Hearty breakfast

A hearty breakfast starts the day well. Often on weekends or not busy weekdays, people opt for pancakes as a breakfast option. But are they healthy? What is their nutritional value? How can one increase their health quotient?

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Simple pancakes: a hearty breakfast

Pancakes are a favorite breakfast option for weekends and not busy weekdays. They could form a hearty breakfast option. They contain refined or all purpose flour, white sugar, milk, some salt, vegetable oil and eggs. All these are blended together nicely with water to yield a smooth batter that can easily spread on the hot skillet. The exact recipe proportions are as follows:

1 cup of all-purpose flour.
2 tablespoons of white refined sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt, or as per taste
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of any vegetable oil
And 1 egg that is beaten.

Hearty breakfast
American pancakes (Source: Del’s cooking twist)

This is the common traditional and popular pancakes available worldwide. But certain regions use different flours in the making of these pancakes. For instance, in Turkey and some parts of Europe, chickpeas flour is used to make pancakes. In other places, semolina or rice is utilized. While in some places like Nepal, they use lentil such as washed black gram batter to make them. And in some parts of the world a mixture of rice and lentil gets used. Some do not prefer eggs in it and some want it salted with no sugar.

Nutrition value

As per the USDA, every 100 grams of the pancake gives 227 calories. Total carbs are 28 grams and sugars would be as added. Proteins are 6 grams while total fat content is 10 grams. Saturated fats are 2.1 grams and cholesterol is 59 mg. Both come from the eggs added.

Hearty breakfast
Traditional pancakes (Source: All recipes)

The sodium in 100 grams of pancakes is 439 mg while potassium is 132 mg. It has iron, magnesium, calcium, and cobalmin with other trace minerals. Due to the high sodium content, fats and calories, these pancakes are not healthy. They could lead to weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, heart ailments, metabolic diseases and inflammation if consumed frequently and in excessive amounts.

How to healthify them?

In order to enhance their health quotient, one can consider swapping the refined all-purpose flour for a healthy option. One can use a whole grain flour or oatmeal flour or chickpeas flour or any other lentil flour. Combination of rice and lentil flour is also healthy with the right balance of carbs and protein to help control blood sugar. One can also use cornmeal flour or buckwheat flour for it. One can opt for any gluten free flour for gluten intolerant patients.

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to them could increase their nutritive value. Fresh berries of any kind, bananas, or any vegetable such as green leaves could enrich them while preserving their palatability. Addition of almonds can also be done. Almonds in flour form are also healthy.

Hearty breakfast
Red lentil and chickpeas flour pancakes (Source: BBC)

Read here: Breakfast cereals: the best and the worst!

Moreover, limiting the use of sugars and salt in pancakes would also do them good. And this could assist in preventing the development of obesity and chronic diseases. One can get creative and innovate their own healthy recipes for them. There is no end to the various combinations that one can use in order to make them healthy and incorporate them in your weekly or monthly healthy breakfast options.