Pancakes don't have to be diet suicide

March 22, 1992|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,Orlando Sentinel

If you're following a healthful, low-fat diet and think pancakes are off-limits, think again. Even seemingly indulgent treats, such as these banana cinnamon pancakes with honey-maple syrup, can be low in fat and high in carbohydrates.

One secret to reducing the fat in flapjacks is to cut the amount of oil added to a mere 1 tablespoon. One tablespoon of oil per 1 cup of flour is all that is needed to give the pancakes a tender texture. More oil just adds additional calories and fat. A half-cup of mashed ripe bananas keeps the pancakes moist and gives them their delectable flavor.

Another secret to reducing fat is to use two egg whites instead of a whole egg. A half-cup of oat bran gives the pancakes a valuable boost of soluble fiber.

A butter- and maple-flavored syrup eliminates the need to slather butter or margarine over these pancakes. Butter-flavored sprinkles add a delicious flavor but no fat and only 8 calories.

Banana cinnamon pancakes

Makes 15 pancakes.

1/2 cup oat bran

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 slightly beaten egg whites

2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon canola oil

Combine oat bran, flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir well. In a large measuring cup, stir together egg whites, banana puree, buttermilk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring with a spatula just until combined.

Heat a non-stick griddle to medium. If desired, lightly coat surface with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear on surface and edges of pancakes are set. Turn once and serve.

(Nutrition information per pancake: calories, 70; fat, 1.4 grams; carbohydrate, 11.7 grams; cholesterol, 1 milligram; sodium, 99

milligrams.)

Maple-honey syrup

Makes 15 servings.

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)

1/4 teaspoon butter flavor sprinkles (optional)

Combine honey, corn syrup and maple syrup in a microwave-safe container. Heat on high (100 percent) power for 1 to 2 minutes, until syrup is bubbling. Stir in maple extract and butter flavor sprinkles. Make sure all ingredients are combined. Serve warm with pancakes.

(Nutrition information per serving: calories, 79; fat, 0 grams; carbohydrate, 20.9 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 9

milligrams.)

Charlotte Balcomb Lane is the food writer for the Orlando Sentinel and author of "The Florida Cookbook -- A Lighter Look at Southern Cooking." Nutrition information provided by registered dietitians at Winter Park, Fla., Memorial Hospital.

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