Every Mother’s and Father’s Day for as long as I can remember, my family has had pancakes. At some point during my childhood, making these pancakes gradually went from being a job for Mum to a job for me, and for over a decade I have been in charge. This Father’s Day I thought I would add my own sneaky secret fibre twist, with something that’s always hanging out in my cupboard – oats.
What’s so great about oats?
Oats contain β-glucan, which is a type of soluble fibre (1). This forms a thick and sticky gel in your guts, and it’s thought that by doing this it can slow down digestion, which:
- keeps you full for longer (1, 2),
- with daily consumption, reduces LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels in your blood, without affecting HDL (“good” cholesterol) (2, 3, 4),
- for people with type 2 diabetes, can help with controlling blood sugar levels by delaying the release of glucose into the blood after a meal (4, 5, 6).
And oats are delicious! In my opinion. 😉 β-glucans are also found in barley (4), which is great in soups and stews.
The recipe was based on one from Taste.com.au for ‘Blueberry and Vanilla Pancakes‘. I decided to soak the oats in the milk overnight Bircher muesli-style so that they would be less obvious (and more of a secret) in the finished product.
I’ve also included a recipe for maple syrup apples, which is something I made up a few years ago that has now become a regular part of the pancake experience.
What difference did it make?
Below is the nutritional information (per pancake – I usually get about 14) for the original recipe and my variation. The addition of oats added 0.2g fibre per pancake and 0.7g per serve – not a huge difference, but there’s definitely scope for further experimentation with the quantity of oats I put in.
I’ve also got nutritional information for my apples compared to plain maple syrup, for comparison (recipe serves 4 – equivalent of half an apple and about 1/8 cup maple syrup). A bit of extra fruit never hurts in the fibre game – the half apple provides about 2g.
The recipe – Blueberry, oat and vanilla pancakes with maple syrup apples
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat milk
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, extra
- 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
- Vegetable oil (for cooking)
Maple syrup apples:
- 2 large apples, cored and sliced thinly (I used Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
- Combine oats, milk and vanilla in a jug; stand for a few hours or overnight.*
- Whisk egg into milk mixture.
- Sift flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
- Make a well in centre. Add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined. Stir in extra vanilla and blueberries.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush pan with a little oil. Using about 1/4 cup mixture per pancake, cook 2-3 pancakes for 3-4 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining mixture, brushing pan with oil between batches. Serve with maple syrup apples.
- To make maple syrup apples: Brush pan with a little oil, add apples. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until apples are partially cooked. Stir through maple syrup. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until apples are cooked. Stir through a dash of cinnamon and serve.
*If you don’t mind being able to see/feel the oats, then this step is unnecessary – I reckon just stir the oats through the flour mix before step 4 and it should work out beautifully.
How did my family react?
I’m a terrible secret-keeper so couldn’t help saying that these were “experimental”, which turned breakfast into a bit of a guessing game. The oats were pretty imperceptible though – after all my fruit cake shenanigans the first guess was prunes!
I personally think I could have afforded to add more oats (I love oats), but that’s an experiment for Mother’s Day! Do you have any fun family food traditions? Feel free to share in the comments.