Updated: Feb 21, 2019
June 21, 2018
Our family food habits have evolved over the years to include substitutes for pancakes, ice cream, popsicles, and banana muffins. It's not that we have on official policy, we just have other versions or similar foods that we feel better eating.
1. Crepes instead of Pancakes
Now I'm not officially proposing crepes as "health food", but they have a different protein-to-carb ratio than pancakes, and are good enough to eat by themselves or with just a bit of butter. Pancakes would put half the family into a carb coma, but crepes, not so much. We triple or quadruple the Joy of Cooking Recipe, and we don't bother to let it sit in the fridge after blending in the Ninja, I just heat up a few pans and go for it.
1/2 cup any kind of milk
1/2 cup flour (gluten free flour works fine)
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
The key to flipping crepes is to have a lot of butter in the pan, which is, of course, part of the fun. It takes some time to make them in quantity so it's for leisurely mornings. I quadruple this if the whole family is having crepes.
2. Frozen fruit and cream instead of ice cream
It's easy to keep frozen berries on hand, and I really like the Trader Joe's heavy whipping cream because it's only pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized. Kids like to have raspberries or blueberries in a bowl, pour some cream over, and mash it up with a spoon. Fructose tastes sweeter when it's cold, so it doesn't occur to them to want any sugar with this. I like frozen bananas and cream. After a few minutes the bananas are easy to break up.
3. Kefir or juice pops instead of popsicles
If you buy silicone refillable squeeze pops or save little yogurt containers and use a spoon for the stick, kefir or regular juice is quite sweet enough to do the job when kids want a cold sweet thing on summer days. Strawberry is the favorite for kefir, and any juice will do.
4. Almond banana muffins instead of regular banana muffins
You know how good that gooey part of the banana bread is, on the top? If you make banana muffins with almond flour instead of regular flour (same amount of flour, cut the fat), the whole muffin is like that. If you add some chocolate chips, you can remove the sugar entirely and the kids barely notice. We use the family favorite banana bread recipe with half the butter, no sugar, and chocolate chips, and bake it as muffins instead of a loaf.
I hope this inspires you to make some easy adjustments to make your family's food a bit more nutritious. Happy cooking!