I’ve been trying to create low calorie versions of my favorite treats, and recently I’ve turned to one of my favorite breakfast treats: pancakes. I started with a classic buttermilk pancake recipe, and then just trimmed calories wherever I thought I could without affecting taste or consistency too much. I made a classic batch and a low calorie batch back to back, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. The low calorie pancakes tasted identical to the classic pancakes but were *significantly* fewer calories and fat.
Low Calorie Pancakes (makes 8 medium sized pancakes - 65 calories each):
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour - 1 cup
Salt – ½ tea
Baking powder – ½ tea
Baking soda – ¼ tea
1% Buttermilk – ¾ cup
Skim milk - ¼ cup
Egg white from 1 large egg
Promise Light Buttery Spread – 2 table
1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) in a medium sized bowl (at least 4 cup capacity).
2. Combine milk and buttermilk (I do this in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup).
3. Separate one large egg (and discard the yolk) and beat the egg white using a handheld mixer. It usually only takes about 1 minute on low speed to make the egg white totally frothy. Add the egg white to the milk mixture and mix briefly. The egg beating adds air to the batter creating fluffier pancakes. If you don’t want or care about fluffy pancakes, you can skip the handheld mixer part.
4. Add the Buttery Spread to the milk mixture and mix briefly.
5. Dump all of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork or a whisk until just combined (over-mixing lets air out of the batter decreasing fluffiness).
6. Heat a nonstick griddle, skillet, or frying pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with a cooking spray.
7. I use a ¼ cup measure as a scoop to pour a well-defined amount of batter onto the cook surface. This recipe makes eight ¼ cup pancakes.
8. After the top of the pancake has started bubbling, when the sides of the pancake have cooked a slightly noticeable amount, flip the pancake. Cooking the second side usually only takes about half the time as the first. If the pancakes are coming out too dark or too light according to your taste, lower the heat or raise the heat respectively.
9. Reapply cooking spray to the cook surface as necessary, and try to cook all of the pancakes within an hour or two of mixing the batter.
Using the same ingredients, each medium sized pancake (see picture) comes out to 65 calories, 1.75 grams of fat, and 1.125 grams of fiber. So, each pancake is one weight watchers point!
What I love about this pancake recipe is that the pancakes always come out extremely fluffy and "bready" (I love bread, so the bread like consistency of the pancakes is a huge added plus with this recipe). I eat mine plain, but you can eat them with or without additional toppings. Some ideas include fresh or frozen berries, frozen bananas, honey, low calorie nuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, or low calorie whipped topping.
What else do you like to put on your pancakes?