Since going paleo 3-4 months ago, my breakfasts have been dominated by eggs/meat/veggies. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that (I love eggs) but sometimes I do miss my old sweet breakfast standby of oatmeal with fruit. So this past week I’ve been playing around with paleo protein pancakes (3P’s).
I’ve experimented with paleo baking before, so I’ve learned a little bit about working with coconut flour, almond flour, nut butters and raw honey. Generally, my results have been very good – I brought my paleo pumpkin chocolate chip muffins into my office and no one knew they were dairy and gluten free! One problem with paleo baking is that the end product is very calorie-dense and low in protein for the calories.
Enter protein powder. I stumbled across Protein POW(der)!, an excellent website with tons of recipes and information about baking/cooking with all types of protein powder. I learned that protein can dry out a recipe unless it’s balanced with the right amount of liquid or fat and with all that protein it can become rubbery so you need something to give it a lift.
So here’s what I tried this week. I kept the flavoring ingredients (vanilla and cinnamon) the same to see how the other ingredients affected the final product’s taste and texture. first I tried the world’s simplest protein pancake recipe: 1 scoop protein powder and about 3/4 C liquid egg whites. The “batter” is super thin, but to my surprise the pancakes weren’t that bad but were definitely more like crepes than pancakes. This would be good if you had nothing in the fridge and had to figure out what to have for breakfast.
Next, I had some leftover canned pumpkin in the fridge, so I tried this recipe. I left out the ground flax because I take flaxseed oil every day and didn’t want to have a digestive disaster 🙂 . This was a great recipe and a significant taste improvement over the first recipe for what I like in a pancake. I just can’t keep bananas around the house because my husband eats them before they can get really nice and ripe. I’ll have to stash some secret ‘nanners for this recipe.
Yesterday I tried a pancake with sweet potatoes instead of the banana. I must say, I freaking love sweet potatoes in every conceivable preparation – roasted, mashed, sweet or savory. They’re versatile and loaded with vitamins, plus they’re dirt cheap at Costco. Win-win-win. Anyway, here’s the recipe:
- 1 egg plus 1 egg white
- 1/3 C (approx) mashed sweet potato
- 1 T raw honey
- 1 scoop MRM All Natural Whey (vanilla)*
- splash coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- cinnamon to taste
Mix it all up and cook in large skillet greased with 1 T virgin coconut oil (the best fat ever for greasing baking dishes, muffin tins, pans, etc.). This made 3 small pancakes. I really liked these as they were nice and fluffy and all of the ingredients are things I always have on hand. Today I think I’m going to try using 1/2 whey and 1/2 casein powder to see if that makes any difference. Plus I need to try and use up the giant container of casein I have in my pantry. Yes, I know casein (and whey that’s not hydrolyzed) isn’t technically paleo, but I don’t think hydrolyzed whey would work very well for baking given the fact that the proteins are already broken down so much that it would make the pancakes taste like a tire. Plus I don’t plan on making pancakes a daily occurrence like they have been this week. I’m a little type A in that I like to try recipes over and over again until I figure out what I like, then I can move on from it. Happy pancake-ing!
*I’m on the hunt for an all-natural protein powder. This one is OK, but it does contain carrageenan. The manufacturer claims that the carrageenan they use is different from the type that has been linked to cancer but I’d rather play it safe. It’s hard to find a natural or organic protein powder that doesn’t have a ton of artificial ingredients, cost half my paycheck, or taste like cardboard! I’m open to suggestions…