Are Healthy Pancakes Less Fattening?

Vegan Apple Spice Pancakes

Pancakes are fun tasty versatile snacks with a high calorie flip side. Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday dates back hundreds of years. The word shrove is a form of the English word shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.

The ingredients for pancakes, according to History UK, can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:

  • Eggs – Creation
  • Flour – The staff of life
  • Salt – Wholesomeness
  • Milk – Purity

High Calories Pancake verse Low Calories Pancake

High calories are associated with increase body fat, circulation and joint problems; this fact is linked to elevated blood fat; triglycerides and cholesterol, so not a good way to end a pancake day.

A conventional pancake might have 779 calories. Substitute semi-skimmed milk for almond milk, banana or flaxseed for eggs and use gluten free flour and you can reduce the calories to 577. Both have complete protein, dietary fats and lower carbohydrates.

If you are watching calories, do remember that your overall calories and nutrition can change significantly – depending on your choice of pancake topping/s, so use sugary ingredients wisely.

Conventional Pancake Ingredients

  • 100g White Flour – 364 calories
  • 2 Eggs – 140 calories
  • 300ml Semi-skimmed milk – 155 calories
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil- 120  calories
  • 1 Pinch Table Salt

Healthier Pancake Ingredients

  • 100g Gluten Free Spelt flour (just over 3 cups) – 346 calories
  • 1tbsp Finely ground flax with 3 tbsp water or one medium banana – 60  calories
  • 300ml Almond milk – 51 calories
  • 1 tbsp Olive or Coconut oil -120  calories

Vegan Tasty Pancake


  • 1 cup gluten free spelt flour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ -1 ripe banana
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup diced strawberry
  • Maple syrup to taste
  • Chocolate syrup to taste


Use a large bowl, add in flour, squash banana, milk, 1 tbsp oil and mix into a batter consistency.

Low heat, use a small non sticks pan, rub oil in pan, when pan is warm, pour in batter, gently rotate pan so  batter covers the base, the batter must be thin, pour more batter for thicker pancake.  Small bubbles appears during cooking process, when light golden brown, flip over and to cook.

Repeat the process until finish.  Stack each pancake after cooking and when finish garnish with your favour topping/s.

Garnish (optional) with Maple or Chocolate syrup to taste

Article by Alison Henry, WAFFL Nutritionist

Image by By from USA (Vegan Apple Spice Pancakes) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons