Oh, this is one of my absolute favourite days of the year! Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday – whatever you call it I love it! The smell of pancakes being made in the kitchen just brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood. Spending the whole day at school impatiently wishing the day to be over so that we could race home to have some delicious home-made pancakes! The smell of the butter melting on the pan and the smell of the pancake when it is cooked is just divine!! Back then our pancakes were very modest compared to the amazing creations and varieties you will see on social media in the coming days, and we didn’t tend to have them very often. Now we have homemade pancakes almost every weekend for breakfast!
The pancakes I had in my childhood were more like scotch pancakes or griddle scones which are a smaller thicker type of pancake compared to the amazing crepe, and my mum made them perfect – local chef Noel McMeel (Lough Erne Resort) has a great recipe for drop scones and they turn out perfect every time!
I have been doing my best to follow a sugar free diet since early January and so this year I will be doing my best to make sugar free pancakes.
Pancakes are a great way to get little ones involved in cooking in the kitchen – Elsa has just learned last weekend how to flip her pancake and just LOVES to get involved even though she’s not overly fussed on eating lots of them! Its more the taking part for her which I find fantastic as she’s so enthusiastic about it – I let her weigh everything out and even crack the eggs on her own – she is in her element when she is baking. Even Lily loves to sit and watch us baking and of course she just LOVES tasting them after! I have always loved baking with the kids from they were young – they get so into it that it’s all about being in the moment and nothing else, and what’s better than that? And the satisfaction they get from making something is immense.
Pancakes are also a great finger food for little ones – Lily just loves her pancakes and if they are home-made then you know exactly what they are eating.
There are so many ways to make pancakes fun for your little ones this pancake Tuesday and if you are feeling a little artistic why not try and make a few animal shaped pancakes? Who said you shouldn’t play with your food? Kids LOVE to play with their food and if it encourages them to try new things then I’m all for it!
Traditional Scotch Pancake recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 table-spoons sugar (sugar replacements can also be used)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (any milk can be used)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl, break the eggs into it. Start adding the milk to the mixture beating it as you go. Add the rest of the milk and the melted butter until the mixture is thick and creamy.
Heat a pan on medium heat, oil lightly and add a dollop of batter using a ladle into the middle of the pan. This will spread out to about the size of the palm of your hand. Once the top of the batter is covered in bubbles, flip it over allowing the other side to cook for a minute or two until it has risen and browned. Serve immediately while still warm. They’re delish with some of our Coconut Squishies served on top!
Alternative healthy gluten free pancakes:
225g (8oz) organic buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
275ml milk of your choice
1 large egg
1–2 tbsp butter
maple syrup, to serve
Mix together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking constantly as you do so, to form a smooth batter.
Heat a frying pan, brush the base and sides with a knob of butter, then ladle a little of the pancake mixture into the pan to make a thin pancake. Cook for 2–3 minutes, then toss or turn the pancake and cook it on the other side. Serve with toppings of your choice – Savoury or sweet - anything goes!!!
Another company I am really loving at the moment is Sweetpea Pantry who have created a wonderful range of healthy at home baking kits. I recently tried their Grainy Brainy Pancake mix – available in my local Marks and Spencers much to my delight! This contains no sugar and all you need to add is eggs and milk. These are amazing!!! I never thought sugar free pancakes would taste so good but these do and they keep so well for a few days if you put them into an airtight container. Now I am sorted for sugar free pancakes for Shrove Tuesday!