This is the time of year when people start to think about possibly dropping a few of those extra pounds in preparation for swimsuit and sundress weather. The realization that this might be necessary usually occurs somewhere between that fifth Cadbury Cream Egg and bravely trying on last year's shorts. After months of indulging in everything from handfuls of Halloween candy corns to flocks of Easter Peeps, suddenly doing a "180" and quitting sweets cold turkey is no easy task.
There are plenty of wonderful low-fat and low calorie recipes out there. I have made some mouth-watering meals using the recipes from my Cooking Light subscription. Seasonings and fresh, high-quality ingredients can work miracles in the absence of sticks of butter and cups of cream. But among all of these healthy recipes, I have found that very few outstanding ones fall into the "satisfy your sweet tooth" category, so I often try to create some that do.
These pancakes are both light and decadent tasting. By incorporating a whole can of the light coconut milk in place of the typical whole milk or buttermilk, an almost custard-like texture is created on the inside to complement the crisp exterior. This also eliminates the need for a large amount of butter or eggs. The coconut flavor really comes through and, served with some fresh fruit, gives the pancakes a tropical twist! Here are some tips for these creamy, calorie conscious, and coconutty pancakes:
- I really enjoy the pancakes topped with some macerated fruit and a little bit of pure maple syrup. Wash and cut the fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc.) and then toss it with a few tablespoons of sugar. Let it sit for ten minutes. The sugar will cause the fruit to start to soften and release its juices, or macerate.
- If desired, replace half of the flour with whole wheat flour. This will give the pancakes a heartier, granier texture.
- Be sure not to overmix the batter so that the pancakes are light and fluffy. Overmixing can work the gluten in the flour too much, resulting in a tough texture.
- For easy and even portioning, I like to use an ice cream scoop to drop the pancake batter onto the skillet or grill pan.
Toasted Coconut Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons toasted flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Sliced fruit and pure maple syrup (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250F degrees.
Combine the flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the coconut milk, butter, and the egg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the coconut milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium and brush with melted butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of the pancake batter per pancake onto the skillet. Cook until the tops are covered with small bubbles and the edges begin to look cooked. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are browned.
Transfer the pancakes to an oven proof pan and keep warm in the oven while you make more pancakes with the remaining batter.
Serve the pancakes with sliced fruit and/or warm maple syrup.