A Healthier Pancake

I LOVE pancakes. I have always made them from scratch because they are super easy and so much better than commercially premade ones or mixes. My pancakes are light, fluffy and delicious sopped in melting butter and maple syrup. However, aside from the fact that they are homemade and can be made organic, there is nothing virtuous about them. They are devoid of fiber, high in carbs and have very little protein. In fact, when I eat them and the syrup and have coffee, I am left feeling jittery from the carb + caffeine overdose.

So, the healthy me is always working to make a better version.

The trouble is, different grains often make for heavy pancakes. When my cousins and I were kids, we always dreaded when our grandfather, rather than our grandmother, would make us pancakes because he, being a farmer from Kansas, always made them multi-grain. I have no idea how his pancakes always were so terrible, but the buckwheat and cornmeal did not help! I want pancakes that are better for me and are multi-grain but still provide me the weekend enjoyment of an indulgent breakfast.

I have been trying an experimenting,
and I think I have found a delicious, healthier pancake!

These are high in protein, Omega-3s and fiber; low in refined grains; free from white flour; more nutrient rich than regular pancakes;, moist and light; can be vegan or not; and probably could be made gluten-free by subbing the small amount of wheat flour with your favorite alternative.(Each ingredient in the recipe is linked to a Healthline article with its benefits.)

These take no longer than any other pancake recipe to make. I live alone, so I always eat some and then cool the rest on a rack. I then separate the pancakes with wax or parchment paper and stick them in the freezer in a zip bag, an old bread bag or other container. I can pop them in the microwave or toaster (I do 20 seconds in the microwave and then toast) to have speedy breakfast or snack!

Ingredients

1 cup milk or milk substitute (I used soy)
1/2 cup yogurt (I used my homemade coconut milk yogurt)
1 t vinegar (any kind, I used coconut)
1 T chia seeds in 3 T warm water
1 egg (or can sub another 1 T chia and 3 T water or egg substitute if you want a vegan option)
1/4 cup whole, rolled, old-fashioned oats (organic is best)
1 ripe banana smashed (I always have some frozen, so I just defrost and it is all mushy and perfect!)
1/4 cup corn flour (not corn meal, which will make gritty pancakes)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (seeds need to be ground or we don’t digest them, and they serve no purpose)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or sub your favorite gluten-free type)
1 T plant-based protein powder (you can use a whey-based one if you prefer)
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Instructions

  • Combine your “milk,” “yogurt,” and vinegar.
  • Pour the liquid over the oats in a large bowl and let them soak.
  • Add the chia mixture and/or egg and smashed banana and stir to combine
  • Combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Heat a griddle and lightly oil.
  • Add the dry to the wet and stir to combine.
  • Once hot, but not too hot, put the batter on the griddle. I would avoid making these too big because they will tend to not cook in the middle. Also, the batter is thick, so it may need help spreading around.
  • Cook till golden and flip. This is about 3 minutes give or take.
  • I find these need a little more time than regular pancakes, but make sure the griddle isn’t too hot and burns them…or too cool and doesn’t turn them golden. You need a medium heat, so some trial and error may be necessary. Channel your inner Goldilocks!

This exact recipe made 10 pancakes, so if you modify, you may get more or less and you can certainly make them smaller or larger.

I find these to have a lovely, almost nutty flavor. The oats give a bit of bite, but they are very light and fluffy and also moist. I have eaten a lot of dense pancakes in the name of trying to be healthier, but honestly, I would choose these over my less healthy ones because they have such great flavor. I eat fewer of them, and the protein balances the carbs, so I am not left feeling all jittery.

I only wish Grandpa could try them. I think he would approve!

You can top with honey, jam, nut butter, chocolate spread or nothing.

I do still drizzle maple syrup over melting butter on them….
I can’t be 100% virtuous!

Happy weekend!

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