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Healthy Pancake Toppings & Recipes for a Family Shrove Tuesday Meal

Pancakes have come a long way since a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar.

They’ve transitioned from annual indulgence to a nutritious breakfast or meal option, with the internet ablaze with healthy pancake recipes.

Here are our top tips for making healthy pancakes along with some of our favourite tantalising toppings – all of which deliver BIG in the flavour and nutrition stakes!

Healthy pancake recipe

It’s not too difficult to modify the recipe for traditional pancakes, resulting in a healthier meal.


  • Flour – For healthier pancakes use wholemeal or whole wheat flour. This produces whole wheat pancakes, which are high in fibre and nutrients such as Vitamin D and folate. Oat flour, almond flour and quinoa flour can be used as an alternative. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free flour.
  • Baking powder – The baking powder helps the pancakes to rise.
  • Milk – Whether you’re using cow’s milk, or almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative, milk adds flavour and texture to the pancake batter. Some prefer to substitute the milk for greek yoghurt, which adds protein, moisture and a fluffier rise.
  • Salt – Optional, for added seasoning.
  • Maple syrup – Great for added sweetness. Real maple syrup is a plant-based product, and like many plant-based foods, it is rich in antioxidants.
  • Eggs – Eggs are needed to bind the mix.
  • Add-ins for flavour – the options are endless! Think vanilla essence, lemon zest, mashed banana, warm spices, blueberries or nuts!

Adding more wholesome ingredients, or making healthier substitutions, will boost the nutritional value of your pancake recipes.


Pancakes are super simple to make and a great meal for children to help prepare. Kids will feel a huge sense of achievement and appreciate the finished product all the more.

  1. Start by combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Next, combine the wet ingredients in a different bowl.
  3. Combine both the dry and wet mixtures and mix or blend thoroughly so that all ingredients are incorporated. Loosen with a dash more milk if the batter is too thick.
  4. Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter or spoonful of olive oil – grown-up supervision is especially important here!
  5. Pour a cup-full of the pancake mix into the pan and leave for approximately 3 minutes until the pancake turns golden brown. Lift the corner of the pancake gently with a spatula or fish slice to check it’s cooked. If so….
  6. FLIP! Check the coast is clear before you do!
  7. Cook the other side for another 3 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with toppings of your choice!

Pancakes will keep in an airtight container for several days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer, so it’s worth making a large batch to use for quick dinners or a healthy breakfast.

Best healthy toppings for delicious pancakes

Make your own almond butter

Nutella is a firm favourite with children but it’s worth considering making your own version if you want to reduce sugar content. Plus, it’s a nutritious alternative for those with a sweet tooth!

  1. Gently roast your almonds in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove and cool before adding to a blender.
  3. Add a drizzle of honey before blending the lot thoroughly.
  4. Spread onto pancakes and top with banana slices.
  5. To boost the chocolate taste, sprinkle with a few chocolate chips.

This recipe can also be made with hazelnuts to produce a delicious hazelnut butter.

banana and oatmeal pancakes

Chia seeds and strawberries

Chia seeds pack a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits. From being loaded with antioxidants, to containing calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which are super for bone health, chia seeds (black or white) will give your healthy pancakes an instant boost!

Simply incorporate two tablespoons into the batter mix for delicious chia seed pancakes. Serve with fresh strawberries, low-fat yoghurt and a slice of lemon.

Healthy banana oatmeal pancakes

It’s possible to supplement flour in your pancake recipe with oats, which are one of the healthiest grains in the world.

Oats are not only nutritious and high in antioxidants but they can help to lower cholesterol.

Take advantage of these health benefits by swapping your flour for rolled oats. When combining your batter, add the oats to the blender to obtain a smooth, fine texture.

Add mashed bananas to the mixture for natural added sweetness and once cooked, top with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.

Spinach pancakes

Vibrant and colourful, spinach pancakes are great fun – especially for the Hulk fans in your life!

Spinach’s health benefits are far-reaching; it has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for vision plus supports heart health and healthy bones. Excellent for growing kids!

Spinach gets blended into the batter mix so it easily flies under the radar of fussy eaters. Once cooked, balance the spinach flavour with bacon and poached eggs, or fresh berries and maple syrup. Delicious for breakfast!

Salmon pancakes

As a treat – and a fast, nutritious supper – try topping your pancakes with hearty, healthy fare like smoked salmon and avocado.

Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which gives it its status as a ‘brain food’, and it can help to support heart health.

Smoked salmon is pricey but it’s a nice way to elevate the humble pancake. Serve with creme fraiche and lemon zest, or slices of avocado, which are high in fibre and packed with nutrients.

Salmon pancakes edited

Versatile veggies

As parents, we’re always looking for ways to increase the number of vegetables we incorporate into our child’s diet.

Fortunately, pancakes are a super vehicle to do this. Sweet potato and pumpkin are delicious when added to the pancake mixture – simply puree first. When cooked and ready to eat, top with walnuts and maple syrup.

Or finely grated carrot gives a fast nutritional boost to pancakes, again, when added to the batter mixture before cooking. It tastes delicious with orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg – think carrot cake in pancake form!

Rainbow pancakes

Fresh fruit is one of the most versatile and healthy pancake toppings going. From blackberries and honey to apples and cinnamon, there is a multitude of different ways to top your pancakes.

Buy fresh lemons and squeeze them to make your own lemon juice. Then grate the unwanted lemon skin to make a lively lemon zest, which tastes wonderfully punchy when incorporated into the batter mix. The same applies to freshly squeezed oranges and orange zest.

Banana slices go particularly well with fresh blueberries, strawberries and Greek yoghurt, or a generous dollop of almond butter.

Or try kiwi fruit slices with blueberries and fresh mint. Adding herbs will put a healthy and tasty spin on any pancake!

To add an element of fun, why not make cheeky face pancakes? Simply chop your pancake into triangles and assemble them to form a mouth before laying out chopped-up fresh fruit to create your face’s eyes, nose, ears, and eyebrows. Grapes, raspberries, strawberries, and melon are ideal for feature formation!

Make your own coconut cream

Those with a sweet tooth may relish in the indulgence of a scoop of whipped cream on a pancake. Substitute this with homemade coconut cream, which makes for a tasty dairy-free alternative.

All you need is a tin of full-fat coconut milk. Pour the contents into a bowl and leave it to chill in the fridge overnight. The solid coconut will rise to the top. Scoop the hardened coconut and put it into a mixer for mixing.

As with whipped cream, the coconut will gradually thicken and stiffen. When the peaks start to form, turn off the mixer and sweeten with vanilla essence, honey, or maple syrup.

Sweeten to taste then store the whipped cream in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Dollop onto your stack of pancakes for a sweet treat – it’s delicious with nuts and bananas.

Share your healthy pancake recipes

We’d love to see pictures of your healthy pancakes and tasty toppings!

Whether for breakfast, dinner, or a nutritious snack, share your creations with us using #PremierPancakes.

Or tag us in your own healthy Shrove Tuesday creations on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.