Pancake Day

Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday

Pancake Day is almost upon us (Tuesday 16th February 2021) and many ladies are starting to get cravings for pancakes! So which pancakes and toppings would be best with gestational diabetes?

You don’t have to go without, but if it is going to cause a binge then pancakes may be best left until your baby has arrived. Only you can make that decision, but I will share as many tips with you to having a successful Pancake Day with gestational diabetes!

spelt flour pancakes for pancake day
spelt flour pancakes

Traditional pancakes

The two issues with pancakes as a suitable GD food is that they are high in carbohydrates due to the flour used in making them and they lack protein and natural fats to help pair them.

Add additional sweet, high carbohydrate toppings or fillings and the total carbs can be very high, which can push blood sugar levels way too high.

Tips:
  • Eat your pancake as a ‘snack or meal’, rather than as a dessert following a meal. As a dessert it is too many carbs to process
  • Try to make your pancakes as thin as possible, like crêpes
  • Cook your pancakes in real butter or coconut oil rather than low-fat cooking sprays such as Frylight to increase the natural fat content
  • Decide which type of flour to use based on your tolerance to carbs (see table below)
  • Think carefully about the topping or filling, ideally adding additional foods to help pair the carbs which are high in protein and natural fats

Comparing flours

Flour can be very high in carbohydrates and with 90-100% of carbohydrates turning into glucose in our bloodstream, it is the flour that can cause high blood sugar levels that we struggle to process.

Flours which are wholegrain or wholewheat contain more fibre, take longer to break down and covert into glucose, therefore the spike in blood sugar levels can be slowed and decreased compared to highly refined flours such as white flour where much of the goodness has been stripped out.

Even lower in carbohydrates and often much higher in protein and fat (which helps food pairing) are nut or soya flours.  These specialist flours can be expensive and so a good widely available alternative is ground almonds. Ground almonds are much lower in carbs, but have a more dense and grainy texture.

For traditional thinner pancakes like crêpes, grounds almonds are not fine enough in texture (even when using finely ground almonds or ‘almond flour’). Ground almonds work well as a substitute flour in cakes or thicker pancakes like American style pancakes.

Type of flourCarbs per 100gProtein per 100gFat per 100g
Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed3.0g22.0g40.0g
Sukrin Almond Flour4.0g40.0g11.0g
Sukrin Sesame Flour6.0g46.0g19.0g
Whitworths Ground Almonds6.7g25.5g55.8g
Sukrin Coconut Flour18.0g19.0g14.0g
Sukrin Peanut Flour20.0g50.0g12.0g
Aldi The Foodie Market Organic Coconut Flour22.0g21.0g13.0g
Lucy Bee Organic Raw Coconut Flour27.2g15.8g11.3g
Holland & Barrett Soya Flour Power31.0g38.0g20.0g
KTC Gram Flour (Besan)55.0g22.0g3.2g
The Groovy Food Co Organic Coconut Flour58.0g18.0g12.0g
Allinson Wholemeal Self Raising Flour60.0g11.0g2.4g
Koh-I-Noor Besan Gram Flour63.0g21.0g4.5g
Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Spelt Flour63.6g13.3g2.5g
Doves Farm Organic Rye Flour64.1g7.8g1.9g
Allinson Wholemeal Plain Flour65.0g12.0g2.6g
McDougalls Self raising white flour67.9g9.9g1.4g
Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour68.0g13.2g2.1g
Be-Ro Light Plain Flour70.1g10.4g1.3g
Homepride Plain white flour70.8g9.73g0.9g
Doves Farm Gluten Free Flour80.1g4.8g0.9g

Gluten free flours

Some ladies pick up gluten-free flours and products, thinking they will be better for blood sugar levels. Gluten free flours have high amounts of carbohydrates and so should only be used for other dietary requirements, not control of blood sugar levels.

Choosing a gluten-free flour or product will not help your blood sugar levels

If you require gluten-free flour due to other dietary requirements, a product which may be beneficial is Sukrin FiberFin. This gluten-free flour additive is a naturally fine flour that is rich in fibre and can be added to your normal gluten-free flour. Adding this to gluten-free flour increases the fibre content and therefore lowers the GL (glucose load) of the product you are making which means that it will slow down the release of glucose.

Failing that, try one of the alternative pancake recipes below which do not use wheat flour at all!

Basic pancake recipe

Ingredients: 100g  plain flour, 2 eggs, 300ml milk (whole milk, almond milk, soya milk all work well and help with pairing), 1 tbsp oil (coconut oil or butter), plus extra for frying and a pinch of salt.

Recipe: Weigh out your chosen flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the 2 eggs, 1 tbsp of oil and a splash of milk. Mix ingredients into a smooth paste. Keep adding the milk bit by bit, mixing well until you have a well combined runny batter that would coat the back of a spoon.

Wipe some oil around a frying pan on a piece of kitchen towel, then heat on a moderate heat. Once hot, ladle the batter into the pan and tilt the pan around to spread the batter evenly. *Remember, thin pancakes will be better to tolerate. After 30 – 60 secs, you will be able to flip the pancake to brown on the other side.

Pancake Day

Spelt flour pancake recipe

Spelt flour is still pretty high in carbs, much like plain wheat flours, but it does contain more protein and fibre and has not been as processed, meaning it takes longer to digest and therefore can be slightly better for blood sugar levels. These spelt flour pancakes taste the same as traditional pancakes but mean you have a better chance of not causing a rapid spike in blood sugars.

Ingredients: 75g wholemeal spelt flour, 1 egg, 150ml whole, almond or soya milk and 1 tsp of butter or coconut oil for frying

Recipe: Add the spelt flour into a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the egg. Mix ingredients into a smooth paste. Add a splash of milk, mix, then keep adding the milk bit by bit, mixing well until you have a well combined runny batter that would coat the back of a spoon.

Wipe some butter or coconut oil around a frying pan on a piece of kitchen towel, then heat on a moderate heat. Once hot, ladle the batter into the pan and tilt the pan around to spread the batter evenly. *Remember, thin pancakes will be better to tolerate. After 30 – 60 secs, you will be able to flip the pancake to brown on the other side.

spelt flour pancakes for pancake day

Toppings

This is the chance to make your pancake more tolerable as you can things which contain protein and natural fats to help slow down the release of glucose from the flour:

chocolate ganache in jar
nutella6
Chocolate ganache
sugar free homemade nutella in a jar

Savoury Pancakes (Galettes)

Savoury toppings or fillings can change a pancake into a meal and can really help with food pairing making them more tolerable. Adding cheeses, meats, fish, tofu, avocado, Quorn or eggs and creamy sauces can really increase the protein and natural fat content and can make for a pleasant change.

You can add herbs, spices and cheese to the batter to infuse more flavour into the pancake and don’t forget to bulk up the meal with salad or vegetables too.

Buckwheat & Flaxseed Galette recipe

Traditional French galettes are made from buckwheat, or a mix of buckwheat and another wheat flour. To help make these galettes more tolerable, I add flaxseed into the recipe to increase the protein and fat content.

Ingredients: 75g buckwheat flour, 2 tbsp milled (ground) flaxseed, 1 large egg (beaten), 100ml whole, almond or soya milk, 100ml sparkling water, pinch of salt, 1 tsp butter or oil for frying

Recipe: Sift the buckwheat flour into a bowl, then add the milled flaxseed and salt. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the beaten egg. Mix ingredients into a smooth paste. Add a splash of milk, mix, then keep adding the milk bit by bit and then the sparkling water, mixing well until you have a well combined runny batter that would coat the back of a spoon.

Wipe some butter or coconut oil around a frying pan on a piece of kitchen towel, then heat on a moderate heat. Once hot, ladle the batter into the pan and tilt the pan around to spread the batter evenly. *Remember, thin pancakes will be better to tolerate. After 30 – 60 secs, you will be able to flip the pancake to brown on the other side.

Add the filling of your choice to the middle and fold the edges over to create an envelope. Finish in the oven if you add ingredients which need cooking, or flip the galette over in the pan to finish.

The longer the galette is left to cook in the oven, the more crisp it will become!

Vegan Buckwheat & Flaxseed Galette recipe

For a vegan version of these galettes, simply make a couple of tweaks to the recipe…

For this recipe you need 1 flax egg.

Recipe to make one flax egg, add 1 tbsp of milled (ground) flaxseed to 2½ tbsp of recently boiled but cooling water. Stir well and allow to rest for 15 minutes. This will cause the flax seed to swell and become gelatinous.

flax egg

Ingredients: 75g buckwheat flour, 2 tbsp milled (ground) flaxseed, 1 flax egg,  ½ tsp baking powder, 100ml almond or soya milk, 100ml sparkling water, pinch of salt, 1 tsp oil for frying

I’ve used a cast iron pan here which increases the iron content in the food cooked! A huge bonus for those that are struggling to add enough iron into their diet.

Recipe: Sift the buckwheat flour into a bowl, then add the 2 tbsp dry milled flaxseed, baking powder and salt. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the flax egg. Mix ingredients. Add a splash of milk to create a paste, mix, then keep adding the milk bit by bit and then the sparkling water, mixing well until you have a well combined runny batter that would coat the back of a spoon.

Wipe some coconut oil or vegetable oil around a frying pan on a piece of kitchen towel, then heat on a moderate heat. Once hot, ladle the batter into the pan and tilt the pan around to spread the batter evenly. *Remember, thin pancakes will be better to tolerate. After 30 – 60 secs, you will be able to flip the pancake to brown on the other side.

Add the filling of your choice to the middle and fold the edges over to create an envelope. Finish in the oven if you add ingredients which need cooking, or flip the galette over in the pan to finish.

Toppings to avoid

  • Nutella – with a carb content of 57.6g per 100g (that’s 8.6g of carbs or over 2 tsp of sugar per 15g serving!)
  • sugar, honey, maple or golden syrup
  • ripe banana
  • high fructose fruits (see our main dietary page for info. on fruit)
  • chocolate or caramel sauce
  • fruit sauces, jams and compôtes
  • Crêpes Suzette
  • additional starchy, sweet or higher carb vegetables
sugar

Low carb pancakes

You can make pancakes easily buy omitting the flour element, but the texture of these ‘pancakes’ is very different to the traditional British pancake eaten on pancake day. These type of pancakes will not spike blood sugar levels as high, but you should still be careful with toppings added to them.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

These sweet coconut flour pancakes are low carb, sugar free, nut free and gluten free. Perfect as an American style pancake to serves with berries and yogurt or crispy streaky bacon and some sugar free syrup! Yum

Coconut Pancakes4
coconut flour pancakes with bacon and sugar free syrup
Coconut Pancakes2

Banana Pancakes

These are a Gestational Diabetes UK Mums favourite breakfast!

Ingredients: 1 small or ½ a large slightly green to yellow banana (this is important as it contains less sugar!)2 large eggs, butter or coconut oil, Greek full fat yoghurt, a few berries, almonds, seeds

Recipe: Mash the banana, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add the mashed banana to the eggs and mix until blended. Heat a frying pan and add butter or coconut oil. Drop the batter into the pan (2 tbsp per pancake), fry for 1 minute, or until the bottom of the pancake has browned slightly. Flip the pancake over (very gently as the mixture is fairly wet meaning the pancakes can break easily) and cook the other side. Serve warm with full fat Greek yoghurt, berries, nuts, seeds and add sweetener or sugar free syrup if you wish

Almond and Flaxseed Pancakes

Ingredients: 330g ground almonds or almond flour, 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda, 3 large eggs, 180ml unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or whole milk, 2 tbsp extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted.

Recipe: Combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency. Lightly oil a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Pour 4 tbsp of batter onto the pan. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with full fat greek yoghurt, berries, nuts and seeds. Or for an American style treat, try serving with rashers of streaky bacon, drizzled with agave nectar! Recipe from Popsugar

Basic ground almond pancakes

These pancakes are great for a thicker ‘cakey’ textured pancake, like an American style pancake. They are very filling and can be topped with any of your favourite toppings.

Ingredients: 125g ground almonds, 200ml milk, 2 eggs, pinch of salt and oil or butter for frying

Recipe: combine ingredients to make a batter. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a moderate heat. These pancakes work better when made as smaller pancakes, so pour a small amount of batter into the frying pan at a time. Once browned on one side, flip to fry on the other.

Serve with sweetener or sugar free syrup and lemon or any of your favourite toppings.

My breakfast burrito wraps

These wraps are soft light and fluffy, much like pancakes. Here’s the recipe for making 1 large wrap.

breakfast burrito
Ingredients: 1 large egg, 1 tsp coconut flour, 1 handful grated cheese, 1 pinch salt & ground black pepper, 1 splash Whole full fat milk, 1 tsp butter or coconut oil for frying
 
Add the egg, coconut flour, cheese, milk, salt & pepper into a jug and whisk. Heat a frying pan on a med-high heat and add the butter or coconut oil ready for frying.  Pour just enough of the batter into the frying pan to coat the pan, like you would when making a regular pancake. When the edges of the wrap are golden and come away from the pan with ease, then gently turn the wrap over to cook the other side.
 
This recipe is taken from the membership recipes. To see the full recipe including the ingredients used for filling, please see Hungry Jo’s Breakfast on the Go!
 
You don’t need to miss out. Make a good choice and enjoy!!
enjoy Pancake day!

Happy Pancake Day ladies!