You don’t have to wait until the major holidays, like Halloween or Fourth of July, to have cause for a celebration. We think you should find something every day worth celebrating – whether it be pushing a mile further in your normal run, completing an entire to-do list, a co-worker’s birthday, or pancakes. Yes, pancakes, the fluffy breakfast that almost demands to be eaten while wearing pajamas.
Today is National Pancake Day, which is typically observed on Mardi Gras in preparation for Lent; however, since 2006 IHOP has declared the Tuesday following Mardi Gras as National Pancake Day. On this day, they serve up free short stacks of their classic buttermilk pancakes. It’s for a good cause; in lieu of charging customers they just ask for donations to Children’s Miracle Network, an incredible organization that grants wishes of terminally ill children.
We think you should make a donation directly to CMN and make your own pancakes. At 490 calories per short stack, before you add syrup and butter, these ultra-white, processed, nutritionally-void pancakes’ only redeeming quality is that a wonderful organization will receive a few bucks from you.
Switch things up and serve pancakes for dinner tonight – but do it at home where you can control the ingredients, toppings, and sides.
Make ‘em From a Mix. This isn’t really much different than what IHOP is serving. However, you can “healthify” it by using half regular mix and half whole grain pancake mix. This reduces the enriched, bleached ingredients and increases the fiber.
Make ‘em From Scratch. Don’t be put off by the idea of making your own pancakes from scratch, it’s really pretty simple. We like using half regular flour and half whole grain flour which maintains the texture of a great pancake with more fiber and nutrients than white flour. Try these:
Top ‘em With Honey. Go ahead and skip the syrup. If you’ve ever read one of those labels, you’ll know that standard pancake syrup doesn’t have any real maple in it and has just a bunch of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. Either grab the 100 percent real maple syrup, or try something you probably already have in your cupboard – honey! It’s sweet, just as sticky, and has some great vitamins and minerals.
Fill ‘em With Fruit. Increase the nutrition concentration of your pancakes by adding blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or walnuts to your pancake batter. Not only do they taste even better (and may not even need syrup), but you’ll add a healthy dose of vitamins, fiber, and protein from the nuts.
Don’t Serve ‘em Alone. A pile of homemade pancakes is pretty tasty, but like any meal, round-it out with some healthy sides to keep this breakfast (or dinner) balanced. Add a combination of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, Greek yogurt, and a fresh fruit salad to complete the meal.