February is the month of love. For some it’s St. Valentine’s Day that gets their heart aflutter, and for many (the Active Nation team included) it’s the time-old traditions that fall on the 9th, and the day before Ash Wednesday which truly capture their hearts and minds; National Pizza Day and Pancake Day.
Since many New Year’s resolutions are merely distant memories by this point, we are not going to suggest that you stay away from pizza or pancakes and take up a steady diet of kale and water throughout February (actually, we would never recommend this). We want you to love food as much as we do, but we also want you to love your body and be aware of the nutritional value and the effects that different foods will have on your body.
One of our top-tips for a healthy lifestyle is to avoid ready meals or take-aways and cook your own food instead. Considering that a small, classic crust, Americano pizza from Dominoes contains a whopping 1020 calories, you’d be hard pushed to actually replicate something this calorific in your own kitchen! So, to help you indulge throughout this month guilt-free, we have pulled together some alternative healthier recipes for your February fast-food favourites – starting with this delicious home-made pizza:
– Mix together 100g white flour, 100g wholewheat flour, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of yeast.
– Pour in 125ml warm water and mix until the dough is soft.
– Knead the dough for 1min.
– Roll out the dough thinly onto a lightly floured surface and place dough onto oiled baking sheet.
– Drain the juice from a 200g can of tomatoes and spread tomatoes over the dough.
– Scatter veg of your choice over the top (we recommend thinly chopped garlic, red onion, olives, mushrooms, and red pepper).
– Tear 25g of mozzarella into pieces and scatter over the pizza.
– Add any extra flavours you fancy – why not some herbs or chilli flakes for an extra kick?
– Leave the dough to rise for 20mins.
– Preheat the oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9 or the highest setting.
– Cook for 10-12mins, until crispy around the edges.
– Enjoy your pizza, guilt free!
Pancakes are surprisingly quick and easy to make and are actually a healthy food to eat. They only become unhealthy depending on the toppings you add! So try out our foolproof pancake recipe and experiment with some different healthy sweet and savoury fillings.
– Sieve 100g of plain flour into a mixing bowl.
– Add 2 eggs and a pinch of salt.
– Begin whisking the mixture, slowly adding 300ml of milk.
– Heat a pan and melt a small knob of butter.
– Pour in enough mixture to cover the bottom of the pan and cook the pancake on each side until golden.
Savoury topping ideas
– Breakfast pancake: Scrambled eggs, chorizo, chopped tomatoes (either fresh or canned) and spinach (either raw or cooked).
– Brunch pancake: Smoked salmon, a squeeze of lemon, some smashed avocado and a poached egg.
– Lunch pancake: Roasted Mediterranean vegetables, garlic and herbs.
– Breakfast: Muesli, fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt.
– Dessert: Baked apple/rhubarb and cinnamon.
– Sweet treat: Bananas/raspberries/strawberries with melted dark chocolate.
Really, you can try out any toppings on a pancake – just make sure they’re healthy! And if you want to up your pancake game, then try out our Active Nutrition Oat Pancake recipe and more with our Active Nutrition programme! So, keep on enjoying the foods you love – just make sure that your body loves them too!