For the last cleanse brunch meal, I decided it was OK to push the boundaries of my rules and let pancakes onto the menu. In part, I think it makes sense to ease your way back into normal eating habits by creating healthy versions of your favorite foods. If you can eat the foods you crave without all the negative health effects, it’s that much more likely that the benefits of “cleansing” will stick! These pancakes, adapted from SELF Magazine, not only have no sugar and use whole-wheat flour, they also have berries, bananas, and crushed pecans to up their healthfulness.
I was surprised by these pancakes – I was expecting them to be decent, but not particularly good. I just haven’t had that much luck with whole wheat baking in the past, and I also have really high standards for pancakes, having grown up in a house where mixes were sneered upon and a fresh batch of dad’s blueberry-buttermilk pancakes was a weekend staple. However, these healthy little guys ticked off all my pancake check-boxes – they were tender, moist, flavorful, and thick. The fact that I could eat two with a generous drizzle of maple syrup and not feel guilty about it was just an added bonus. I will definitely be making these again!
Whole Wheat Fruit and Nut Pancakes
Adapted from SELF Magazine. Makes 8 pancakes / Serves 4.
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/4 c. crushed or roughly chopped pecans
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 c. frozen or fresh mixed berries
- cooking spray or a small pat of butter
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to combine. In another medium bowl, mash the banana into a paste, then beat in the egg, buttermilk, and almond extract to combine. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly mixed.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat, or melt butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Make pancakes using 1/3 c. batter each. Top each pancake with a few berries. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the batter is bubbling on the top of the pancake and the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side. Repeat until batter is gone. Serve warm with extra berries and maple syrup. Place any extra cooked pancakes in plastic bags and refrigerate to store.
These look scrumptious!
Perfect! Great photos as always, my personal favourites – pancakes, and pretty much a health food to boot.
Oh yes, perfectly healthy unhealthy! Looks fabulous!
Um these look delightful! I always have a hard time finding “true” whole wheat recipes as they are usually half & half. Thanks for sharing. Newest Follower! :)
Yay, welcome! I was surprised by how un-whole-wheaty these tasted… but maybe that had more to do with the amount of maple syrup that I used….
These were yummy! I made them this morning for breakfast and even the hubby liked them! He didn’t even know there were bananas mixed in. Thanks for sharing!
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I need to make these again soon, as well
These were delicious! Nice and substantial, but not too heavy. We made a vegan version, skipping the egg (didn’t even notice) and making our usual buttermilk using almond ilk and apple cider vinegar.
Over the last 6 months, every time I’ve made pancakes I’ve made these. Every. Time. It’s high time I reviewed it. This recipe NEEDS TO BE SHARED. Where to start…
For me, this really is the perfect combination of taste, texture, and healthiness. I’m often afraid to substitute ingredients for fear that when I make one factor better, the two will be worse. This recipe’s versatility is unparalleled. A number of the ingredients have substitutes that can actually improve all 3 factors! These really are the best pancakes I’ve ever had. To paraphrase the most interesting man in the world (although I can’t stress how true it is for me): I may not always eat pancakes. But when I do, I prefer THESE PANCAKES.
Texture. I love hearty breakfasts. And these clearly have the makings of a hearty pancake: nuts, oats, fruit, a mashed banana. I actually love the healthy/heartiness of whole wheat, but you’re right…not whole-wheaty. I also add in a full scoop (~1/3 cup) of chocolate protein powder (you’ll see more about that soon). With my mixture- and I eat more than anyone i know- I have two large (6″) pancakes and I am FULL. However, notice the buttermilk. I usually use some SACO Blend. Turns out, though, there are two perfect substitutes for buttermilk: milk (mixed with a little lemon) and greek yogurt. The first is a thickener, the other a thinner. So have it your way!
Taste. I can’t imagine so many complimentary flavors. Cinnamon. Banana. Berries. My chocolate protein powder (a hint of chocolate). I’m a guy who’s actually trying to gain weight, so i top it with both maple syrup and almond butter. Which of course goes well with the almond extract. I actually find the 1 tsp to bring too strong an almond flavor, so I substitute in vanilla. Clearly a win-win situation, as anyone who’s made pancakes before knows.
Healthiness. Once you decide to have carbs, whole wheat flour and oats are really the best you can get. The only really unhealthy thing is the butter for the pan (yea, egg whites work). But oh wait. Substitute in olive oil and I guarantee you won’t notice the difference. Don’t forget that olive oil is GREAT for you. Remember I’m also trying to put on healthy muscle weight. In this regard, the plain fat-free greek yogurt, fat-free milk, and very real but low-fat SACO Blend/water substitutes are perfect. Water is obvious. Healthy slow-release proteins from those and the egg, and fast-release protein from the whey powder. Healthy fats from the pecans, olive oil, and almond butter. Healthy fast-digesting carbs from the banana and berries (frozen berries are cheap and usually frozen at peak nutritional content). Sure, the syrup is sugar, but its actually got more minerals and vitamins than sugar. In any case, that’s just one taste factor for pancakes that I will not sacrifice.
Can you see now how everything works together so perfectly? It even browns beautifull on my hard-to-brown-things AGA stove. And it’s the fact that it’s so healthy but so good that makes it taste EVEN better.
I’ve started to triple the recipe on the dry ingredient side and store it in a jar. I have of course memorized the recipe by now, but I’ve saved it on my computer and written it down for the jar, just in case. I’ve shared with family. When I have kids (and if I open a food business), these will be the family pancake recipe for pancake Sundays and other occasions…credit to you, Katie, of course! I hope you see this, Katie, so you can know that you’ve made this young man very happy.
Wow, Alex, THANK YOU, for such an awesome comment. I could not be happier that these pancakes have worked out so well for you, and thank you for letting everyone else know! Reading your comment makes me want to make these again right now (it’s been a while). Cheers!
Jo Altbach says
These were incredible. I was never accustomed to healthy eating, or at least taking food from blogs about healthy eating. But these were really great pancakes, unique and delicious. Thank you for this recipe! You’re awesome.
So glad you enjoyed them! I agree – these have a lot of flavor for “health food”