Obsessed with vegan protein pancakes (updated weekly)
First of all, it is possible to enjoy breakfast pancakes without soaking them in the sticky maple syrup and honey, and keep them lean and healthy. Only takes a minute to be creative every day! This one was fun – inspired by weightlifting, I wish I had a Playmobil man on the plate!
I love making pancakes in the morning. It became my morning ritual in a strange way. I always make them differently and make a bit of effort to make a nice display, not just pile them up on a plate and eat them without any love. Pancakes are supposed to be the easiest, yummiest thing to make…. My old recipe used to have things like beaten egg white for extra fluffinest, great milk, and mashed banana…. but they are no longer my option (for those you don’t know, I was tested intolerant to gluten, egg white and dairy products so I am cutting them right now).
Therefore, my protein pancakes are:
- Gluten free
- Egg free
- Dairy free
- Sugar free
- Low fat
- Fit the macros set by my coach (I have three variations in rotation: protein/carbs/fat in 20/40/trace, once a week, then the rest 20/30/trace, and 25/20/10)
I also try to buy organic grain and make my own flour as much as possible. It’s not that hard…. super easy!
Because of the limited carb intake for this particular meal, I cannot afford to use any sugar at all, and I cannot put a bunch of melted butter on top of them either. I need to choose carefully which toppings I put on my pancakes in order to keep the meal within the set macros, and they still need to taste delicious! Is this possible? well…. sort of.
I don’t want to shift every carbs into flour so I need some reserved for my berries, which are low in fructose and high in fiber. In Thailand there are so many delicious fruits – but most of them are super sweet. They are not suitable for my breakfast, but I eat them as pre-workout snack and put them in my post-workout shakes.
So….. what I want to say is this. With all these restrictions, it is NOT possible to make pancakes taste as good as standard ones which include egg white, sugar, fruits and so on. But I still try to have them taste good, and nice presentation always help me to enjoy them every morning.
The hardest part is to find out the ratio of the powders and flours: sometimes you cannot flip them at all and makes a huge mess, or the inside won’t cook properly or they just do not rise and taste like paper. So I have been testing various non-gluten flours, egg replacement etc… My life was so much easier when I was using whey isolate, the powder was so sticky so that I didn’t need to add any binder at all, that was great. Now I use few different protein powders, which consist of rice protein and pea protein…. they are heavy, alone they are like cement. Unless you fluff it up, it will NOT work alone, unlike whey powders.
I tried so many, they are all the same, and you have to be creative. Easiest solution – make a smoothie with it! but if you want nice pancakes, you have to make some tough choices. If macros or calories are no concern of yours, then just replace 1/3rd of the flour with the protein powder and you should be fine. but if you are like me…. well.
Most of the non-gluten website says you need to mix 3 things in order to substitute wheat flour in baking: light flour, heavy flour and starch. I did that. Many of them love brown rice flour, oat and potato starch mixture. Brown rice flour is NOT NICE. The flour is just too hard for my palette. My muffins I baked using this recommended mixture was so dry and horrible. Since then I just stay away from them. I like oat – I just grind steel cut oat into flour and it is great, but I prefer to use it for brownies, not in pancakes.
So far I’ve actually settled with the combination of heavy flour + protein powder + psyllium husk, plus baking soda, pink salt and apple cider vinegar, that’s all. I have tried to add some raw cacao powder and maca, and wow it tastes amazing! Matcha is another option – I am still trying different stuff but those superfood powders also come with carbs so I cannot just start putting them in coz they are healthy!
I don’t think it is necessary to add light flour – I don’t mind heavier texture, but anyways, if I mix them every morning, I just cannot be bothered to add two different kinds of flours! But white rice flour can be always mixed in to make it lighter, but that normally reduces the protein ratio of the flour so you need to add more protein powder to compensate that. I still need to play around with the amount of water I use, and the psyllium husk. The husk soaks lots of water so the batter texture should not be so runny. It is better if you leave it as a bit ‘dry’.
So far my favourite non-gluten flours for pancakes are:
- Buckwheat flour
- Teff flour
- Spelt flour
- Sorghum flour
- Millet flour
Let me also put a list of flours I hate, too:
- Brown rice flour
- Coconut flour
- All kinds of starch
What’s up with coconut flour – why do people like this. It is OK as long as you mix it with other flours, but for my macros, it is a big no no. And I don’t like the fiber texture in this flour. AND THE FAT!!!! Nooooooo! This was the only flour which psyllium husk could not bind. I had to add some tapioca starch then it was better. But the macros were not longer appropriate for me. Nah. Not worth it!
I don’t use coconut flour so I don’t need starch for my pancakes at all. But then people may ask how I bind the batter together. It is quite simple: I use psyllium husk, it works like a magic, it is only fiber, unlike flax seeds or chia seeds. It does not make the batter all slimy inside. oh god I hate that. The batter which contains psyllium husk raises very well if you put the right amount of baking soda inside with apple cider vinegar. It is incredible and I love it. I use it everywhere as egg replacer, even in my cauliflower pizza crust, or burgers, as a thickener for soup… it is definitely one of my most favourite ingredients in my kitchen.
Enough said, let’s see what I have made until now…. I intend to update this feed every week!
WHITE RICE FLOUR ONLY: DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the yummiest: MILLET and WHITE RICE FLOUR!!!
Experimented with some red pigments – since I have a bad experience with red beetroot, I used red dragonfruits! I mashed it, dehydrated, froze it, and made it into powder – this one has about 1 tablespoon of it. Adds some lovely rosy color to it but you do not taste much. Eventually you can add more and make it look much more red…. like those red velvet pancakes!
They are made with buckwheat flour.
Pure matcha powder does NOT make your pancake green! I think all those extremely green coloured one contains chlorella or green pigments, they are never 100% matcha, unless you pay lots of money for those ceremonial matcha from Kyoto… I have to get some next months to see how it goes!
Best tasting pancakes EVER! Raw cacao powder and maca powder combined! The intense cacao taste goes so well with maca the superfood! yay!
I love cacao nibs – I still eat both dark chocolate but I am getting really used to the crunchiness of the nibs. So high in antioxidant, perfect!!!
I think this matcha powder is low quality…. yikes. This is 1/8 cup matcha, guys. Not green at all!!!!!
This is around the time when I stopped using tapioca as a binder. No matter what I did, the batter inside remained slimy and it was just not so nice. Nothing to do with fluffiness anymore.
I think I can only afford to eat mangos when my carb goal is 40g for the meal, which is on Monday. This was a mango from our garden! Goes so well with cacao nibs!