Isn’t it a mystery; you never know when Pancake Day happens; the only clue is the supermarket display full of flat pans and powdered mixes, accompanied by a chocolate spread (we all know which one). Pancake Day is not just some commercially driven day to promote pancake consumption, but it’s origin actually gives you a good reason to eat pancakes on this particular Tuesday.
A little bit of history
Pancake Day; also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a day that falls 47 days before the Easter Sunday and is a day that was considered the last day before the Easter lent starts. It was a great opportunity to use up all the ingredients to make pancakes, which weren’t allowed to be consumed during the lent approaching Easter. The recipe for pancakes (traditionally flat, served still hot) dates back to the 15th century and the Pancake Day feast was also a popular event entertaining the communities, bringing various traditions, some of them still held in modern England.
The ingredients also represented Christian values for the upcoming season; flour for the staff of life, eggs for creation, milk for purity and salt for wholesomeness. A Pancake Bell would ring on Shrove Tuesday to call people for confession, as Christians were meant to shrive from their sins (Castelow, 2019).
Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
These pancakes are my improved equivalent of Shrove Tuesday Pancakes, as the lifestyle since the 15th century has changed, and I wanted to take advantage of some other great ingredients. At first, their intent was purely functional as I worked early shifts at the time, and therefore needed something that would provide me with enough energy and nutrients without entering the food coma halfway through my shift.
They are perfect for those who want a less sweet, filling alternative to pancakes, easy breakfast or brunch or for those who work shifts and want to fill up on something delicious yet nutritious, giving them enough energy without future food coma dips.
Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
One medium-sized Banana An egg 3 heaped tbsp of Buckwheat flour 1 tbsp of Milled Linseed (also known as Flaxseed) A pinch of Cinnamon A small amount of fat for frying To garnish with: 1 tbsp of Nut butter 2 tbsp of Yogurt Fruit of choice
Heat your pan to low-to-medium heat.
Mash banana and combine all the ingredients. Add only a small amount of fat to the pan to prevent sticking and slowly fry the mixture in the shape of a pancake. When the top side seems to be dry, flip the pancake.
Serve fresh, cold or reheated with a spoonful of nut butter of your choice, some fruit, and yogurt. If you’re missing sweetness, reach after a syrup lower in fructose to balance your blood sugar spikes to prevent the sugar rush. Make vegan swapping the egg for one extra heaped tbsp of milled linseed.
About the Ingredients
Banana – This main ingredient is important for the texture of the pancakes and also the natural sweetness, which is often preferred when it comes to a morning meal. Bananas will make you feel fuller for longer as they are a great source of fibre, as well as potassium and vitamins C, A, and B6. If you don’t mind greener bananas, which tend to be less sweet but also can aid your intestinal health, as they help to regulate diarrhoea when cooked (Antonipillai et al., 2017), of which some of us might struggle after their morning meal.
Egg – Eggs can be avoided in this recipe to transform it to plant-based however, I swear by them because of their excellent nutritional value and functionality in this recipe. Again, eggs will improve your satiety due to their protein content from both white and yolk (Chen et al., 2018), which are also one of the best sources of the right composition of essential amino acids, along with other vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the yolk proteins are associated with affecting satiety hormones to make you feel satisfied for longer (Fernandez et al., 2010).
Remember, the quality of nutrients available in eggs is tightly connected with the hen and its life and food quality, so please consider free-range eggs if you haven’t before.
Buckwheat Flour – Buckwheat being a nutritious option for people suffering from coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity is a great functional source of fibre, lipids, protein, and minerals. It also helps to balance blood glucose and improves fatigue, as well as supports stomach activity and acts as a prebiotic (Gimenez-Bastida and Zieliński, 2015).
Milled Linseed (Flaxseed) – Another great source of fibre in this recipe, but also a great way how to add omega-3-fatty acids into your diet, which aid anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes. They also contribute to brain health, especially in pregnancy, when consumed linseed can be a good source of omega-3-fatty acids for brain development. Further related to women’s health, dietary linseed can prevent menopausal symptoms (Aliani et al., 2019).
Cinnamon – My favourite ingredient when it comes to taste but also for its glucose homeostasis properties (Kawatra and Rajagopalan, 2015), especially when you prefer your bananas ripe. Keeping your glucose levels without any major spikes can help you to maintain your energy levels throughout the day, without the later need to binge.
Nut butter – An optional side ingredient in this recipe, however, very functional for those who want to feel energised after their meal. The secret is the calories – nut butter is rich in lipids, which provide more energy per weight than carbohydrates or protein. Similar to the origin of the Pancake Day; consuming fat to make you last longer, so you can face the day (or the lent).
I tend to change the type of nut butter I have with my pancakes to increase the variety in my diet, providing more nutrients. My favourites are almond butter, hazelnut, and cocoa butter or good old smooth peanut butter from a sustainable source.
Yogurt – Yogurt brings all the flavours together and has many beneficial properties, such as gut health supporting probiotics (Johnston et al., 2017), feeding your little gut zoo (also known as the microbiota).
Aliani, M., Austria, J., Maddaford, T., Netticadan, T., Parikh, M. and Pierce, G. (2019). Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Nutrients, 11(5), p.1171.
Antonipillai, J., Apostolopoulos, V., Ashton, J., Stojanovska, L. and Tangalakis, K. (2017). Let’s Go Bananas! Green Bananas and their Health Benefits. PRILOZI, 38(2), pp.147-51.
Castelow, E. (2019). The History of Pancake Day. [online] Historic UK. Available at: https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Pancake-Day/ [Accessed 18 Feb. 2020].
Chen, G., Kuang, H., Wang, T., Yang, F. and Zhang, Y. (2018). The Impact of Egg Nutrient Composition and Its Consumption on Cholesterol Homeostasis. Cholesterol, 2018, pp.1-22.
Kawatra, P. and Rajagopalan, R. (2015). Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient. Pharmacognosy Research, 7(5), p.1.
Fernandez, M., Leite, J., de Ogburn, R., Puglisi, M., Ratliff, J. and VanHeest, J. (2010). Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutrition Research, 30(2), pp.96-103.
Gimenez-Bastida, J. and Zieliński, H. (2015). Buckwheat as a Functional Food and Its Effects on Health. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 63(36), pp.7896-913.
Johnston, C., Johnston, G. and Lisko, D. (2017). Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome. Microorganisms, 5(1), p.6.