I love pancakes. Who doesn’t? I try to make them for myself at least once a week as I believe wholeheartedly that they make me a better person. Though pancakes don’t generally come to mind when thinking of “clean eating,” they can definitely be tweeked to accommodate those who want to enjoy them while staying on the healthy train. Obviously, no healthy version of pancakes will compare to delicious, carby, gluten-packed buttermilk stacks of yumminess but they can be pretty delicious and deliver nutrition in versions that are more friendly for day-to-day meals rather than occasional treats.
I’ve been thinking about making sweet potato pancakes for a while now, as I’m constantly trying to find new ways to incorporate paleo-friendly carbs into my post-workout meals. Today, I woke up feeling brunchy and I could think of no better way to indulge in that feeling than by making pancakes. The major concern with healthy pancakes is that they can either be really dry or really egg-y since egg often makes up the majority of the composition. After browsing a few recipes, I settled upon this one of my own. Was pretty happy with the way that they turned out so I thought I’d share.
The great thing about these pancakes is that they’re nutritionally sound. Aside from protein pancakes that call for protein powder, pancakes usually lack substantive nutrition as they’re made up of empty carbs and sugar. Not these puppies. The sweet potato delivers healthy carbs along with fiber, vitamins A, B-6, and C, and magnesium. The eggs add protein, healthy fats, and more vitamins and minerals, while the banana adds potassium and natural sugars. While I could definitely see myself throwing a little breakfast sausage or bacon on the side of these, they’re perfecting nourishing and satiating all on their own.
Gather This: (1 serving)
- 1/2 small ripe banana
- 1 medium sweet potato (about 1/2 c mashed), cooked
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour (could probably sub for other kinds of flour but I’ve only tried with coconut)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash of salt
1. If your sweet potato isn’t cooked, poke some holes in it with a fork and stick it in the microwave. I usually bake them in the oven ahead of time but this might take more time than you’d like. If so, use this handy dandy tutorial from Nom Nom Paleo to cook them quickly. If your potatoes are freshly cooked, let them cool a bit (maybe about 10 minutes) before adding them to the pancake mix as to not cook the eggs.
2. Add wet ingredients (banana, sweet potato, eggs, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla extract) to a bowl and mix well. I usually add the banana, sweet potato, and eggs first and mash them together well with a fork to get them smooth before mixing with the other ingredients.
3. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt) in a small bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredient to the dry and mix well.
5. Heat cooking fat of choice in a skillet over medium-low heat (on my stove this is setting 3). (If you’re making multiple pancakes (which I highly suggest!) as opposed to one large one, this is a good time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. This way you can toss the already-made pancakes in to stay warm while you’re cooking the others.)
6. Once oil is heated, spoon batter into pan until your pancakes are the size and shape you desire. I suggest keeping them small and making them one at a time as it makes the flipping process go over much easier. These solidify nicely but they will still be a little thinner than traditional pancakes so you don’t want to risk making a big mess of the whole thing.
7. Cook until pancakes start to bubble (about 3-4 minutes) and then flip and let cook for an additional 2 minutes or so. Throw the first round of cakes onto a tray and into the heated oven while you make the others (I ended up with four total).
8. And now the fun part. Once all of your cakes are made, jazz them up how you see fit. I went with the organic no-sugar added Very Berry Jam that I got from the farmer’s market, chunky almond butter, and some drizzled coconut milk. This is a great moment to add some more sugar if you’ve got a sweet tooth or add some more nutrition value with nut butters, fresh fruit, etc.
Yum yum yum.