Next Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, or perhaps you know it better as Pancake Day. Traditionally this was the day when you ate up all the rich food in the house ready for Lent. Just because you are trying to lose weight, you don’t have to miss out on pancakes. They make a great sweet or savoury treat – at any time of the year.

Here are some recipes and ideas to help you enjoy Pancake Day – and they’re all sugar-free!!!

Basic Pancake Recipe – makes 8 – 10 pancakes

112g/4oz plain flour                Pinch of salt
½ pint skimmed milk              Low fat cooking spray
Lemon juice                            1 medium sized egg

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, add the egg and half of the skimmed milk and beat to a smooth batter. Stir in the remaining milk. Mist a non-stick pan with the cooking spray and pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter mixture – enough to cover the base of the pan evenly. Cook over a medium heat until golden brown. Toss or turn the pancake over to cook the other side. Keep warm between two plates over a pan of simmering water.
If you are using a 7” pan, this mixture will make 10 pancakes at 60 calories each.
If you’re using an 8-9” pan, it will make 8 pancakes at 75 calories each.

There are some delicious ways to enjoy your pancakes. Try Fruit Pancakes – approximately 120 calories per pancake. Mix together 28g/1oz Philadelphia Extra Light Cream Cheese with ½ teaspoon icing sugar. Add chopped raspberries, blueberries and strawberries or any frozen fruit of your choice and spoon over the pancake. Mmmmmm!

If you don’t like plain pancakes, ring the changes with one of these alternatives. You can make Chocolate Pancakes by stirring in 14g/½oz cocoa powder to the flour mixture. These are around 85 calories per serving. Or for Spice Pancakes, add 1 teaspoon of mixed spice to the flour for extra flavour – 75 calories per pancake. And for  one of my favourites, Zingy Zesty Pancakes, grate in the zest of ½ a lemon or orange for a tasty alternative – 75 calories per pancake.

Why not try a savoury pancake instead. Here are two ideas to get you started.

Hot Chicken Pancake – serves 1 – approx.. 162 calories

Sizzle 56g/2oz ready-cooked chicken, half a chopped red pepper and a pinch of Cajun seasoning with low fat cooking spray. When hot, spoon the mixture over a hot pancake, roll up and enjoy!

Ham, Leek and Mushroom Pancakes – serves 4 – approx.. 150 calories per portion

Chop 2 small leeks and 1 onion and pop into a non-stick pan. Shred 112g/4oz wafer thin ham, slice 112g/4oz mushrooms and add to the pan. Fry for a minute or two. Make up ½ pint Slimtone Cheese Sauce and add to the leek mixture. Stir until thickened. Fill the pancakes with the mixture, roll and place in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with 28g/1oz low-fat cheddar cheese and pop in the oven until the cheese melts. Serve with Slimtone coleslaw and salad.

Enjoy Pancake Day – and get tossing!!