Celebrate Pancake Day the Healthy Way

What’s soft and sweet, warms your heart and brings endless joy? Kids. And pancakes. Celebrate both on Tuesday!

Just thinking about National Pancake Day on Tuesday, March 8, brings that fluffy, golden stack of buttery goodness to mind. This annual celebration of pancakes was started 10 years ago by IHOP restaurants as a way to raise money for local charities.

IHOP restaurants in our area will give you a short stack of buttermilk pancakes for free. In exchange, you are encouraged to give a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The money raised at IHOPs in Louisville and Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Indiana, will benefit Norton Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

OK, so pancakes may not be the healthiest breakfast option, but if you choose to splurge on them for a good cause, you can make them relatively guilt-free by replacing the butter and syrup with fruit. One regular-sized pancake has only about 85 calories.

(By the way, pancakes aren’t just for breakfast anymore. IHOP Pancake Day runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

If splurging isn’t an option for you, try this healthier, diabetic-friendly recipe for protein pancakes.

Protein Pancakes
3 egg whites
1/3 cup dry oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetener to taste

Combine the egg whites, cottage cheese and vanilla extract in a bowl until well mixed. Add the dry oats, protein powder and sweetener until well mixed. Cook as you would a regular pancake. Drizzle with sugar-free syrup, real maple syrup or serve with fresh fruit.