I'm a classic of american breakfast, so much so that Donald prepares plenty for his grandchildren Qui, Quo and Qua. And they never fail even in the brunch English style. But, for some time now, it has become increasingly common to find them also in Italy: they are pancakes, the delicious pancakes that in America are served "washed down" with Maple syrup or smeared with peanut butter, but which in the Italian version can also be enjoyed in many other ways, namely with jams, sweet spreads or honey. But gourmets also love them with salmon or gorgonzola. I am over 4 million Italians who have (pleasantly) let themselves be conquered by these American pancakes, says a research conducted by Nielsen for Barilla, and over half of them enjoy them on the weekend at home, at breakfast or as a snack, and with the family.
Home made or ready-made?
The success of pancakes in Italy is confirmed byincrease in supply proposed by supermarkets and health food stores, where they are found in various versions: from those already ready, which should only be heated and stuffed, to those in the form of blend, dry or liquid, which can be cooked in a few minutes. Many, then, love to make them at home also because they are really simple. Just prepare a flour-based batter (you can use and experiment with all types of flours, from wheat, oats, spelled), eggs, milk, sugar and yeast. Once the dough is ready, pour some a spoon in a small non-stick pan (like the one used for crêpes) and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes, turning the pancakes halfway through cooking. The convenience is that the batter can be prepared on day before, stored in the refrigerator and taken out about half an hour before cooking the pancakes.
To each his own pancake
The beauty (and the good) of pancakes is that they can easily adapt to the needs of those who follow particular diets. Being made of few ingredients, all natural, they can be easily replaced in case of food intolerances or special diets. Who is it lactose intolerant can avoid milk and replace it with a vegetable drink (such as soy, rice, oat or almond), while those who struggle with cholesterol chooses those based on oats, the tastiest solution to eat the beneficial dose of anti-cholesterol beta-glucans every day. Plus, by removing the eggs, they turn into one vegan recipe. Anyone who loves alternative grains can use spelled or corn flour, while those who love Anglo-Saxon desserts can add banana puree or pineapple pieces to the mixture.
Pancakes are also accepted by many "raw food" gurus since this food philosophy also tolerates foods subjected to a light cooking (never higher than 40-42 °) and these pancakes can be cooked at a very low temperature in a dryer or, alternatively, in a semi-open ventilated oven kept at the minimum temperature. Cooked in this way, pancakes are a perfect base for strictly raw fruit, vegetables and fish.
At breakfast or as an aperitif?
Nutritionists also "promote" pancakes. Starting with breakfast, which must provide 20% of the daily calories. Objective achieved if in the morning meal you enjoy 60 g of pancakes (made with only egg whites) stuffed with 20 g of jam (or yogurt or ricotta), 30 g of dried fruit and 200 ml of unsweetened tea (or barley coffee). In addition to ensuring the right amount of energy to face the day, you arrive satiated and gratified until lunchtime. Instead the American version, the one with Maple syrup, is richer (in particular in sugars) and, therefore, should be reserved for the days when you dedicate yourself to aintense sporting activity. Unusual alternatives to crepes, pancakes can become a tasty and delicious main dish, if served with pesto or vegetable creams, tuna and diced tomatoes, or they can be served withaperitif, accompanying them with traditional blue cheeses, such as gorgonzola, and with soft and tasty cured meats, such as ciauscolo from Marche and n'duja from Calabria.
And who is on a diet?
To combine the pleasure of enjoying a rich pancake with attention to well-being, just choose how topping fresh fruit or raisins or two wisps of whipped cream. Or simply sprinkle the pancakes with a soft cloud of powdered sugar.
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