Healthy Pancakes for Breakfast

Whether you whip up pancakes during the week or save them for a big family brunch on the weekend, a stack of pancakes covered in maple syrup and melted butter isn’t exactly the most nutritious breakfast you can sink your fork into. Usually made with white flour and sugar, traditional pancakes don’t offer much in the way of nutrients. If you’re a fan of flapjacks, here’s how you can make them healthier while also adding bold and unique flavors.

  • Make homemade batter: prepackaged pancake mixes are made with enriched white flour and partially hydrogenated soybean oil; they may be easy, but they’re not exactly good for you. It only takes five minutes to mix up your own pancake recipe, and using whole wheat flour makes for added nutrition. Try this recipe (found at the end of this blog) for whole wheat cinnamon pancakes.
  • Mash in baked sweet potato: To replace some of the fat and sugar in your recipe, use mashed baked sweet potato. For a recipe that makes 12 pancakes and calls for one and a third cups of buttermilk and one tablespoon of brown sugar, I use about half a cup of mashed sweet potato and half a cup of buttermilk, and omit the sugar altogether. It not only gave my stack a warm, golden hue, but the texture was also more moist and they tasted a tad sweeter.

Keep on reading to hear other ways to make your pancakes healthier.

  • Add oats to the batter: Oatmeal pancakes are hearty because they’re full of fiber and protein, and as a bonus, the oats also add a soft, chewy texture. You can use rolled or quick oats, and here’s a recipe for banana almond oatmeal pancakes.
  • Load up the batter with fruit: When bananas or berries are becoming too ripe, I place them in containers in the freezer and use them for pancake batter later. Don’t just throw in a few frozen blueberries — load up the batter with tons of fruit. Before serving, add more fresh fruit on top. The fruit adds fiber and natural sweetness so you can go much lighter on the syrup or skip it entirely.
  • Replace the egg with a mashed banana: To save on fat and cholesterol, a nifty vegan trick is to replace the egg with a banana. Just mash it with a fork and add it to the rest of the ingredients. This definitely adds a strong banana flavor, so if you’re a fan of this fruit, this could be your new favorite tip.
  • Replace the fat with applesauce: Another vegan trick, applesauce adds moistness without any fat. If your recipe calls for half a cup of oil, substitute half a cup of applesauce instead.
  • Use cooking spray instead of butter: A spray of Pam that lasts one second will run you six calories. That’s 30 fewer calories than cooking your pancake in a pat of butter.
  • Top with maple Greek yogurt: A quarter-cup serving of real maple syrup contains 200 calories. Instead of drowning your healthy stack of pancakes in liquid sugar, mix three ounces of plain Greek with a teaspoon of syrup and top that on your breakfast for a touch of maple sweetness with added protein.

Ready to preheat your pan? To see the recipe, just read more.

Whole Wheat-Cinnamon Pancakes
Inspired by Everyday Food Whole Wheat-Cinnamon Pancakes


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup lowfat yogurt
1 cup nonfat milk (more to thin as needed)
4 tablespoon canola oil (plus more for the griddle)
2 large eggs


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Whisk together milk, yogurt, oil and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Add more milk to make batter to your liking.
  3. Brush oil onto preheated skillet or griddle. Use about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake.
  4. Cook until pancake surface begins to bubble and a few have burst, about 1 – 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 – 2 minutes more.
  5. Serve with Greek yogurt, sliced fresh fruit, nuts, and a wee bit of maple syrup. Remember: syrup is essentially liquid sugar (not quite as bad, but still…) so don’t go overboard.

Makes about 24 four inch pancakes/serves 8

This recipe makes enough for four of us to eat heartily with enough pancakes leftover for another breakfast, at least for the girls.

Check out the nutritional information below.

Recipe For Banana Almond Oatmeal Pancakes
Modified from an old family recipe


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick or rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (or skim milk) (depending on whether you like thin or thick pancakes)
1 banana, diced
Cooking spray for pan
1/4 cup almonds
1 banana, sliced


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, egg, cinnamon, and honey. Stir in the soy milk to the desired consistency. I like my pancakes to be neither too thin nor too thick, so I added 1 1/4 cups of soy milk. Stir in the bananas.
  2. Place a skillet on medium heat (I use a square-shaped griddle). After spraying the pan, pour batter into 4-inch diameter circles (using about 1/4 cup of batter).
  3. While the pancakes are cooking, hand chop the almonds on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
  4. Once the pancakes begin to bubble, flip them and cook for another minute or so on the other side until golden brown.
  5. Serve three pancakes with sliced bananas and chopped almonds. They’re delicious like this, or for a sweeter breakfast, pour on two tablespoons of real maple syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes (four servings).

Serving Size 3 pancakes
Calories 337
Total Fat 6.5g
Sat. Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 47 mg
Sodium 603 mg
Carbs 62.2 g
Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 10.5 g



2 Responses to “Healthy Pancakes for Breakfast”

  1. Healthy Living Says:

    Excellent recipe today thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading today’s post.

    Check out this healthy recipe – Cheese Topped Vegetables

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