Fluffy American-style stacks or thin and golden French crepes? However you choose to enjoy them, there’s no doubt that pancake day is one of those dates in the diary we welcome each year.
From the nail-biting activity of the toss to the endless combinations of tempting toppings, there’s a lot to enjoy about the ritual of Shrove Tuesday.
But while we might love a pancake (or five), unfortunately for some of us, the tasty treat just doesn’t love us back. From the basic components of the batter to the extras loaded on top, if you have a food intolerance, there are a few potential triggers waiting to trip you up.
But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean pancakes are off the menu. You just need to find alternatives to add into the mix. Let’s take a look.
Firstly, what are pancakes?
Pancakes are a type of flatbread, made from a batter usually containing a flour and a liquid. This mix is cooked on a greased hot surface then flipped to make sure both sides are golden.
Pancake preferences vary around the world, with some countries serving them small, thick, and fluffy, and others choosing to serve them large and thin. Toppings also differ greatly, from sweet options made with sugar, fruits, chocolate, or cream, to savoury options containing cheeses and meats.
Pancakes are probably among the oldest varieties of flatbreads in human dietary history, since they are easy to make and can be endlessly customised based on what’s available. Many cultures make them with regional grains like buckwheat, cornmeal or teff, and they can also be made with plain flour or a blend of grains.
What pancake ingredients could I be intolerant to?
While there are relatively few ingredients in pancakes, for those of us with food intolerances, there are a fef potential triggers to be on the lookout for, including:
Toppings, such as chocolate, fruit, nuts, butter, or cream
Can you avoid intolerances and still eat pancakes?
It can be incredibly frustrating when you have a food intolerance, as it can feel like so many of your favourite foods are off limits.
But thanks to the rise of Free From alternatives, and a greater awareness of food allergies and intolerances, there are more options for people with specific dietary requirements. So, it’s perfectly possible to get stuck into the fun on pancake day, just by making some simple adjustments.
Explore the free from aisle
The ever-expanding range of Free From foods shows no signs of slowing, with supermarkets embracing the need to provide a wider selection of substitutes and alternatives. Thanks to this, there are more options on the supermarket shelves for people with food intolerances, such as:
Flour is a staple ingredient in pancakes but if you’re avoiding wheat or gluten, never fear, there are plenty of alternatives you can use to whip up a batch of these tasty treats.
Gluten free flours are becoming more readily available and alternatives like almond or coconut flour are common substitutes in a range of recipes.
Egg free alternatives
There aren’t many key ingredients in pancakes, but eggs are generally considered to be essential.
But did you know that you can replace eggs quite easily and still make delicious pancakes? Applesauce or banana are two alternatives which can work a treat, while also delivering the additional benefit of natural sweetness.
Swap out the dairy
There’s been a boom in the Free From milk market over the last decade. Everything from oat to hemp milk now fights for top billing on the supermarket shelf. If you need to swap out dairy in your pancakes there is a huge selection of alternative milks you can try, including:
You could also explore dairy free creams, yoghurt or cheese to load up your pancakes.
Could I be intolerant to pancakes?
It’s common to make the mistake of thinking that, if you have an intolerance, the reaction is to the food as a whole, like pancakes, bread or chocolate. But really, it’s a case of experiencing a reaction to one or more of the individual ingredients in that food, like cow’s milk or wheat.
An intolerance to a trigger food involves an inflammatory response where the body mistakes the protein in that ingredient as a threat, sending out antibodies to fight it.
This can cause a range of side effects such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, headaches, joint pain, eczema, or acne. The delay that commonly occurs with a food intolerance means that you may not feel those ill effects until up to 72 hours after eating your problem food, making it difficult to diagnose the cause.
Take control of your diet
If you’ve noticed that you regularly seem to experience these types of symptoms, but you aren’t sure why, it may be worth taking a closer look at the foods you’re eating to understand if something in your diet could be the cause.
A common recommendation is the elimination diet, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel. But this process can take a long time. And, although many of us commonly react to a few different ingredients, the elimination diet is often abandoned when the first trigger food is found, leaving an incomplete picture of what’s causing the problem.
Get answers faster with Smartblood
When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company. At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods.
Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.
Dedicated nutritional support
Our food intolerance tests include a telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist. This additional support is there to help you understand your results and put a plan together to make safe, sustainable changes to optimise your diet.