We’ve been experimenting with healthier pancakes for over a year now and this is the best recipe we have come across. Darren’s blueberry compote is a perfect match with Greek yoghurt and is our contribution to the foodie love-in.
This recipe is both naughty and nice. The banana and almond milk make the batter healthy, while the gluten-free flour and eggs give it that traditional fluffy airiness that only the best pancakes have. And with Pancake Day falling so close to Valentine’s Day this year, it’s a great way to show your other half some love (it makes a great yearly-versary breakfast too, just in case you’re wondering).
Here are our tips for making a perfect batch of pancakes.
- Use a griddle. If you don’t have a griddle, use the heaviest frying pan you have. Set the heat to low and let the griddle warm up. Each pancake will take about a minute to cook, and on a lower heat setting this is long enough for the batter to rise and set while the outside browns to perfection.
- Use a very ripe banana. This recipe is ideal for using up that last small spotty brown banana in your fruit bowl. The riper it is, the sweeter and softer it will be in your batter.
- Use very little coconut oil. Seriously, with a decent griddle or non-stick pan, use as little oil as you can get away with. We drop a pea-sized amount onto the griddle and wipe it over the whole surface with a sheet of kitchen roll before pouring each batch of pancakes.
- Keep the pancakes small. Use ¼ to ½ cup of batter per pancake and pour it onto the griddle slowly so you can easily control the size. Aim for 7cm.
- Cook all of the batter at once and wait until the end to sit down to eat as once the griddle is at the perfect cooking temperature you’ll want to keep it there. Keep your pancakes warm on a plate while you cook the rest.
Basic Pancake Recipe
(approx. 100 calories per pancake)
150g gluten-free self-raising flour (TIP: if you don’t have self-raising flour, add 2tsp baking powder to 150g plain flour.)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 small very ripe banana
175 ml almond milk (any mild-flavoured nut milk would probably work just as well. If it can stand the heat of tea without curdling it will likely be fine in a cooked batter)
small amount of coconut oil (unrefined oil is fine, since the coconut smell/taste will blend well with the sweetness of the pancakes)
generous pinch of salt
- Sift together the dry ingredients in a bowl, mash the banana on a plate or chopping board with a fork and glop into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and give it a bit of a mix with the fork to lightly combine the ingredients.
- Slowly add the almond milk and whisk until smooth. (An electric whisk is best if you have one, this isn’t the time to go hipster and use your antique balloon whisk that you got from the antique shop in Hoxton or you’ll be there all day and your batter will still be lumpy. Ha. Damn hipsters. Bet you get beard hairs in your batter too, don’t you?)
- Warm the griddle and drop a pea-sized amount of coconut oil onto the surface. Carefully smear it around with a tissue. When hot, pour ¼ to ½ cup of batter onto the griddle to form a puddle roughly 7cm across. Pour as many as you can manage, but don’t let them touch each other.
- Cook until small bubbles appear on the top of the batter and you can easily lift the edge of the pancake. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side until the pancake lifts cleanly. (TIP: if you’re making several at once, turn them in the order that you poured them so they all get the same amount of cooking time.)
- Transfer to a warm plate and repeat until all batter is used.
Darren’s Blueberry Compote
This is healthy heaven in a bowl. Fat, ripe blueberries lightly sweetened and warmed until their juices run. And did we mention it’s HEALTHY?
Packet of blueberries (a 150-200g packet made enough to generously cover all the pancakes we made)
golden granulated sugar (or other heat-safe, dissolvable sweetener of your choice, if you must)
- Put the blueberries in a microwave-safe bowl and zap on high for 30 seconds until the juices start to run.
- Scatter sugar over the blueberries, adding more for tart berries and less if your berries are naturally sweet.
- Microwave on high for another 20-30 seconds until the sugar has melted, remove from the microwave very carefully and stir. Serve warm.
Serve the pancakes on warm plates with the compote and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. (Fellow lactose-free buddies – I swear by FAGE full-fat version and I pour off any liquid that collects in the pot before serving. This brand blends cream into the yoghurt which leaves less room for lactose by weight, and it’s strained, which removes much of the whey, which also contains lactose. I also take a few lactase tabs for good measure. YMMV. You could also use any thick dairy-free yoghurt, anything goes.)
Props to Tesco for their base pancake recipe, we’re loving their food love stories card series.