Guilt Free Pancakes Just in Time for Saturday Morning
Who doesn’t love pancakes?
When I was a kid, I lived for pancake mornings. On Saturdays I would shoot out of bed and rot my brain in front of cartoons for a few hours before my mom and dad got up. Then dad would cook a big-assed batch of buttermilk pancakes while standing in his navy blue robe whistling the theme to the Muppet Show.
Those were the days…
Unfortunately, your standard buttermilk pancakes aren’t really that great for you. Three, four-inch pancakes deliver the following nutritional content:
And that’s before butter and syrup! It doesn’t look too bad until you consider the fact that all those simple carbohydrates are going to go straight into your body and turn into sugar. And then, unless you get out of your bathrobe and go do a killer workout, the unused carb/sugar energy is going to turn into fat and find a cozy place on your body to live. Even if you switch these up and make a healthier buckwheat version, you’ve still got a lot of carbs to burn off, so you’re relegated to eating pancakes only within 1-2 hours of a workout.
I want my pancakes and I want to eat them, too!
I’ve been cooking a lot lately with flax meal and almond meal, which are nice low-carb alternatives to regular flour. Flax also delivers a boatload of fiber and omega-3s. Almond meal gives you all the cancer-preventing benefits of almonds along with a bunch of healthy monosaturated fats that have been linked to promoting heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. Almonds also help decrease post-meal blood sugar levels.
I took almond meal, incorporated it into a basic pancake recipe, and came up with a pretty kickin’ alternative to the carb-bloated version that I ate as a kid.
I tend to shoot from the hip a little bit when I’m cooking, but this is basically how it goes:
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup skim milk
1 egg (Use a whole egg instead of just egg whites to crank up the omega-3s)
sweetener (pick your favorite – about 2 tspn splenda or 3 tspn agave syrup, much smaller amount of stevia – add to taste)
Mix it up. Cook it up. Eat it up.
These are great because you can eat them anytime, not just post-workout. They break down to roughly:
Carbs: 6g (Would be about 10g but about half is fiber which is not digestible and therefore subtracted from the total carb count)
Fat: 22g of only the good stuff :), 2g saturated
Fat seem high? Remember, it’s good fat. Do not fear the monosaturated fat! Do not fear the almond! You have much, much more to fear from sugar, high fructose corn syrup or simple carbohydrates – trust me.
For post-workout pancakes I like to use one of these two recipes:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup egg whites (I usually throw in a yolk or two as well)
6oz cup of plain nonfat yogurt
cinnamon and vanilla extract to taste
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
3/4 cups lowfat cottage cheese
3 egg whites
3 tspn flax seeds
1/4 cup water
Blend either of these recipes together in a blender until smooth then pancake your little Saturday-morning-cartoon heart out! Don’t forget optional yummy additions like: cinnamon, vanilla extract, sliced bananas, berries
Have a favorite healthy pancake recipe? Let’s hear it!
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