Do you love the aroma of autumn spices in the morning? Do you get excited about a stack of pancakes? Then, you’ll love these wholemeal gingerbread pancakes. They’re perfectly spiced. Autumn on a plate. Contain all the goodness of whole grains. Healthy. Oh, and that zingy lemon cream cheese topping. Indulgent. Yep, healthy + indulgence. You’re welcome!
Do you remember the first time you ate pancakes? I love that feeling of eating something new for the very first time, especially when that something is as good as pancakes!
I was first introduced to American-style pancakes on a family holiday to Florida when I was 15 years old. We ate our breakfast at a buffet-style diner. Wow. I’d never experienced anything like it. You could have anything you wanted—hot food, cold food, savoury, sweet – heck all the above on one plate. I had never before seen anyone drizzle maple syrup over a plate of pancakes topped with breakfast potatoes, bacon and eggs. It was all new to me.
In the UK at that time, you just didn’t eat pancakes for breakfast. Not in my world anyway. Pancakes were reserved for Shrove Tuesday, aka pancake day, once a year. And even then, it would be crêpes with lemon and sugar, certainly not American style pancakes with syrup.
WHAT MAKES A PANCAKE HEALTHY?
Thanks to restaurants embracing international cuisines and the rise of food blogs, pancakes for breakfast has become more common in the UK. But, pancakes can often be high in refined carbohydrates including all-purpose flour and sugar. And that combination my friends, won’t leave you feeling particularly great mentally or physically.
Refined carbs will send your blood sugar sky-rocketing. And when it plummets back down, you’re going to be left feeling tired, irritable and craving more sugary carbs to boost your energy levels. Not great if you’re trying to manage your appetite. And, problematic if you are trying to lose weight. Dale Pinnock aka The Medicinal Chef talks about the benefits of stablising blood sugar in many of his books – The Power of Three is a particularly good read.
Now, I’m not a regular at eating pancakes for breakfast. It’s too tempting to overindulge with maple syrup. But when you get that feeling like nothing else will do, take comfort in knowing there’s a healthier option that will taste just as good and will leave you feeling good too.
As I’m all about real food these days (or at least, I try to be), these pancakes are made with wholemeal (whole wheat) flour. They do come out a little more dense than your standard all-purpose flour pancake. But, whole grains have all their nutrients intact, including fibre. And that together with the healthy fats and protein (from the eggs) in this recipe, will slow down digestion and help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. You should feel full quicker and feel fuller for longer – keeping hunger at bay until lunch.
Now, if you’re like me and want to keep those pesky cravings firmly locked away behind closed doors, choose wholegrain, whole wheat, wholemeal over processed alternatives always! And, try hard to avoid topping your pancakes with too much maple syrup!
WHAT TYPE OF WHOLEMEAL (WHOLE WHEAT) FLOUR SHOULD YOU USE?
When people think about using wholewheat flour in baking, they’re often put off as it produces a more dense batter and a distinctive whole wheat-y flavour. To counter this, many off the shelf products that say they’re whole wheat will often contain 50% whole wheat and 50% wheat.
Here we’re going to be using 100% whole wheat because the nutritional benefits far outweigh the alternative. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be sacrificing on flavour.
To make the lightest pancakes that are 100% whole wheat, you’ll want to use a finely milled wheat, that is suitable for cakes and pastries, and NOT the strong wholemeal, that is better kept for making bread. My favourite wholemeal flour to use for pancakes is Dove’s Farm Organic Stoneground Fine Plain English Wholemeal Flour. I think in the U.S. you call it White Wholewheat Flour.
The flavour is mild and slightly nutty and pairs well with the ginger and mixed spices in this recipe.
STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHOLEWHEAT GINGERBREAD PANCAKES
For the Wholemeal Gingerbread Pancakes
Gather your ingredients.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Make a well and add wet ingredients.
Lightly whisk until combined.
Pour batter into a skillet and cook on the first side until small craters appear. Then flip.
Continue to cook for another couple of minutes until the pancake is cooked through.
Keep pancakes warm in the oven until all the batter has been used up.
For the Lemon Cream
Grab your ingredients and…
…mix them together in a small bowl.
I’d love to know how your Wholemeal Gingerbread Pancakes turn out. Please get in touch in the comments and let me know!
Looking for more naturally sweet yet delicious breakfast recipes? Why not try these…
- Chunky Nut Healthy Granola
- Creamy Porridge Custard with Strawberry Rhubarb Coulis
- Coconut Blueberry Wholemeal Muffins
FULL RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS
Wholemeal Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Cream
- Small & Medium Bowl
- Whisk & Spatula
- Either a Pancake Pan, Skillet or Hot Plate
- 225 g (1¾ cups) Fine Wholemeal Flour
- 2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 tsp Mixed Spice
- ½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) Whole Milk
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 150 g (⅔ cup) Soft Cream Cheese
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest
To Serve (Optional)*
- Maple Syrup To drizzle
- Redcurrants Or your favourite berries
- If you want to keep the pancakes warm whilst cooking whole batch, you'll need to preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1 / 275°F/ 140°C.
- In a large bowl, combine the wholemeal flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, mixed spice and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the milk and eggs. No need for a separate bowl, that's too much washing up! Just give the egg yolks a prod to break them open (as they will incorporate into the other ingredients much easier) and then gently whisk all the ingredients together until just combined. You'll not want to over mix the or the pancakes will end up too dense – a few lumps are absolutely fine. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon cream by combining the cream cheese, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a small bowl.
- Warm the skillet over low heat and grease with a little butter. A small amount of butter goes a long way in helping pancakes achieve that lovely golden brown colour when they're cooked. However, you can just use more avocado oil if you'd prefer. Drop a quarter cup or large dessertspoon of batter onto the skillet leaving plenty of room between dollops for the batter to spread. Leave the pancakes alone to cook for 2-4 minutes until craters start to form on the surface. Give the pancakes a little lift at the edges to make sure they are nice and golden on the bottom and then carefully flip them over with a spatula. Cook on the second side for a minute or two until the batter is completely cooked through. To keep warm while you're cooking the remaining pancakes, place on a baking tray and pop them in the oven.
- Serve each pancake with a dollop of lemon cream, some berries and a drizzle of maple syrup if the mood suits you. Enjoy!
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Thank you so much for reading.