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Pancakes are flour-based, flat cakes that are typically eaten for breakfast. They are commonly topped with butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, or fruit. Many people enjoy eating pancakes, but the ingredients in a traditional recipe are usually high in fat. Low-fat pancakes can be made by making modifications to a traditional recipe. Egg whites can be used as a substitute for whole eggs, and low-fat milk and a non-fat cooking spray may be used during preparation. The amount of fat in the pancake toppings can also be reduced by using fat-free maple syrup, whipped topping, or margarine.
The majority of fat in an egg comes from its yolk. Many traditional pancake recipes call for two whole eggs, but when making low-fat pancakes, four egg whites can be used instead. If the recipe being used calls for only one egg, two egg whites can be substituted. People with some cooking skills can separate the egg themselves, or packaged egg whites can be purchased at a supermarket.
Dairy milk is typically classified by the amount of fat that it contains. Pancake recipes may call for the use of whole or 2% milk in the batter, but the overall fat content of the pancakes can be reduced by using 1% or fat-free milk. In most cases, the amount of milk used in a recipe should remain the same no matter which type of milk is used.
Pancakes are generally cooked on a hot griddle or in a skillet, and butter is often used to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the cooking surface. Using butter in this way can add a lot of fat and calories to each pancake. To make low-fat pancakes, a quality non-stick skillet could be used without the need for oil or butter, or a low-fat cooking spray can be applied to the cooking surface instead.
The toppings used on pancakes can greatly affect the fat content of the dish. Low-fat pancakes can be made by using toppings that are lower in fat than traditional ones. The healthiest topping option is fresh fruit, such as sliced bananas or strawberries. Many retailers also make low-fat versions of common pancake toppings, like maple syrup and whipped topping, and these can be used to get traditional flavors without added fat. Butter is one of the most popular pancake toppings, but there are many low-fat margarines or buttery spreads that taste like butter yet have as little as one-third the amount of fat of regular butter.