Last week I went home to spend time with my parents. It is crazy to think that when I was a teenager, I could not wait to leave home and now that I am adult, I wish I could spend more time there! While at home, we made whole pumpkin spelt muffins (which are addictive beware!). We had some leftover pumpkin purée which we used a few days later to make pumpkin pancakes (I used pumpkin spice mix instead of nutmeg). These were also delicious and idiot proof to make which I often need. I am not under any delusion that pancakes are healthy but who really wants to live in a world without pancakes? I decided to look into the ingredients and see if there was any room to make healthy changes. Please note that food pictures and nutrition information are from Fooducate.com (one of my favorite websites!).
In the past, we used to use Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix.
Here is a list of the ingredients: enriched flour bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), corn starch, dextrose, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), canola oil, salt, sugar, datem, distilled monoglycerides. contains wheat ingredients.
If ingredients are not your concern, it is easy (and cheaper) to make a Bisquick equivalent at home (see recipe here from another great blog).
I also like to top my pancake with cinnamon and a little bit of butter. At the grocery store, there seems to be countless varieties of butter and margarine to choose from.
Ingredients: Liquid Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Whey, Salt, Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides and Soy Lecithin (Emulsifiers), Sodium Benzoate (to Preserve Freshness), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene (Source of Vitamin A), Vitamin D3.
The Mayo Clinic says that compared to butter, margarine is healthier because it does not contain cholesterol. This is a valid point for consideration. My health goal, however, is to try my best to stay away from processed foods.
I used to buy I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
Ingredients: Vegetable Oil Blend (Liquid Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Liquid Canola Oil), Water, Natural Sweet Cream Buttermilk (Adds a Dietarily Insignificant amount of cholesterol), Salt, Vegetable Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Soy Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene (for Color)
This does not look good. I decided to look into actual real butter.
Trader Joe’s Butter Quarters
Ingredients: Pasteurized cream.
This product is high in saturated fat so should be consumed sparingly. For me, though, I prefer to consume the real thing on a rare occasions compared to processed alternatives. I have also found good substitutes for butter.
So ghee is technically a class of clarified butters (read about it here) but for my purposes, I use the terms interchangeably.
Ingredients: unsalted butter, contains milk
I LOVE this stuff. It is also shelf stable and lasts a really long time unrefrigerated. You can actually even make ghee at home. I have not yet done so but I did find a recipe that I think I could handle without messing things up too bad. Also, for your viewing pleasure, I included a picture from the same site of the part of butter that is removed when making ghee.
Looks appetizing right 🙂
There are also good substitutes for butter including applesauce, olive oil, coconut oil, Greek yogurt, and fruit purée. For me, butter substitutions are okay sometimes when baking. If anyone has other substitutions or input I would love to hear them. I have actually gotten lots of good tips from other people’s comments (both to my blog and others I follow). Happy eating! – Jennie