This recipe for no measuring scale pancakes makes the perfect weekend brunch. I know it’s been said to death but a good breakfast really does set you up for the day. Neither the mind nor the body can function without fuel and these pancakes have lots of healthy and tasty ingredients to get you moving in the morning. The recipe is really versatile; stuff them with any number of savoury or sweet fillings. Try sautéed mushrooms with fresh herbs, a dash of sour cream and a side of crispy bacon or classic lemon and sugar. Either way you won’t need any scales to make this recipe; here’s a little insight into why I hate the scales!
If left untreated, or perhaps unacknowledged is a better word, you can start to develop all sorts of unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety. These are an attempt to regain control over life but often they have disastrous repercussions.
About 9 years ago I was living in London, I had moved there alone to peruse my passion for cooking and study at Leith’s School of Food and Wine. To move to such a huge city without any friends or allies would be tough for anyone. For someone who suffers with social anxiety and really struggles with meeting new people and new situations it was even worse. I didn’t know at that point that what I was feeling wasn’t normal, I hadn’t had any help for my anxiety and I was thrown into turmoil. I loved the course and I so wanted to pursue this path that I hoped would lead me to my dream job, but I found it so hard to control the rising levels of anxiety from all the new experiences and challenges I was facing. I felt increasingly isolated, began to worry and panic about seemingly trivial things and didn’t want to tell my family about how I was feeling as I felt quite ashamed and embarrassed.
I became incredibly neurotic about everything that I ate. I would abstain from eating meals as much as possible and eat only what I had to, to avoid attracting any unwanted attention to myself. As you can imagine, being on a chefs training course, this wasn’t easy. Looking back if anything it made me stand out even more, and that was the thing that I was desperate to avoid. When I did have to eat I would weigh out all the ingredients to precision – 10g of cheese, 30g of pasta, 50g of tuna, it’s exhausting just recalling it now. Not only that I would weigh myself religiously, sometimes 2-3 times a day. Berating myself all the time if the number went up or didn’t move at all. I was deeply unhappy but looking back I guess it was the only way I could have got through that year, I am so pleased I did because it lead to so many great things work wise and life wise.
The consequences? I weighed a tiny 6 stone 4 by the end. I had no energy or motivation, suffered headaches, fatigue and was freezing cold all the time. My friends were so worried but were too afraid say anything and my family were distraught, my Mum used to cry when she saw me. The breaking point was when I got a bug, I was terribly sick and the doctor told me that I just didn’t have enough reserves to deal with it. I think it was the trigger I needed, I slowly began to learn how to enjoy eating again. It wasn’t easy but now I have such a healthy attitude and appreciation for eating to fuel my body. I exercise and although I’m still slim I’m a healthy weight.
One thing I never do now is weigh myself, I think it’s unhealthy to constantly track what the scales say, so much of it is down to muscle mass vs fat and the number on the scales has little relevance. I know when I’m eating a bit too much if my clothes start feeling snug and I’ll cut back a little. I always cook by eye too, no more neurotic weighing of cheese! Life is way too short to weigh out your cheese. So this recipe is a nod to those days, my no scales pancakes. You just need a mug or a US cup to make these.
No Scales Pancakes with Greek Yogurt & Pomegranate Syrup
1 large egg
1 cup of self-raising flour
1 cup of milk
pinch sea salt
coconut oil for frying
150g pot Fage fat-free Greek yogurt
small pack strawberries, hulled and sliced
zest ½ lime or lemon
6 tbsp pomegranate molasses or honey
small pack pomegranate seeds
Tip the flour and pinch of salt into a jug or bowl, make a well in the centre and crack in the egg. Whisk with a hand whisk until you can no longer move it, it will be very thick and dry. Gradually add the milk, while whisking until lump free.
Put a frying pan on a medium heat add a little coconut oil then use a pastry brush or piece of kitchen roll to wipe the surface of the pan so that it’s lightly oiled all over. Pour a scant ladle of batter into the pan at a time, immediately tilt the pan so that it’s coated evenly with a thin layer of batter. Cook on a medium/low heat until the pancake looks set and is golden on the underside, now you need to turn it
Use a pallet knife to gently move the pancake to one side then flip over. Alternatively slide the pancake (golden side down) onto a plate, then invert back into the pan. Cook for about 45 seconds more, or until the other side is golden. Stack on a plate divided with parchment while you cook the rest, brushing the pan with oil in between each one. . The recipe will make 7-8 depending on how much you put in the pan.
Gently warm the pomegranate molasses or honey, add the pomegranate seeds. Mix the yogurt with ¾’s of the strawberries and the lemon or lime zest. Fill one ¼ of each pancake with a dollop of yogurt and then fold up to encase. Drizzle with the warmed syrup or honey and then scatter with the rest of strawberries.
*NB When making pancakes the first one of the batch is usually the worst, don’t be disheartened, as the next ones will definitely look a lot better.