Cut the CREPE…and make healthier pancakes instead

by Khushboo on April 13, 2012

When it comes to food, I’m a creature of habit for the most part.  I like trying new dishes but I tend to have a handful of meals which I love and rotate between them.  For the last 2 months, I ate the exact same breakfast almost every single day:

Overnight oats with strawberries & Sunwarrior protein powder stirred in

I must have been feeling kinda cray cray thing because I decided to switch things up in favor of a cooked breakfast…more specifically pancakes:

Yep, it tasted as epic as it looks, and made me wonder why I don’t eat pancakes more often.  More than the taste, they’re probably one of the most nutritionally-balanced breakfasts…if made right.  While you could easily Google a “healthy pancake recipe”, here’s my go-to recipe: filling, tasty, reliable!  As for healthy pancakes in general, here are some tips for future batches…it is the weekend after all ;) :

  • Stick to homemade batter: Mixing up your own pancake batter is almost as easy as opening a box of Bisquick or Aunt Jemima…the only difference is that the latter are loaded with enriched white flour, partially hydrogenated oils, and a gazillion other ingredients.
  • Experiment with flour: Essentially pancakes just need flour, baking powder and a liquid binder.  For a healthy dose of fiber, I try to stick to wholegrain flours such as oats, oat bran, garbanzo bean flour, or wholewheat flour.  Other great options include quinoa & buckwheat flour.
  • Sweeten after: Rather than mix sugar/sweeteners into the batter, I stick with natural sweeteners like cinnamon, vanilla essence, or cocoa powder. I save the real sweeteners for topping purposes, preferably maple syrup or honey.
  • Amp up its antioxidant value: Adding ground flax & and chia seeds to the batter is an easy way to increase its fiber & omega 3 fatty acid content.  For sweetening purposes, I also tend to add fruit like berries or mashed banana into the batter.  For moister pancakes, applesauce and pumpkin can both easily be used in place of oil.

  • Pump up the protein: While pancakes tend to be associated with being carb-heavy, they’re actually an easy way to get a protein bomb of a breakfast.   Adding whipped egg whites, milk, cottage cheese and protein powder instantly enhance the protein value while also producing fluffy pancakes.  My stack above racked in 26g of protein, sans any protein powder.
  • Choose your toppings wisely: loading up “healthy” pancakes with buckets worth of whipped cream or butter is like adding tempura to salads: it  defeats the whole purpose.  Some of my favorite toppings include fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, coconut shavings, nuts, fruit compote,or a drizzle of syrup.

Peace out IHOP…!

What’s your favorite pancake topper?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Nada April 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

YUM! Those look delicious, especially with the big chunks of strawberries wedged in. My favourite toppers are sliced bananas and fresh berries with a drizzle of real maple syrup. Sunday can’t come any quicker – it’s been too long since I’ve had pancakes!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Hope you got your pancakes this weekend :)

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Alexandra April 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I love making my own pancakes too!! I always look forward to mornings when I have time to nosh on em haha
Nut butter and fruit are definitely my favorite toppers! :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I’ve made batter the night before and it definitely saves some time in the morning!

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Tessa at Amazing Assett April 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I enjoyed the title of this post muaha :) Making my own pancakes is great, I love it! The green monster ones I make that I have shown on my blog are my personal favorite. But it’s time to change it up and try some different recipes!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I’ll have to check out that recipe- sounds interesting!

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JoJo April 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I agree with you on pancakes being healthy, if made right :)
Sometimes, I resort to a pancake mix from TJ, but I usually make my own batter as well :D A lot of people think it’s a big deal, but it’s so easy!!

I made an overnight oats for the first time with greek yogurt.. it was deeelicious! It’s definitely going on my usual breakfast menu. I may post about it sometime soon :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Overnight oats is my ideal breakfast when the weather warms up!

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Snapshots of Happiness April 14, 2012 at 12:12 am

Nom nom nom… I’ve been craving pancakes for a while and this post didn’t help my craving. Good thing it’s Friday… Hopefully I’ll have time over the weekend to whip up some pancakes!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Hope u got your pancakes :)

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Honey What's Cooking April 14, 2012 at 2:03 am

what a great post. love how you explained every step and how good those ingredients are for you. i love fresh blueberry sauce on pancakes… or even maple butter syrup.. i know the latter is so not healthy.

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Thanks, so glad you found it helpful! That maple butter Shri sounds oh so delicious!

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Meg (A Dash of Meg) April 14, 2012 at 4:26 am

you cannot go wrong with greek yogurt + pp and blueberries on top of pancakes :D

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Especially if the protein powder is vanilla-flavoured :)

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onehealthymunchkin April 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I love how healthy pancakes can be made! And it’s funny because most people don’t realize it. When I tell my friends that I had a big stack of pancakes for breakfast they’re like “Uhh, I thought you were into healthy eating??” and it makes me laugh.

My favourite toppers are banana, soy nut butter, maple syrup and berries!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Hahah I know! I sometimes feel ridiculous when I say I had pancakes/waffles after a workout!

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Sarah @ Fresh Living April 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Those looks so delicious. What a great idea – healthy pancakes!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thanks :)

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Charissa (@ColourfulPalate) April 15, 2012 at 3:20 am

Haha, the “overthusiastic” pancake thrower…not me.

I love the way you stacked the pancakes with the strawberries…looks so good!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I’ll let u in on a secret: I made an effort to make them pretty merely for the sake of the picture…otherwise they’re not quite as presentable ;)

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Brittany April 15, 2012 at 3:51 am

I want pancakes now!! I LOVE pancakes. I used to be terrible at making them, but I have made them enough now I don’t burn them. I love the tips!

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Brittany! And hey if your pancakes break during the flip, consider them scrambled :)

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hotlyspiced April 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I would love to try pancakes with some of those flours you’ve recommended. Quinoa would be an interesting choice. I love how you add berries – so delicious! xx

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Khushboo Thadani April 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Other great flours which I’ve heard work great are almond and coconut flour- worth a shot!

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Ameena April 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I love pancakes simply because I LOVE maple syrup. I really could dip anything in maple syrup. :) These look fantastic.

I hope you are having a great weekend so far Khushboo!

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Khushboo Thadani April 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

I think I almost prefer the syrup part to the pancakes :) ! Hope your weekend was great too!

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