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These healthy protein pancakes are a delicious way to get your oats and lean protein first thing in the morning!
The first time I heard about protein pancakes was from a Facebook friend. When she told me what was in them, I all but gagged. I just could not fathom the idea that these might actually be edible.
A few weeks later, I was watching some videos on BodyBuilding.com of Ava Cowan (fitness model). I’m a big fan of hers and was curious to see how she eats and works out. Imagine my surprise when she demonstrated how to make protein pancakes!
So I figured if my friend on Facebook and Ave Cowan can eat these, then there must be something to them other than just a high-protein breakfast. So I gave it a shot.
I can tell you that not only was my son impressed (kids are the toughest critics!), but I was just over the moon. I’ve been eating these puppies for breakfast every morning since and I haven’t gagged even once! I swear! They are almost like eating a savory oatmeal muffin. A bit on the fluffy side, and just downright delicious! Plus, the simple ingredients couldn’t be easier!
What Are Protein Pancakes?
That all depends on who you ask and what recipe they use. Most protein pancakes are simply regular pancakes with protein powder added. But if you’ve read my article on clean protein powders, you know that a clean protein powder doesn’t actually exist. There are some that are better than others, but none of them are clean. (You can’t pick it off a tree or pull it out of the ground. It has to be processed into powder). So this recipe gets its protein from a clean protein source. Eggs!
How Much Protein Do Protein Pancakes Have?
This particular recipe has about 8 grams of protein per pancake. While that may not sound like a lot, the average American pancake has just 1.8 grams of protein. So that’s a considerable jump. And keep in mind, you will most likely be eating more than one pancake for breakfast! So it will add up fast.
Can These Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes! All you have to do is buy oats that are labeled gluten-free. There is no naturally occurring gluten in this recipe (Toppings not included). In fact, there is no flour in these at all!
Can These Be Made Vegan?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried to make these in a vegan version. I suppose you could use a vegan egg replacer, but I would use the stuff you buy at the store. Things like chia or flax eggs won’t work here. Using a plant-based protein could be problematic, but I won’t go so far as to say it’s impossible. You’ll have to experiment.
While the below suggestions are not an exhaustive list, they are the toppings or additions I have tried and enjoyed.
- 1 tbsp. clean peanut butter or other nut butter such as almond butter.
- 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt per pancakes
Extra Fiber Toppings:
- 1 tbsp. clean hummus
- Sliced banana
- Fresh berries
- Dark chocolate chips
Savory Mix-In Seasonings:
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
Sweet Mix-In Seasonings:
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Top with maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Top with honey
Ingredients To Avoid
I know this seems like an uber-simple recipe, but that’s a good thing! What you DON’T want to add here is:
- Protein powder (particularly whey protein powder)
- Cooking spray
- Milk (even plant-based milk)
- Flour of any kind
While these ingredients are common for most pancakes, they will totally defeat the purpose here. The pancakes will not turn out the same. So don’t be tempted.
And lastly, do not use a blender to blend this. It just makes a big mess.
About The Ingredients
Egg whites – While this is a lot of eggs, I highly recommend cracking and separating your own eggs, rather than purchasing egg whites in a container.
Quick oats – This is one of two recipes on my blog that use quick-cooking oats. While they are a bit more processed than traditional oats, they are really the only type of oat that will work here.
Oil – From an oil sprayer is easiest. Coconut oil works great. So does safflower or olive oil. But only use the olive oil over low heat. It has a low smoke point.
How To Make Healthy Protein Pancakes
Separate the eggs and store the yolks in the fridge for other things.
Whisk the oats and egg whites together in a mixing bowl.
Spray a non-stick skillet or griddle (yes, it has to be non-stick) with about ¼ tsp. olive oil. It’s not much at all. Just a very light mist. Heat the pan over medium heat.
Pour or ladle the pancake batter onto your pan and cook like a regular pancake.
Flip when the egg whites around the edges are white and it feels like the pancake will hold up enough to be flipped. It will feel firm.
You can serve this with any clean toppings you like, or just eat them plain.
How To Store Healthy Protein Pancakes
If you have leftover pancakes, store them in an airtight container (or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) and keep them in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days.
Freezing Protein Pancakes
While you can stick anything in a freezer, freezing these is not recommended because the egg whites will become very rubbery in the freezer.
Reheating Leftover Healthy Protein Pancakes
Simply pop these in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to reheat. You can also reheat them over low heat in a skillet. But watch them closely so they don’t burn.
Recipe Supplies For Healthy Protein Pancakes
More Healthy Pancake Recipes
Healthy Protein Pancakes Recipe Card + Video
Recipe adapted from BodyBuilding.com.
Healthy Protein Pancakes
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 1 Skillet
- 1 Spatula
- 12 large egg whites
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ tsp. oil (from an oil sprayer is easiest)
- Separate the eggs and store the yolks in the fridge for other things.
- Whisk the oats and egg whites together in a mixing bowl.
- Spray a non-stick pan (yes, it has to be non-stick) with about ¼ tsp. olive oil. It's not much at all. Just a very light mist. Heat the pan over medium heat.
- Ladle pancakes onto your pan and cook like a regular pancake.
- Flip when the egg whites around the edges are white and it feels like the pancake will hold up enough to be flipped. It will feel firm.
- You can serve this with any clean toppings you like, or just eat them plain.
From the Gracious Pantry archives. Originally posted: 2/18/2011