Health

The Healthiest Pancakes Out There (Hold the Syrup!)

Try these tasty hotcake variations — forget the classic heaping stacks, as yummy as they are

Breakfast, we’ve long known, is the most important meal of the day. Truly healthy choices, however, can be difficult to find, especially for those of us on the run.

A small serving of pancakes, for instance, can contain about 255 calories (or 85 calories per each four-inch pancake). That same stack can have 10 grams of fat and a healthy dose of sodium and carbohydrates on average — and that’s without any additions.

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Sure, that good old-fashioned short stack of buttermilk hotcakes slathered with butter and syrup hits the spot. But let’s consider some of the simpler and very delicious modifications we might make to our pancakes to enjoy them guilt-free.

Go for whole wheat. White flour, which pancake recipes typically call for, offers little in terms of nutrition. Whole-wheat flour will provide 16 grams of fiber per cup compared to three grams of fiber in white flour, according to eatingwell.com.

Related: 4 Food Swaps that Make Sense

Skip the butter. At least where the batter is concerned, opt for canola oil instead. Butter is high in saturated fat. Canola oil can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease.

Trim your portion sizes. A heaping plate of full-sized pancakes may look like a good idea at the time, but typically the sizes we’re served when we eat out are far bigger than what we might eat at home. And we regret it once we’ve licked the fork. Try ordering a short stack; or cut the cakes in half and save them for tomorrow.

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Know that a little syrup goes a long way. Cakes drowning in syrup, especially real maple syrup, are oh-so-good. But just a teaspoon of butter coupled with a few tablespoons of syrup is really all you’ll need to satisfy that sweet tooth. Try drizzling some honey on top if you’re looking for an alternative natural sweetener.

Add fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts or nut butters. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and bananas, among other fruits, add a powerful punch of flavor without a ton of extra sugar and calories. Put them on top, mash them up and add them into the batter. Fruits are a great option to add nutritional value. Yogurt, nuts and nut butters can help boost the protein you’re getting and give you a dose of healthy fats.

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