Sugar is one hell of a foodstuff. It’s craveable if not addictive, it can give you a high and a hangover even if you’re not a three-year-old, and it even has a holiday that encourages bingeing on it – Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, aka the one day of the year we all attempt to make pancakes.

Sure, a once-a-year feast of sugary pancakes with extra sugar (and perhaps the tiniest dash of lemon) isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’s an especially nice treat if you’re going to fast for Lent, but the blood sugar spikes it prompts can give the argument over who does the washing-up a certain edge.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Pancakes don’t have to be occasional indulgences and they don’t have to be confined to Pancake Day.

For one, they can be turned into a tasty protein powder delivery mechanism, as in our chocolate protein pancake recipe – but even without the protein, it only takes a few tweaks to put pancakes back on the menu all year round.

Those tweaks aren’t confined to just switching out your favourite sugary, chocolatey fillings for more healthy fare, but also adjusting the batter recipe. Myles Hooper of Mindful Chef recommends swapping out the standard batter ingredients for this tasty upgrade that will provide the fuel for all your most energetic activities.

A Healthier Pancake Batter

Blend six egg whites, 50g porridge oats, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of baking powder and 1tbsp natural yogurt in a food processor.

Now cook it in a frying pan and fill that puppy with one of these three options.

The Breakfast Booster

Kick-start your day with this spicy, protein-rich morning meal.

  • 75g ham hock
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1tsp paprika

The Workout Fueller

Packed with slow-release carbs, this cheesy feast will get your body primed for exercise. “Rosemary will increase blood flow, while the probiotics in stilton will help improve gut health,” says Hopper.

  • 100g sweet potato, cubed and sautéed
  • 15g stilton, crumbled
  • 1tsp chopped fresh rosemary

The Healthy Dessert

Sweet needn’t mean fattening with this chocolatey protein pudding. “Dark chocolate and blueberries contain antioxidants that help you recover after a tough session,” says Hopper.

  • 20g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 200ml natural yogurt
  • 50g blueberries