Pancakes; I'm a bit of a fan; in fact, one of my very early recipes was for a sugar free American style pancake recipe so I thought, with Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day or Mardi Gras) looming on 4th March this year, I'd tell you about my favourites!
The point of Shrove Tuesday was to use up all of the rich ingredients in the house like eggs and sugar before the traditional period of fasting and reflection of Lent. Pancakes though are a fantastic way to make food quickly and easily and make a meal out of eggs (mostly, see below!) Eggs are a great way to include vitamin D into your diet which is often lacking in our bodies at this time of year (as I look outside to the frosty ground and sun shining weakly on my garden!)
All of my recipes are made without added sugar or are low in sugar unless you add some with the topping with syrups or icing sugar which makes them great even for babies.
My original sugar free pancake recipe is here (with step by step instructions). This is the one I come back to again and again and was a finger food my son absolutely loved as a baby.
A slight extension from this was to include berries into the batter in my berry pancakes (defrosted frozen berries would work well at this time of year.)
I also made some for my new blog using frozen cherries which were lovely pink pancakes!
By rights I'm no fan of a savoury pancake recipe, especially when it's a crepe wrapped around something which would work much better if it was inside cannelloni (I'm thinking spinach / ricotta mixes here particularly).
That said, I am a fan of the savoury American style batters, basically vegetable fritter recipes but my absolute favourite has to be my sweetcorn fritter recipe.
Sweetcorn in a slightly spiced savoury batter dunked into sweet chilli sauce. If you make too many they are even great for lunch, warmed up for a few seconds in a microwave.
You can also make really decent potato pancakes which would be great with a fry up.
For the UK anyway this is a traditional pancake recipe, a thin pancake with a filling is the traditional thing (I've chosen strawberries here but I do love lemon juice and sugar). My recipe includes step by step instructions on how to make a traditional crepe if you're a bit lost.
Not everyone is able to eat every ingredient sadly and food allergies are on the rise. I work in food safety and I'm aware of how difficult it is to live with these restrictions from day to day. This is why I often try and find ways to make traditional recipes but avoiding some of the key food allergens.
My egg free pancakes might sound like an impossibility but there's a great thing about bananas that they lend so much structure to the batter. It started out as an accident when I forgot to add eggs to the batter one time and realised I didn't notice the difference (so much so it took me years to repeat thinking I'd simply got it wrong and put eggs in after all!)
You do notice a slight difference in flavour with the dairy free pancakes but not in a bad way and it's great if you just don't have much milk in but need breakfast!
I've also made a few more twists on the classic by making wholemeal pancakes or even including ground almonds (see top photo; delicious by the way).
Alternatively if you are using syrup or honey, yogurt pancakes add a slight tang which is great against the sweet topping.
I suppose this kind of development on a theme harks back to the days when the pancake was to use what was left in the cupboard before the fasting began.