Pancakes, hotcakes, flapjacks…whatever you call them, these tasty thin, flat cakes of cooked batter may be delicious for breakfast, but can ruin all your hard work in the gym. White flour, sugar, and a lack of protein make most pancake recipes less than ideal for your post-workout meal. But you don't have to designate them to your “cheat meal” because we've tweaked the ingredients to make them a healthy recipe for recovery.
It has been well documented that the meal immediately following your workout is key for repair and recovery. The winning combination of high-quality protein and “smart carbs” (fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains—all high in fiber) will help your body replenish your spent glycogen stores and repair damaged muscle tissue. Studies have shown that a small amount of protein (10 to 15 grams) consumed with carbohydrate right after training promotes muscle gain and prevents excessive protein breakdown.
Traditional pancake recipes are high in carbohydrates and low in protein. The key to boosting more protein in pancakes is adding two key ingredients—whey or plant protein powder and cottage cheese. To improve the carb quality of this recipe, swap out the refined, white flour for high-fiber old-fashioned oats. You can also add ground flax seeds or chia seeds to the recipe to further boost the protein and fiber, as well as add in some healthy fats.
We’ve taken our favorite Protein Pancake basic recipe from our book "No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast" to give you a gluten-free, high-protein pancake batter that you can “rock” three ways: Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes, Banana Walnut Cinnamon Protein Pancakes and Blueberry Lemon Protein Pancakes.
Makes 8 pancakes ~ Serving size 2 pancakes
- 3 eggs (2 egg whites + 1 egg)
- ¼ cup unsweetened rice milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (dry uncooked)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 tsp. honey (preferably raw)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (whey or plant)
- 1 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
1. Place all ingredients in a blender (except coconut oil) and blend until smooth.
2. Heat a nonstick pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil to pan. When it melts and is hot, ladle 2 Tbsp. of batter onto the griddle. Let cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until light golden color develops on bottom; flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Add 5 dark chocolate chips on top of each pancake. Let cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until light golden color develops on bottom; flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Banana Walnut Cinnamon Pancakes
Add 4 slices of bananas, 1 tsp. walnut pieces and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of each pancake. Let cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until light golden color develops on bottom; flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Blueberry Lemon Pancakes
Add zest of 1 lemon and 1 cup blueberries to the batter and mix well before ladling onto the griddle.