It’s funny how everyone loves pancakes but we only seem to eat them one day a year: Pancake day! Generally known for being rather delicious but not necessarily healthy, we wondered if perhaps there were healthy alternatives that we could incorporate into an active lifestyle and, furthermore, whether we could find pancakes that could actually help our training regime.
Pancakes are not just for Pancake day. They are for fitness too!
Pancakes before a long morning run anyone? If that sounds yummy, what about protein pancakes that can help you build muscle. That would work for many of you out there who love to lift, wouldn’t it? Well, we are sure you don’t just want to have ‘fuel to burn’ or ‘bulk up’, we believe you deserve deliciousness too.
And what about those of you looking for something different? Bored with white flour, standard pancakes? Perhaps you are gluten intolerant and looking for an alternative, or perhaps you seek ultimate nutrition. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Discover Other Grains
There are many more alternatives out there to wheat, including oats, buckwheat and even quinoa. You can incorporate all of these to tailor-make pancakes to your needs. Quinoa for example is high in protein and nutrients making it a great ingredient to use in your pancakes. See more on the health benefits of these grain alternatives below.
is a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. It is slightly bitter when cooked and opens up to release little white curls (like a tail) as they soften.
Grown in South America for thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. In recent years, foodies in the UK and the US have heralded it as a superior alternative to bulgur wheat, couscous and rice. Though it often occupies a similar role to these grains in dishes, quinoa is actually in the same family as beets, chard and spinach.
A protein feast
Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease.
With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a great source of calcium, magnesium and manganese and possesses good levels of B vitamins, vitamin E and fibre.
Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets.
A 100g serving of quinoa provides:
6 g fat
If you like quinoa you’re going to love these pancakes! Quinoa is definitely a grain that you want to include in your diet.
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 packet stevia (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
Heat a large skillet coated with coconut oil, over medium heat.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Pour batter onto the skillet making 4 pancakes.
Cook the pancakes slowly over a medium heat for about 3-5 minutes then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Serve with maple syrup, honey, nut butter and/or fresh fruit.
Buckwheat is not strictly a cereal. It’s related to rhubarb and sorrel, so it’s gluten-free, which makes it a popular substitute for wheat-based grains.
It’s high in fibre, and studies have shown that it helps slow down the rate of glucose absorption after a meal, which means it’s a healthy choice for people with diabetes.
Buckwheat is high in manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc, which are great for the immune system. It also contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine which plays a key role in collagen production and is not produced by the human body.
Rice Flour & Buckwheat Pancakes for runners
Buckwheat pancakes offer both carbs and protein, which means they are great for runners. Remember, they don’t need to be sweet! A good savoury pancake can give you the fuel you need to burn slowly over a long run.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 225ml/8fl oz milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 60g/2½oz rice flour
- 2½ tbsp buckwheat flour
- 1½ tsp vegetable oil
- 2 small eggs, preferably organic
- 40ml/1½fl oz water
Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the milk, salt and sugar. Stir well and take off the heat.
Put both flours in a mixing bowl, add vegetable oil and the eggs.
Whisk the eggs, bringing in the flour until it thickens. Add the milk mixture little by little and then whisk in the water.
Put the batter in the fridge for a couple of hours.
To cook, heat a frying pan, add a little oil and then pour in just enough batter to cover the base of the pan.
Allow to cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, then flip over onto the other side and continue to cook until slightly golden.
Slide onto a plate and bingo, repeat. Add fruit, nuts, whole earth peanut butter, or for more savoury versions try cheese and tomato.
Muscle building pancakes
For the real hardcore among you, try either oats, buckwheat or quinoa as a base with cottage cheese, protein powder and a couple of eggs to really max out on protein.
We hope this has opened your eyes not only to the joy of pancakes but also the variety and benefits out there too. It’s up to you now, go forth and fry!