It’s Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day as it’s more commonly known!) next Tuesday 25th February. For many, pancake day might be more of a traditional affair; simple batter recipe topped with lemon & sugar, or if you’re following any kind of ‘free-from’ diet, you’ll be familiar with having to come up with a different take on the classic pancake. Here in the nutrition team office, we’ve been chatting about our favourite pancake recipes; there’s such a lovely selection that we thought we’d share them with you. Here’s the nutrition team’s ‘go-to’ recipes for a deliciously different pancake day!
Mushroom and Spinach Pancakes
Katherine Pardo (Head of Nutrition & Education)
Well my absolute favourite pancake is a standard crepe style pancake with a dash of butter and plenty of lemon and sugar, but as I’m a savoury girl at heart, I like to mix it up a bit with this simple but tasty James Martin recipe that can be easily adapted to be gluten free if needed.
Makes approximately 2 pancakes
For the pancakes
• 125g/4.5 oz plain flour or buckwheat flour
• 1 free range egg
• 150ml/5fl oz milk
• 150ml/5fl oz water
• Olive oil for frying
For the filling
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• Handful mushrooms, sliced
• 2 handfuls baby spinach
• 2 tbsp crème fraiche (optional)
• Few sprigs fresh parsley or chives, chopped
1. Sieve the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt, add the egg and stir well. Then add the milk and water and beat well until smooth. Leave to stand while you prepare the filling.
2. Heat the oil in the frying pan and fry the onions until soft, then add mushrooms and cook through. Add spinach, season, and stir until wilted. Leave to stand while you cook the pancakes.
3. Heat the oil and pour in the pancake batter mix, ensuring it thinly covers the base of the pan. Cook until underside is set and beginning to turn golden brown, then turn and do the same on the reverse.
4. While the pancake is still warm in the pan, spread half the crème fraiche over one side and scatter the mushroom and pancake mixture over the other side. Sprinkle with parsley and chives, and then fold the sides of the pancake over the filling.
5. Repeat with remaining batter.
Top tip: accidentally on purpose leave enough leftover batter for a delicious lemony/sugary pancake to enjoy for dessert!
Alternatively, if savoury pancakes aren’t your thing, why not try my youngest son’s slightly more “indulgent” American style pancakes with Nutella and banana. Not sure he could fit any more Nutella on there if he tried! Bonus points for cooking them himself and the banana though!
Super Simple Pancake Recipe
Gemma Khoo (Nutritionist)
My kids absolutely love Toad in the Hole and we often make it for dinner during the week with lots of veg and gravy on the side. My 5 year old is well aware that it requires the same batter mix as pancakes and so we often make a double mixture and have pancakes for pudding.
My recipe is a super simple recipe that my mum used to make with me when I was a child and has been ingrained in my memory forever, and it’s easy for the kids to help with:
• 4oz plain flour
• ½ pint of milk
• 1 egg
Use double the quantities if you want to do Toad in the Hole as well as pancakes. Mix ingredients together with a whisk, allow to stand for a few minutes and then use as you wish – for Toad-in-the-Hole batter or just go straight for the pancakes!
2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Laura Murphy (Nutritionist)
This is my go-to pancake recipe as its quick and easy, plus only requires two ingredients. It’s also great if you have bananas that have seen better days and need to be used up. This is great as a snack or a breakfast.
Makes 6-8 small pancakes; recipe is easily doubled.
You will need:
• 1 ripe banana
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
• Butter, for cooking
1. Mash the banana. Peel the banana and break it up into several big chunks in a medium bowl. Use a fork to thoroughly mash the banana. Continue mashing until the banana has a pudding-like consistency and no large lumps remain; a few small lumps are okay. You should have 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.
2. Stir in the eggs. Pour the eggs over the banana and stir until completely combined. The batter will be very loose and liquidy, more like whisked eggs than regular pancake batter. Add in the vanilla extract if using.
3. Heat a pan over medium heat. Heat a cast iron pan, non-stick frying pan, or griddle over medium heat. Melt a little butter in the pan. Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan. It should sizzle immediately — if not, turn up the heat slightly. Repeat with dropping more batter into the pan, leaving at least an inch or two between pancakes.
4. Cook for about 1 minute. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms look browned and golden when you lift a corner, about 1 minute. The edges should also be starting to look set, but the centre will still be loose.
5. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so until the other side is also golden-brown.
6. Serve warm with whatever toppings you like. My favourites are almond butter, berries, chocolate chips and a dollop of natural yoghurt.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Pancakes
Rachel Bartholomew (Nutritionist & Health Writer)
I have to admit I’ve long been a fan of pancake day! It probably stems from after-school trips to my nana’s house every Shrove Tuesday to sample one (or two or three!) of her annual mass pancake batch, (my dad is one of 10 siblings so you can imagine how many pancakes my nana made that day!) Sadly, my lovely nana is no longer here, but I still love a good pancake!
Here’s a slightly different recipe to the more traditional version I enjoyed at my nana’s whilst growing up. This one’s adapted from Teresa Cutter’s (The Healthy Chef) Coconut Crepes Suzette recipe. It’s gluten and dairy-free, using coconut flour and arrowroot instead of wheat flour, and coconut milk as an alternative to dairy milk.
I like to serve mine simply with a freshly squeezed orange wedge.
• 4 free range organic eggs
• ½ cup coconut milk
• ¼ cup coconut flour
• 1 tablespoon arrowroot
• Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
• 1 x large navel orange cut up into wedges
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut flour, arrowroot and Himalayan pink salt
2. Leave to stand for a few minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the milk, then mix again to form a smooth batter (you can add more milk if needed)
3. In a medium frying pan, heat a little coconut oil over a medium-high heat.
4. Add ¼ cup of the batter and tilt the pan to ensure the batter is evenly spread.
5. Cook for 1-2 minutes then flip over and cook the other side just for a few seconds.
6. Tip onto a serving plate and serve with a wedge of orange or however you like it best!