Hearty, Healthy, and Tasty, Pancakes
Ever been late for an early morning, long run and not had enough time to make something to eat? That happened to me the other day. I knew I’d be sorry later in the run if I didn’t at least grab something for breakfast, so I peaked in the fridge and eyed some leftover pancakes. I took one, folded it over like a taco, and ate it cold; no syrup. Delicious! Of course it did have chocolate chips, but then again, I was running 11 miles.
Historically pancakes have gotten a bad rap and I suppose they really aren’t that great for you, but I do love them so! I decided to make it my mission to make a healthier pancake I could eat before a run and that my family would enjoy too. To my amazement, I created something that even my kids like.
I tried recipes using 100% regular whole wheat flour, but the pancakes always seemed so heavy. I read about 100% unbleached white whole wheat flour and decided to give it a try. Regular 100% whole wheat flour is made from red wheat that has a coarse texture and a slightly bitter taste. 100% white whole wheat flour is made from an albino variety of wheat that has a smoother texture and a sweeter taste, yet still provides the same health benefits as the regular variety of whole wheat flour. The result is a lighter milder tasting pancake. Just like regular whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is not bleached nor bromated. Several companies produce 100% white whole wheat flour. The King Arthur Flour Company is the brand that I found readily available.
Instead of whole eggs, I used only egg whites. Crystal Farms All Whites-100% Liquid Egg Whites work well too. Most of the protein is found in the egg whites, flour and the milk (4.5g). The protein powder adds about 3 more grams of protein to each pancake. Total, each pancake packs 7.5 grams of protein. Only 2 tablespoons of honey are used in the recipe. There’s not much difference between table sugar and honey, but I just prefer the taste. The recipe does call for an ample amount of oil, but by using canola, only 3 grams of saturated fat ends up in the whole batch. The rest is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
2 c. 100% unbleached white whole wheat flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 egg whites (Crystal Farms All Whites-100% Liquid Egg Whites work well too!)
2 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 c. skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla or butternut flavoring
1 scoop of vanilla flavored whey protein powder (I use Pure Protein brand; contains 23g of protein per scoop)
Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined (it’s okay to have a few lumps). Cook the pancakes on nonstick griddle at 375 degrees. Makes about eight 5-inch pancakes.
Serving size = 2 pancakes
• Protein = 15g
• Total Fat = 11g
• Saturated Fat = 1g
• Monounsaturated Fat = 7g
• Polyunsaturated Fat = 3
• Calories = 222
Tips & Variations:
• Make a double batch and store the left over pancakes in zippered baggies. Make individual servings by putting 2 pancakes in a baggie. When reheating leftover refrigerated pancakes, remove them from the baggie, place them on a plate and microwave for about 30-35 seconds.
• Want to use less oil? Try substituting applesauce for some of the oil or add another egg white in place of some of the oil.
• Want to cut some of the calories? Use Splenda instead of honey.
• Like more texture in your pancakes? Add pecans or walnuts to the batter.
• Like your pancakes sweeter? Add blueberries, strawberries, or bananas to the batter or on of cooked pancakes.
• Need a little more oomph to entice your kids? Try adding a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter.
Written by Thad McLaurin. Thad McLaurin is an RRCA Certified Running Coach, creator and host of RunnerDude’s Blog, and host of the Run for Fitness and Long Distance Running Blogs at TheCircle.org