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Healthier pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

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Christians worldwide will eat pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday next week.

People started making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday the day before the beginning of Lent hundreds of years ago.

The idea was to use up ingredients such as eggs and sugar which were restricted during Lent.

‘Shrove’ comes from the old word ‘shrive’ meaning ‘to confess’. During the Middle Ages, Shrove Tuesday was a day of confession. Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, is a 40-day period of fasting, leading up to Easter.

Pancakes need not be an unhealthy meal, said Bermuda Heart Foundation executive director Simone Barton.

“I make mine with whole wheat flour and skimmed milk,” she said. “I put fresh fruit in them such as blueberries or bananas. I use ‘lite’ maple syrup. You can put syrup on your pancakes, just use syrup in moderation. Don’t smother the pancakes with it. You could use apple sauce as an alternative to syrup.”

To prove her point, Ms Barton cooked some delicious blueberry pancakes for this reporter and a photographer from

The Royal Gazette.

When we expressed our surprise that they tasted so good she said: “The core nutshell in healthy eating is the avoidance of fats and excess sugars. You don’t have to avoid all sugar, but be mindful of what you are eating.”

The Bermuda Heart Foundation is based in offices on Chancery Lane in Hamilton.

It operates Core, Bermuda’s first cardiac prevention and rehab centre. An eight-week lifestyle programme is offered to residents who fit the “at-risk” profile with high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The programme is covered by local insurance companies.

“The insurance companies got together and realised it was cheaper to prevent heart disease and diabetes than to cure it,” said Ms Barton. “They made prevention an insurable benefit. Core is a kick-start to a healthier lifestyle, whether you have had a heart attack or a stroke, or you are recovering, or you don’t want to have one. It helps you to fight obesity, diabetes, cholesterol or hypertension.”

Core helps participants to map out a menu plan that works for them and also offers time with a personal trainer. The programme also provides five weeks of education on such topics as menu planning, stress management, and dealing with life.

“We think of diet as something disgusting like boiled broccoli, and boiled chicken,” Ms Barton said. “That is not what it is. It is fun, vibrant and invigorating. It makes you feel a lot better, as opposed to sitting down to eating a heavy meal with lots of fats and sugars. That type of meal makes you feel like you have eaten a lead weight in comparison to eating a meal that is fresh with less fats and sugars and more whole grains. You feel fantastic and you feel full longer. I like guilt-free eating. I don’t want to have buyer’s remorse when I eat.”

She said people who come into the programme typically lose about ten to 12lbs, reduce their cholesterol by 90 percent and their blood pressure by 95 percent.

“All we are doing is giving them permission to be who they are and make small changes they can live with,” she said.

Contact the Bermuda Heart Foundation on 232-7812 or

Simone Barton, executive director of the Bermuda Heart Foundation shows off her healthy blueberry pancakes. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Blueberry pancakes made by Simone Barton, executive director of the Bermuda Heart Foundation.
A healthy breakfast. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Heart-healthy eating as shown by Bermuda Heart Foundation?s Simone Barton. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Heart-healthy eating as shown by Bermuda Heart Foundation?s Simone Barton. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
RECIPE: Healthy Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 ½ oz)

⅔ cup whole wheat flour (about 3 oz)

2 tbs brown sugar

½ cup blueberries

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ⅔ cup two percent

reduced-fat milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Combine milk, and eggs and then add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Add blueberries and gently blend. Pour about ¼ cup batter per pancake onto a hot, non-stick griddle or non-stick skillet. Cook two minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over and cook two minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

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Published February 17, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 17, 2012 at 5:57 am)

Healthier pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

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