Hearty, Healthy Pancakes: A Good Way to Start Your Day

Let’s face it, most of us don’t immediately think healthy when we hear the word pancake. That said, a pancake made from whole-wheat flour, oats and egg whites has a place on any well-balanced breakfast plate. Eating a hearty, filling morning meal like the one featured this week, can help curb hunger later in the day and may help with weight maintenance.

Pancakes made from most mixes aren’t what you’d call nutritional all-stars. Most feature enriched flour and partially hydrogenated oil. They are usually low in fiber and quite high in sodium. Topped with additional butter and maple syrup, the fat and calories climb even higher.

This pancake makeover employs quick-cooking oats to increase the nutritional value without compromising on convenience. The oats provide soluble fiber that may help lower blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Cranberries are a welcome addition to this recipe, providing a hint of tartness and significant antioxidant power. They also contain phytochemicals that may help prevent urinary tract infections. While this recipe calls for dried cranberries, avoid the sweetened varieties as they contain lots of added sugar.

When serving, forego the traditional toppings and add a touch of powdered sugar and some fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Cranberries - Makes 5 servings.

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup low-fat milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cooking spray

Powdered sugar (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oats

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose and whole-wheat flours. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, yogurt, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, making sure not to over-mix. Stir in the cranberries. For the very best results, allow the batter to rest, covered in the refrigerator, for 30 minutes.

Spray a griddle or large, flat pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium-high. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. When bubbles appear on the upper surface, flip the pancakes. Continue cooking until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

As you make more pancakes, keep the finished pancakes in the warmed oven on a cookie sheet, separated with parchment paper.

When ready to serve, lightly dust pancakes with powdered sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Per serving: 260 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrate, 9 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 440 mg sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $82 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its Web site, http://www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Article Posted: November 5, 2007

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