Another week, another #iso food trend. Enter: pancake cereal. It may not be the healthiest, but dietitian Melissa Meier explains how you can make this trending breakfast option more nutritious and less calorie-laden.
So far in iso, you’ve baked a million loaves of banana bread, mastered your own sourdough and even tried your hand at a sugar-free Dalgona coffee.
Now what? Say hello to pancake cereal. In case you’re wondering, it’s a new take on your brekkie bowl – except instead of flakes made from wheat, corn or oats, these flakes are mini pancakes.
Yes, it sounds delicious, but there’s a few things you need to cover if good health is on your radar.
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Is pancake cereal healthy?
Although it sounds simple, this question isn’t as easy to answer as you might think (it’s a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string kind of conundrum). Traditional pancakes made from white flour and sugar obviously aren’t an ‘everyday’ breakfast. These typical pancakes are loaded with quick energy that will spike your blood sugars, and are low in hunger-busting protein and fibre, so you won’t stay full for long.
Then there’s pancakes of the healthier variety. You know, the ones made with oats or wholemeal flour for long-lasting energy… Fruit instead of added sugar for natural sweetness… Eggs, chia seeds and almond meal for a boost of heart-healthy fats… That’s my kind of healthy decadence.
So, to answer your question ‘is pancake cereal healthy?’, it really depends on the type of pancake you choose. If it’s a once in a blue moon treat, go hell for leather on whichever variety you like. Top it with ice cream for all I care! But if you’re hoping to add pancake cereal to your usual brekkie rotation now that you’ve got a helluva lot more time on your hands (goodbye morning commute!), it’ll pay to opt for a pancake recipe that’s a little more nutritious.
Now your brekkie base is sorted, let’s move onto the toppings. If you’re a drench-your-pancakes-in-maple-syrup kinda gal, I’d recommend you ease up a little. That’s because maple syrup (as well as honey, brown rice syrup and rice malt syrup, for that matter) is a type of as added sugar, which is the kind you want to minimise.
For a hint of natural sweetness instead, I’d recommend fresh fruit, like sliced banana or berries. Not only will you get that sought-after sweetness, you’re also in for a good dose of micronutrients to keep your body working it’s best, as well as fibre to support a happy, healthy gut.
Butter, Nutella and whipped cream are other usual pancake toppings – but you guessed it, I’d recommend you skip them if you’re plating up an everyday brekkie. While they’re delicious, they’re energy-dense and high in saturated fat, which isn’t good news for your heart health.
A lighter choice is plain Greek yoghurt – it’ll provide a boost of muscle-building protein and calcium to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Alternatively, you could opt for plain milk as you would your normal cereal, or a calcium-fortified alternative if dairy isn’t for you.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.