Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes
Everyone has a story to tell when it comes to pancakes. Whether it’s a memory from your childhood, watching your mother flip those fluffy cakes on the griddle every weekend, or sitting at a booth in your favorite neighborhood diner where the coffee flows like water and the pancakes are the size of your plate. Whatever your pancake story is, I’m sure it’s special.
Written by Alyssa Rimmer from Queen of Quinoa
Because pancakes are just one of those foods. The special kind of food. A food that instantly brings a smile to your face, and takes you to another world with each bite you take.
For me, the art of pancake making came from my Dad. When I was growing up, we had pancakes everyday Saturday morning, always blueberry and always served with a dollop of butter and drizzled (or sometimes drenched) in pure Vermont maple syrup. That was our style. Simple and delicious. It was a ritual of sorts.
But that changed for me when I went gluten-free a few years ago. Sadly, I can no longer enjoy my Dad’s Saturday morning pancakes. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from making them! We now carry the tradition on in our house, we’ve just tweaked the recipes slightly.
Once I mastered the perfect gluten-free pancake, it was time to start experimenting. That’s one of the wonderful things about pancakes. They’re easy to manipulate and they love getting infused with new flavors.
With this batch of gluten-free pancakes, I wanted to go the super healthy route.
First, I didn’t want to use any starches (which is a common ingredient in gluten-free baked goods), because they’re essentially devoid of any nutrients. Instead, my focus was on fiber and protein rich flours, which quickly led me to oats and almond flour, both of which are very nutritious. I also threw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder to pack these cakes with even more of a nutritional punch.
Second, I wanted to reduce the fat content considerably. Not to say that most pancakes are full of fat, because they’re not, but there are little tricks you can do to make them that much lighter. I opted for applesauce to replace some of the oil and some of the fat from the eggs and then chose to use just egg whites as my binding agent (I have yet to master the perfect vegan pancake).
As I always do, I used almond milk, which does have some fat, but it’s the healthy kind of fat (just like the flour), and is much lower in calories than it’s dairy alternatives.
Overall, these healthy applesauce gluten-free pancakes were a huge hit. The texture is not quite as sturdy as your traditional gluten-filled pancake, and you have to be careful when you flip them, but boy where they tasty. And because they were packed with nutrients and protein, I was left feeling full on just two. A successful Saturday morning breakfast in my book!
What’s your pancake story?
Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes
Yield: 9 - 10 pancakes, depending on the size
A lightened up, gluten-free version of perfect griddlecakes, these oatmeal pancakes are sweet, flavorful and perfect for a weekend breakfast!
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free optional)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour (I recommend Honeyville)
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on your taste preference)
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons egg whites (roughly two large egg whites)
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Oil/butter for cooking
Topping ideas: toasted coconut, apple butter, raspberry jam, fresh fruit, sliced apples tossed in cinnamon, butter/coconut oil & maple syrup (pure, of course!)
Blend 1 cup of the oats in a food processor or high-speed blender until they resemble a flour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the wet ingredients until full incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat until smooth. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes to let the oats soften a little.
Heat a griddle pan over medium low and grease with your desired ingredient (I used coconut oil which was lovely). Ladle the batter on the pan, whatever size you would like. Cook until small bubbles start to form about 3 - 5 minutes, or until browned. The bottom of the pancakes should be fully cooked and sturdy enough to slide the spatula under them. If it's not and the pancake starts to break, continue to cook.
Flip (carefully!) the pancakes over and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes until brown. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.