If you want a thin pancake make the batter fairly runny like cream. If you want to try a thicker fluffier pancake, keep the batter thicker. This is a great way to show children how measurements can affect the end result of their cooking so let them have a bowl of their own so that they can get measuring and mixing too. When you are ready to make your pancakes, heat the oil (grape seed oil is a healthier alternative to butter and can be heated to a high temperature safely.) Make sure the pan is nice and hot and then when you start to make your pancakes, turn the heat down a little to medium. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter mixture into the frying pan and quickly swirl the batter to cover the bottom of the pan. The thickness of your pancake will determine how long it takes to cook. When it is ready and looking golden on one side, flip it over to cook the other side. Then pop it on to a plate and add your family’s favourite filling.