Protein Pancakes, or the Importance of Listening to Your Mother.

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Grain Free Paleo Pancakes

When it comes to mothers, mine is (almost) always right.  But when it comes to these paleo pancakes, I can pull out a little mom wisdom myself.

When I was a little girl, I, being a child of the 80’s, wanted nothing more than crap for breakfast.  I watched the beguiling commercials – Super Golden Crisp!  Pop Tarts! Leggo my Eggo!  – and I asked, nay, begged my mother to give me this super-sugary stuff of my dreams for breakfast.  My mother, having come of age in the crunchy late 60’s and 70’s in California, wisely turned me down.  I had to eat healthy breakfasts, which always included protein.  Cream cheese, peanut butter, whole grain breads – on test days I always had eggs.  Protein in the morning was her mantra.  I, sulking, vowed that when I had children, I would buy Cocoa Krispies for breakfast!

Of course, my mother was right.  One day she gave in to my pleading  and let me have pancakes for breakfast (though it’s possible my father had a hand in this disaster).  2 hours later the school nurse called her – I felt awful – headache, stomachache, you name it.   My mother crisply told the nurse to feed me some cheese and lo and behold!  I felt better!  Low blood sugar.  (I wish I could say that from this day forward, I happily ate my eggs and turned my nose up at Lucky Charms, but, sadly, it took many years of collegiate hangovers and maturity before I submitted to her wisdom.)

Now I am a mother, and Karma is an ahole, because I have the same battles with my kids.  Every morning (or every weekend mornings, because weekdays I have learned enough not to ask), the girl says “Please!  Can we have pancakes?  You never make pancakes!” and the boy, who worships his sister, pipes in with his little voice, shouting “Pancake!  I wan’ Pancake!” and then adds, hopefully, “Frosting?” (Because cakes have frosting.  I am clearly more relaxed about sugar than my mother was.  Pancakes do not, however.  I’m not THAT relaxed.) And I repeat back to them my mother’s mantra, and try to wangle some sausages into them and the whole thing, is frankly, exhausting.

So I, aided by a world that has begun to see the wisdom of my mother’s ways (thank you, Paleo!) set out to make a breakfast that would make me AND my kids happy.  Pancakes, with protein (and less sugar/refined white flour/stuff that raises your blood sugar).  I have to admit, the first few – ahem – several attempts were not met with enthusiasm.  Too dry, fall apart, taste like sawdust.  I knew I was in trouble when my husband, who is a goat, and eats everything, said “Can’t you just make some regular pancakes?”  But, dear readers, I perservered, and that’s why you get this lovely recipe today.

They are pancakes.  They look like pancakes – they cook like pancakes – the batter pours out in neat rounds, and you know they’re ready to flip when they get bubbles on the upside.  They don’t taste EXACTLY like bisquik pancakes, but they taste good enough that my daughter, who is picky, to put it mildly (as well as being a carboholic) said, “Mommy, you make the best pancakes.  I really like these.”  And they’re grain-free, gluten-free, relatively low-carb, and depending on the size of your pancakes, have about 2 g protein per smallish pancake (according to My Fitness Pal, when I figure the recipe makes about 22 pancakes), which means that a 4 pancake serving (which even the toddler can EASILY put away) has 8 grams of protein, which is pretty good for weekend breakfast, especially if you pair it with some bacon (which my kids, for the record, will ALWAYS eat.)  Paleo Pancakes have become a big hit.

Now I get to be the wise mom AND the fun mom, and some day my daughter will say this about me – “My mom was always right.”

Protein Pancakes
Serves: 5
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 scoop (28g) Protein Powder (I like Designer Whey blend - in either chocolate or vanilla)
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • ½ tsp.cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. measure-for-measure sweetener, like Splenda baking blend or Truvia (optional) (or ½ tsp. sugar)
  • butter or coconut oil, for cooking
  • butter and syrup, for eating
  1. In a blender, combine the eggs, protein powder, almond meal, cottage cheese, cinnamon and sweetener. Blend until totally smooth.
  2. Heat a griddle to medium heat and brush with melted butter or coconut oil. Portion out about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. Wait until the pancakes are bubbly and slightly dry at the edges, then flip (after the first few, you'll get a sense of the timing). Serve hot, with butter and/or maple syrup and/or honey (or, if you are two, with frosting.)
You can substitute 4 oz. cream cheese for the cottage cheese.
These can also be frozen and reheated in the toaster oven for weekday breakfasts.
This will make about 20 pancakes, give or take.


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