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10 Easy Pancake Recipes That Your Waistline Will Love

author image Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a chef, nutritionist, recipe developer, media personality and award-winning cookbook author. She’s a culinary instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and frequent contributor to Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Her newest book is the second edition of "The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook."

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10 Easy Pancake Recipes That Your Waistline Will Love
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent

Pancakes are one of the most popular breakfasts in America. They can also be one of the most caloric. But if done right, they can actually be good for you. First you need to start with the right ingredients: Use flour with benefits, such as whole-wheat pastry, garbanzo bean and coconut flour, and include other nutrient-rich ingredients, such as Greek yogurt, fruits and nuts. Consider savory pancake recipes rather than solely sweet versions. And try drizzling them with coconut nectar or pure maple syrup rather than typical table syrup. Here are 10 good-for-you, great-tasting pancakes that you can whip up and serve any time.

1. Protein Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Move over, protein drink! Protein-packed pancakes provide a more satisfying way to pump up this muscle-friendly nutrient in the morning. This recipe offers protein in not one, but five ways: eggs, egg whites, garbanzo bean flour, hemp protein powder and hemp seeds! The protein provided by both eggs and hemp seeds is considered to be of high quality. Though the pancakes are loaded with hearty ingredients, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the naturally sweet taste, thanks to bananas, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon, and the actual caramelization (browning) of the pancakes. To complete them, drizzle with a little pure maple syrup and sprinkle with fresh seasonal fruit. CALORIES: 437

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

2. Lemon-Chia Vegan Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Chia seeds are so cool. They contain heart-healthful omega-3s and can act as egg replacers in recipes. That’s their mission in this lemony, vegan pancake recipe. You’ll first need to allow them to gel by soaking the seeds in the recipe’s liquids for 15 minutes. When making the pancakes, wait until the first side is fully cooked before flipping -- which is how to make pancakes properly anyway. The fluffy, moist result may surprise you, especially if you haven’t used chia seeds before. Just simmer a mixture of blueberries and blueberry jam and serve over the warm pancakes. Sprinkle with lemon zest too. CALORIES: 365

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

3. Savory Spinach, Tomato and Goat Cheese Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Getting veggies and other healthful plant-based benefits at breakfast time can seem challenging for some, but not when you have this recipe in hand. These pancakes feature garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, oats, spinach and grape tomatoes. They offer a savory way to start (or end) the day -- and a flavorful way to fill up on fiber. A sprinkling of goat cheese adds a hint of lusciousness. Instead of drizzling with syrup, you’ll generously squirt these with fresh lemon juice. While you’re at it, grate a little lemon zest on top for extra zing and limonene, which is a cancer-protective oil found naturally in citrus peel. CALORIES: 379

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

4. Sunny-Side-Up Scallion Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Don’t worry if it’s too early for your brain to decide between eggs or pancakes for breakfast: You can have both! Here you’ll enjoy two large whole-grain pancakes made savory with scallions. Then you’ll top your pancake stack with an egg prepared any which way, such as sunny-side up. There’s no need for syrup -- the egg provides the succulent balance you need, not to mention all of the nutrients packed into the yolk, including eye-healthful lutein and zeaxanthin. For added appeal, sprinkle with lemon zest and extra sliced scallions. Got a heartier appetite? Prepare additional eggs and serve pancakes and eggs in layers. CALORIES: 346

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

5. Greek Yogurt Pancakes With Strawberries
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Everything is done light and so right with this healthier take on traditional pancakes. Whole-wheat pastry flour replaces all-purpose white flour; nonfat plain Greek yogurt and no-sugar-added applesauce replaces the combination of sugar, butter and buttermilk. That means no added fat or sugar from these swaps. The result is a perfectly moist pancake with just enough fluffiness. Flavor is boosted with pure vanilla extract and a vibrant strawberry topping. It’s ideal to use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones to take advantage of the juices from the thawed strawberries. Top with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt. CALORIES: 290

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

6. Mini-Trail Mix Pancake Stack
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If you take a healthful buttermilk pancake recipe and a little bag of trail mix and whirl them together, this is what you get. You can pick your favorite trail mix or make your own from a combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruits or dark chocolate chips. The pancake batter uses whole-wheat pastry flour for whole-grain goodness. It makes a winning meal after a workout. Drizzle with honey or coconut nectar and sprinkle with extra trail mix, especially if you had an intensive workout. You’ll be able to easily replenish the glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in your muscles to prepare you for your next activity. CALORIES: 412

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

7. Three-Ingredient Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Recipes don’t get much simpler than this. All you need to do is whisk together a mashed banana with a couple of eggs and a pinch of salt to balance taste. That’s it. Just make sure your banana is fully ripened so it’ll be at its sweetest. You’ll ladle and cook these in a skillet just like regular pancakes, but these are protein-rich and naturally gluten free, so they’ll fit into many more diets than regular ol’ starchy pancakes. You can top them just like regular pancakes as well. A drizzle of pure maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon is perfect. CALORIES: 249

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

8. Flourless Chocolate-Mint Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Chocolate for breakfast? Why not! These pancakes are actually loaded with antioxidants from cocoa powder, potassium from banana and protein from eggs. They’re definitely not traditional pancakes because their two main ingredients are bananas and eggs. In fact, they’re a little more like crepes. There’s no added sugar to be found, yet they’re downright dessert-like. Prepare a batch to enjoy as dessert for two, if you like. The bonus: They’re simple to make. To serve, sprinkle these delightful pancakes with coconut nectar, raspberries and fresh mint leaves. CALORIES: 279

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

9. Southwestern Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


If you enjoy cornbread, you’ll be enamored with these whole-grain pancakes. They’re inspired by cornbread, including a mixture of whole-wheat pastry flour and organic yellow cornmeal, but prepared as fluffy pancakes. They include ground coriander, minced garlic and grated lime zest for deliciousness and added nutrients. But here’s where the fun really begins: You can top these pancakes with guacamole, pico de gallo or salsa and fresh cilantro. Or you can go for a sweet-and-savory bite by simply drizzling with honey. They’re an ideal pick for a pancake dinner. CALORIES: 413

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

10. Coconut-Peach Sundae Pancakes
Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


Whipping up a batch of these luxurious pancakes will put you in a totally tropical mood. They seem like dessert, but they’re designed for a meal since they’re rich in protein. The flour of choice is coconut flour, and the sugar of choice is coconut sugar. Neither of these ingredients cause blood sugar spikes to the degree of their traditional counterparts, so that enables you to top these pancakes with petite scoops of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt without worry. If you have calories to spare, sprinkle with toasted sliced natural almonds or coconut chips for intriguing texture and extra tropical flair. CALORIES: 440

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

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Courtesy of Jackie Newgent


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What Do YOU Think?
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Do you think traditional pancakes are unhealthy? Why or why not? Do you ever prepare savory pancakes? What’s your favorite pancake topping? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

Related: Do These So-Called Superfoods Live Up to the Hype?

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