Pancake Day is easily one of our favourite days of the year. It's a time to treat yourself and really indulge, and it's easier than you think to do this as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of reaching for the chocolate or sugar, why not try one of the exclusive pancake recipes we've created below? They're packed full of healthy nutrients and best of all, they taste great.
We all know green veg is good for us, but we bet you never thought you'd see it in a pancake? Well, these super-green pancakes are bursting with fresh flavours that are sure make your Pancake Day special!
How to make
These pancakes provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are great for your health. Including:
Not all fat is bad. In fact, it plays an important role in your body, provided you stick primarily to the unsaturated fat found in feta cheese and rapeseed oil.
The rapeseed oil in this recipe contains 50 per cent less fat than alternatives such as olive oil. This will help keep your cholesterol level down and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Feta is much lower in calories and saturated fat than other hard cheeses, such as cheddar, so it's a healthier way to get calcium into this dish.
Meanwhile, eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to help reduce the level of triglycerides (bad fats) in your blood. They also contain HDL cholesterol, (the good stuff) which helps remove LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) â€“ reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Beetroot and apple might sound like they belong in a salad, but this recipe allows you to turn them into a delicious pancake that perfectly balances these sweet and sharp flavours.
How to make
You've probably heard of antioxidants. You probably even know that they're good for you, but do you know why?
Well, they prevent damage to your cells from infections, so they play a vital role in keeping your body healthy.
Beetroot fibre has been shown to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body, specifically one called glutathione peroxidase, which is found in many vegetables. Rapeseed oil and eggs are also both excellent sources of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant.
Beetroot is one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid that's essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.
Of course, good old fibre plays an important part in the digestive process. The use of buckwheat flour instead of white flour ensures these pancakes are a great choice to support a healthy digestive system.
Apples are rich in Vitamin C and simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose. They have a low glycaemic index (around 29 to 44), which means that they cause less of a spike in your blood sugar levels than other foods that contain sugar.
Using almond milk and rapeseed oil significantly lowers the fat content of these pancakes. Almond milk contains less than half the fat of cow's milk, while rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat than most other cooking oils.
If you're worried that enjoying some pancakes could play havoc with your exercise routine, don't be! Recent evidence suggests that beetroot may have performance-enhancing benefits during exercise, increasing the blood flow to the working muscles due to its high nitrate profile.
Using buckwheat flour also means that there's an extra protein punch to these pancakes, stimulating muscle repair and weight loss.
Banana and cinnamon is a tried and tested dessert combo, and it's put to good use here in these delicious, healthy pancakes. Add a light, tasty mix of fresh berries and yoghurt and you're onto a real winner! Who said indulgence has to be bad for you?
How to make
The average egg contains about 4.6g of fat, but three quarters of this is the good, unsaturated kind, which actually helps to lower your cholesterol levels.
Bananas, as you probably know, are a significant source of potassium, which has shown to lower blood pressure and have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
Cinnamon is classed as a superfood, containing a range of antioxidants (which fight diseases) and anti-inflammatories (which relieve muscle soreness and age-related symptoms).
Additionally, cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is vital for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
As their name suggests, these healthy pancakes a crammed full of protein-rich ingredients.
Whilst it's not essential, a scoop of whey protein gives these pancakes an extra dose of this important nutrient, making this pancake a great post-exercise meal. Whey is rich in a branched-chain amino acid called leucine, which is a large contributor to muscle growth.
Of course, you're also getting a healthy dose of natural protein from the eggs in your batter.
Berries are a great source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol. In addition to protecting your cells, these plant compounds may reduce the risk of disease.
These pancakes add texture by using oats instead of flour, while the combination of cottage cheese and banana creates a wonderful creamy flavour. A classic topping of bacon and maple syrup adds the perfect balance of savoury and sweet.
How to make
Oats are a very good source of fibre, especially beta-glucan, which is great for your gut. They're also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Oats are the only source of a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, believed to have protective effects against heart disease.
Due to their beneficial health effects, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, oats have gained considerable interest as a health food.
You probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about your selenium levels, but this important nutrient is an antioxidant that helps fight the aging process, while it also supports immune system function. The cottage cheese in these pancakes provides all the selenium you need in a day.
As well as selenium, cottage cheese is high in calcium, an important component of healthy bone tissue. Getting enough calcium in your diet helps your heart, muscle and nerve function, too.
Almond milk and eggs are also rich in calcium. You'll be getting a healthy amount of this nutrient from three low-fat sources.
Maple syrup is rich in a number of essential minerals, such as zinc, iron, potassium and calcium. It also has a number of powerful antioxidants. Of course, it's also pretty high in sugar, so exercise caution to avoid using too much.
If you feel like pushing the boat out, smoked salmon is a real treat. The deep flavour combines perfectly with the asparagus in this delicate French-style pancake to create something truly special.
How to make
Government nutritional guidelines state that we should be eating two portions of fish a week. One of these should be an oily fish and salmon falls nicely into this category.
It's packed with healthy fats, including omega-3s, which are beneficial for brain health, cardiovascular health and bone lubrication.
It's found in eggs and rapeseed oil, but the biggest provider of Vitamin E in these pancakes is the asparagus. As well as being a natural antioxidant, Vitamin E is essential in improving your skin, hair and nail quality.
Spinach is rich in iron, a mineral that boosts red blood cells and is important for several vital human metabolic functions.
Have a great Pancake Day, everyone!