Sunday, 19 February 2012

Food For Thought - Pancake Day!

Shrove Tuesday 2012 - 21st February 

We love Pancakes, and will definitely be celebrating this Tuesday indulging in lots of yummy pancakes!! Mmm mmmm...... You may wonder why much of the population dust off their large frying pans and start tossing pancakes this time of year!?! Well Shrove Tuesday falls the day before lent begins (Ash Wednesday) which traditionally is a time of abstinence, of giving up things. So it’s the last chance to indulge or in many people’s cases, that excuse to see how many pancakes they can eat in one sitting (Check out our delicious pancake recipe below!). Some even celebrate with pancake races. Tossing pancakes on the run sounds pretty fun hey! 

Monster Glasgow Pancake Race next year anyone!?!

What is lent? The idea back in the day was that people use up 'forbidden' foods before Lent in order to avoid spoiling and waste. (Fat, butter and eggs were forbidden being luxury items). The 40 days of lent would then allow them to reflect inwards, spiritually grow and connect with Jesus who fasted for 40 days and nights before the Easter feast.

So why am I posting all this!?!  Although many of us may not be Christian and perhaps some Christians feel maybe the meaning of Lent has been lost, I see it as a good time to make a fresh start and give something up!?! Why not! We all want to develop, become healthier and happier and this is a great time to do it. Food is such an important part of our being and as they say, you are what you eat!

I have personally never participated in lent, but this year I’ve decided why not!?! So why not join me and many others out there and give something up. In my case Sugar! Arrrghh... I typed it! Should have just typed Chocolate. No going back now (this is a big deal for anyone who knows me!). Growing up with mum’s delicious cakes and like many now enjoying all things sugary (throughout the day) it's going to be tough! The plan is to significantly cut back on my sugar and chocolate so its not an addiction, but in balance, and 90% natural sugars.

Last year while taking some time out in Thailand I decided to do something different rather than just laze about on the lovely beaches and undertake a detox program (madness, I know!). And you wouldn’t believe it, it was one of the best things I ever did. Hilary, the lady who ran the course was a fountain of knowledge and really educated us fully on food, the impact it has on the body while also providing a concoction of herbs and a special detox diet.

I felt fantastic afterwards. The best I can remember ever feeling! I was bouncing around, rejuvenated, full of energy, with total clarity and feeling like pure health!  I realised how every meal has such a huge impact on our emotional and physical state and it felt a little crazy how many of us aren’t even aware the impact that a normal western diet has on our mood and overall health, and what we are doing to our bodies long-term. Our education, like our diet has gone so out of whack!  

Beach at Dharma Healing Centre, Thailand

So after Thailand my whole world of food changed and I was actually excited by the thought of healthy food! My boyfriend and I went “raw”, eating mainly raw fruits, vegetables nuts and seeds and it felt amazing, and the food tasted it (although it wasn’t always easy!). So now we eat a lot more consciously. Not so much raw but eat healthy wherever possible apart from the sugar addiction! So that’s why I want to break it. Get back in balance and feel fab again. Feeling full of life and not depleted in energy from another sugar crash!

So whether you feel the pull to give up a luxury of some sort, start a new diet or simply EAT the pancakes this Tuesday, hopefully you can take something from Lent spiritually or in some other way to allow yourself to grow, feel full of life and even happier! But first lets eat the pancakes.........


Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Note: there is some rest time inbetween.


140g plain flour
200ml whole milk
2 eggs
25g unsalted butter , melted, plus a little extra for greasing
sweet or savoury fillings

Makes 10-12 Pancakes

1. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a medium-size bowl and make a well in the middle. Mix the milk and 100ml of water together. Break the eggs into the well and start whisking slowly. Add the milk and water in a steady stream, whisking constantly and gradually adding the flour as you go.

2. Whisk until the batter is smooth and all the flour has been added. Put the batter to the side to rest for 30 mins, then whisk the melted butter into the batter.

3. Heat the pan over a medium heat. Very lightly grease the pan with melted butter. Using a ladle, pour roughly 2 tbsp of batter into the pan and swirl it around so the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. You want to use just enough batter to make a delicate, lacy pancake. Cook the pancake for about 45 secs on one side until golden and then using a palette knife or fish slice, flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 secs until it freckles.

4. Slide the pancake out of the pan and either serve immediately or stack on a plate with baking parchment in between. Continue until all the batter is used up.

5. Add flavour. 
You could add orange or lemon freshly squeezed, cinnamon or even finely chopped herbs to the batter, depending on what you fill the pancakes with.

I love adding freshly squeezed lemon afterwards, with some sugar sprinkled on top (surprise, surprise!) or maybe some nutella!


And for those of you who want a yummy healthier vegan option click here!

Flipping Brilliant!!!

By: Samantha @ Maia

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