Healthier Pancakes

I love pancakes! I used to have pancake eating contests with my brother as a kid. I'm not beating family members in pancake gorging fests these days (Thankfully!). In fact, I'm looking for an alternative to the usual white-floured, butter and maple flavored syrup-topped pancake.

See, as you may know, I've got a bad sugar addiction, and I'm working on weaning myself off the stuff - for good! I'm also of the opinion that food can taste just as good, and even better, without sugar - including pancakes! So, I'm on a mission to find a healthier pancake recipe that will produce delicious pancakes without encouraging my sugar addiction. I recently tried these two:

Protein Pancakes


You may see these on the menu for bodybuilders, sometimes with added protein powder. These pancakes are made with oats and lots of eggs. Feel free to use only egg whites, whole eggs, an egg substitute, or reduce the amount of eggs and add a little bit of milk to thin out the batter. And, as you may have already deduced, these pancakes are going to have a noticeable egg taste. It's not unpleasant, but do keep in mind these pancakes are definitely not of the Aunt Jamima variety!

  • 1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (not instant)
  • 4 egg whites*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Combine oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using). Beat eggs lightly in separate bowl. Add eggs to oats. Mix together. Add 1/4 C of pancake mixture to hot griddle or pan sprayed with nonstick cooking oil. Cook about 3 minutes on medium heat.** Then flip and cook the other side.

*(OR) egg substitute to equal 4 egg whites (OR) 2 whole eggs (OR) 2 egg whites and a splash of milk (OR) any combination of these. Feel free to experiment

**Cooking time really depends on how high the heat is (Don't make it too high!) and how "done" you want your pancakes to be. Your best bet is to watch the pancake closely as it cooks. Lift a small portion with a pancake turner to see if it's a light brown color. If so, it's ready to be flipped!

Whole Wheat Pancakes


Higher in fiber and nutrients, these pancakes will stick-to-your-ribs but not to your hips (watch your portions, though)! You can actually use any whole grain flour, from oat, to spelt, to brown rice... whatever you like best.

I found these pancakes surprisingly tasty! The flax meal and touch of oil add a nutty, buttery flavor. I just put a little bit of a heart-healthy butter spread on top, and my pancake longings were fully satisfied!

  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites) lightly beaten
  • 1/8 Cup canola oil
  • 1 ¼ Cup low-fat buttermilk*
  • 1 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs flax meal (you can use flax seeds if more convenient)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash cinnamon (optional)

Combine flour, flax meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using). In a separate bowl, mix eggs with oil and buttermilk. Turn on stove/griddle to medium heat. Now add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.

Using a measuring cup, pour 1/4 cup batter onto the pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat.** Brown lightly on both sides, turning once. The pancake will set, poof up a little, and start showing tiny bubbles when it's ready to be flipped. After some practice, you'll "just know" when it's ready. :)

*If you don't have buttermilk, here's a good substitute: add 1 Tbs vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add milk so that the final measurement comes out to 1 ¼ cup. OR, if you don't have vinegar, no worries; just use milk.

**Flick some water on the griddle or pan (whichever you are using). If the water "dances" on the pan, it's ready. If the water droplets jump off the pan and sizzle loudly, the heat is up too high!


(Always optional, but always fun):

  • Heart-healthy butter spread
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Fruit! (Strawberries are excellent!)
  • Natural applesauce and walnuts
  • Yogurt
  • Plain yogurt mixed with no-sugar granola and mashed, ripe bananas
  • Ricotta cheese, almond slices, and chopped, dried apricots
  • Pumpkin puree mixed with pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
  • 100% maple syrup (If you're not sensitive to sugar)

Originally posted 2008-05-09 19:02:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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#1 Lynnae on 05.09.08 at 9:28 pm

Thank you! My kids can’t live without their pancakes, and I’m always looking for ways to make them healthier!

#2 Susan on 05.10.08 at 9:31 am


The whole wheat pancakes are a good place to start. You could add blueberries or other berries to them. They add a great taste. I did that with one of mine; you can see it in the photo above. It’s sitting atop the “Leaning Tower of Pancakes.” :)

#3 MizFit on 05.10.08 at 11:57 am

did you see my ALMOST CAKES?

they are almost the same yet I couldnt help but add in some protein power, cottage cheese and fiber one :)

#4 Sagan on 05.10.08 at 12:02 pm

Mmmm thank you! LOVE recipes. I have been craving chocolate chip cookies the past few days. But those look so yummy, maybe they could kick the craving:)

#5 Susan on 05.10.08 at 2:28 pm

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing your Almost Cakes, but I would certainly give them a try! :)

What’s funny is my husband asked me today, “How about making some chocolate chip cookies?” UGH!!! Not helping, Dearest Husband! Not helping! :)

#6 Merry on 05.13.08 at 1:24 am

I was just thinking that since the only thing I knew how to make from scratch was pancakes, I should try to find a healthy way to make them. Perfect timing!

#7 Susan on 05.13.08 at 7:20 am


Oh, goodie! Glad to help. :)
I hope you enjoy them!

#8 Month of Menus - Recipe Links | on 06.06.08 at 2:44 pm

[...] new favorite pancake recipe is from Susan of Nutrition Fitness Life. It’s the second one on the page (Whole Wheat [...]

#9 Amanda on 02.24.10 at 9:44 pm

These pancakes are DELICIOUS! My husband and I just found out that we have high cholesterol so I’m trying to replace all the “white” starches with whole wheat ones. I made these tonight and they are great!

#10 Cynthia on 05.13.11 at 8:25 pm

I tried the protein pancakes and they were actually pretty good! They do have an egg aftertaste, like you mentioned but they are not so bad. Thanks so much for posting these recipes.

#11 sarah on 07.01.11 at 9:45 am

how many pancakes does the whole wheat recipe make?

#12 Patricia Jones on 10.20.11 at 9:57 pm

Hmmm, pancakes… I really love pancakes! That is my favorite food from childhood until now. I do not feel tired of eating pancakes because there is something that makes me addicted to eating it. By the way, I like your healthy recipes in making pancakes. I can not wait to try your recipe at home. Thank you for sharing the recipes…

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