I have been enjoying my kale and pineapple smoothie for most breakfasts recently but today I wanted something different. Instead of waking up to my room flooded with sunlight (yay for east-facing windows), I woke up to the sound of rain falling and I, like most people, love to indulge in comfort food when the weather is less than stellar. All I wanted was a big, fluffy pancake.
I have made healthier versions of pancakes before but I have never been able to get the points value low enough to really justify removing most, if not all, of the fat. Today I set out to make a 2 point pancake! I made a few key changes to get the points value down while trying not sacrifice the flavor or fluffiness.
First, I cut out the milk. I think I have mentioned that I try to keep an eye on the amount of dairy I consume so I don’t even keep it in the fridge. Instead, I had almond milk on hand so I gave it a try. Baking is science and fluffiness depends purely on the amount of carbon dioxide that is released in the batter. This is why buttermilk is popular in pancakes. Not only does it give the pancakes a great flavor, it has a higher acid content than regular milk (and definitely almond milk) so it has the ability to release more carbon dioxide.
Second, in order to make up for the absence of an acidic liquid in the batter, I used baking powder instead of baking soda, which is also a popular ingredient in fluffy pancakes. I did this because baking powder has a higher acid content than baking soda.
Lastly, I added seltzer water to amp up the carbon dioxide even more (and cut out some more calories/points). You have to be careful with all this though- you don’t want to mess with this too much because too much acid will increase the gluten development and create a tough and chewier pancake. In order to get the fluffiness without the chewiness, I refrigerated the batter for about 15 minutes (you can leave it up to over night if you want to) to slow the gluten development before cooking.
The pancakes turned out better than I could have imagined! I will probably continue to tweak this recipe until it’s absolutely perfect but, for now, it’s amazingly delicious. The best part? You could eat this ENTIRE batch and it’s only 14 points! I went with 3 pancakes and a tbsp of maple syrup for a decadent 7 point breakfast!
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 large egg
1/2 unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup of seltzer water or club soda
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the mixed wet ingredients and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots; don’t over-mix
Put the mixed batter in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (you can leave it in there over night if you’d like)
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Lightly spray oil to coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the pancake starts to bubble, you may add your fruit if you wish
When the bubbles settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
Yields 7 pancakes
WW Points: 2 points per pancake