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Who doesn’t love National Pancake Day?

Updated: 
September 26, 2017 - 12:05am

Yippee! Warm, fluffy, comforting pancakes have their own recognition day today.

Even nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so this is one “national day” we should embrace, right? They may not encourage us to eat pancakes every day, and would probably remind us that pancakes are not meant to be receptacles for large pools of butter and maple syrup.

Here’s a few recipes for celebrating pancakes with a little less guilt. These might actually get the seal of approval.

Stuffed Pancakes

Worried about too many carbs? These protein-rich pancakes will balance things out.

Recipe from “The 3-Hour Diet” Cookbook by Jorge Cruise; makes 4 servings.

8 frozen pancakes

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

3 cups 1% cottage cheese

2 cups pitted cherries (thawed if using frozen; drained if canned)

Four 6-ounce glasses skim milk

Heat pancakes in a toaster according to package instructions.

In a bowl, combine ricotta and cottage cheese.

Top each pancake with 1/4 cup cheese mixture and 1/4 cup cherries.

Serve each person two pancakes and one glass of milk.

Pumpkin and Ginger Pancakes

Energize with these sweet and savory, comforting pancakes that offer a little something extra: just a half cup of pumpkin has about 5 times the RDA for Vitamin A, plus minerals and iron. Recipe from “Morning Food” by Margaret Fox; makes 10 to 12 pancakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons melted butter

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients; stir until just blended. Heat a griddle until a drop of water placed on the surface moves around. Grease surface; use about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. When bubbles appear on surface of pancake and pop, flip over to cook the other side until browned. Finish with remaining batter. Serve hot.

Apple Pancakes with Maple Syrup Butter

Add some fiber and natural sweetness with fresh apples, then top with an easy portion-control of butter-syrup combo. Recipe from “Brunch” by Jennifer Donovan; makes 18 pancakes, for 4 to 6 servings.

Pancakes:

Scant 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

Scant 1/2 cup superfine sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg

Scant 1 cup milk

2 apples, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon butter

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon; make a well in center. Beat egg and milk together; pour into the well. Using a wooden spoon, gently incorporate dry ingredients into liquid until well combined, then stir in the grated apple. Heat the teaspoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat until melted and bubbling. Add tablespoons of batter to form 3-1/2-inch circles. Cook pancakes about a minute, until bubbling lightly on top and looking set, then flip over and cook the other side about 30 seconds, or until cooked through. Pancakes should be golden brown; if not, increase heat a bit. Remove and keep warm. Repeat process until all batter is used. If batter thickens, add some milk.

Maple Syrup Butter:

3 ounces butter, softened

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Melt butter and maple syrup in a pan over low heat; stir until combined. Spoon a little over each stack of pancakes and serve warm.

Arabian Pancakes with Orange-Flower Syrup

Pancakes go upscale in this sweet, aromatic, cardamom-scented Middle Eastern version. Perfect for a dinner party and just plain exotic, especially served for dessert. You can make the syrup in advance and store in refrigerator; bring to room temperature before using. Recipe from “Forever Summer” by Nigella Lawson; makes about 20 small pancakes, for 8 to 10 servings.

Orange-Flower Syrup:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon orange-flavor water*

In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to boil over medium heat, swirling pan to help sugar dissolve; do not stir. When boiling, add lemon juice, reduce heat a little, and simmer about 10-15 minutes until syrup coats the back of a spoon. Add orange-flower water; simmer another 5 minutes, then cool. Chill in a jar in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature before using.

Pancakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch ground cardamom

3 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt

1/2 cup low fat milk

1 large egg

1/4 cup almond oil (or substitute 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled)

1 to 2 handfuls shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl. Measure the yogurt into a 2-cup measuring cup and, stirring with a fork, pour in the milk until you hit the 1 1/4 cup mark. (Add a little more milk if not quite to the mark.) Whisk in the egg, then almond oil or butter. Add wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir. It should turn into a thick, fluffy batter. Heat a dry skillet; when hot, add about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake, using the back of a spoon to form round shape. When bubbling a little on top, flip them over and cook other side to a golden brown. Keep pancakes warm under foil till finished. When ready to eat, drizzle with cooled syrup and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

*Look for orange-flavor water in the international foods section of your market, in specialty gourmet shops, or Middle Eastern markets.

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