By Chef Judi Gallagher.
Cutting back on sugar is one sure way to reduce calories and to train your body (and mind) to crave natural healthy foods. So many of the foods we buy already contain sugar that reading labels and rejecting high-sugar processed foods in the grocery store aisle is one of the easiest ways to not bring over-sugared products into the house. Another is to recognize that some of the food additives that we think are healthy are still sugar and should be rejected – honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, brown sugar, fruit juice concentrates, agave syrup – all make the enemies list. Carrots and watermelon are high in natural sugar and add unnecessary calories to one’s diet too.
But, I was thrilled to find many sugar-free preserves and options such as sugar-free pumpkin butter at my farmer’s market and at local supermarkets. And the makers of sugar substitutes have become famously efficient about providing substitution charts and information so that now we can confidently use artificial sweeteners when we cook and bake.
Foodies compelled to be sugar conscious because of diabetes or a will to lose weight don’t feel like they are missing a thing when tucking into one of my favorite Sunday morning breakfast options. (recipe below) These pancakes are so pretty and just so delicious they are destined to become a regular Sunday morning treat at your house. Don’t think of this breakfast as depriving yourself of anything. This isn’t deprivation, it’s a conscious choice to make something scrumptious and healthful. Be well.
Banana Yogurt Pancakes with Sugar-Free Berry Topping
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
1 packet sugar substitute
1 tablespoon baking soda
8 ounces plain fat-free organic yogurt
two ripe bananas mashed
½ cup skim milk
½ teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
Combine flour, sugar substitute, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. Add plain fat-free yogurt, bananas, skim milk, oil and pure vanilla. Stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated. Do not over mix. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Lightly coat a non- stick skillet or electric griddle (set at 350-degrees) with cooking spray. Ladle pancake batter evenly into pan, four at a time. When bubbles appear on the top, flip and cook other side until lightly brown. Serve with warm fruit compote and sugar-free options such as pumpkin butter.
Warm Fruit Compote
Fresh strawberries and blackberries (one pint of each)
1 small jar sugar-fee strawberry or sugar-free raspberry preserves
Approximately 3 tablespoons hot water.
Dice fruit and blend with hot water and sugar free preserves. Heat until fruit
begins to cook, about 20 minutes. Keep warm and use as a topping for the