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A Private Chef’s Healthy Protein Pancake Recipe

April 3, 2024
Courtesy of chef Josh Ferris

Pancakes get a bad rap for being a less-healthy breakfast option, but that’s not necessarily true. Case in point: Chef Josh Ferris, resident chef at retreat company Wise+Well, devised a protein pancake recipe that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free — but also really delicious and satisfying.

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“Our pancakes are a fan favorite,” Ferris says. “Guests love their natural sweetness, fluffy golden-brown texture, and impressive 10 grams of protein per serving. These protein-packed pancakes ensure our guests feel nourished and energized throughout their day of wellness.”

Having tried these pancakes myself one morning at the Wise+Well retreat, I can definitely vouch for their crave-worthy flavor and also how satiating they are (they kept any hunger pangs at bay for hours). That’s saying a lot, seeing as I’m not even on a dairy-free or gluten-free diet.

So, the next time you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday brunch at home, entertaining overnight guests, or just feel like switching things up for your morning meal, you’ll definitely want to whip up a batch of these wholesome flapjacks.

Chef Ferris’ Protein Pancakes

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 minutes per batch
Yield: 10 pancakes (5 servings)

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 scoops vanilla-flavored plant-based protein powder
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup strawberries or raspberries, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup blackberries, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw unfiltered honey
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and protein powder; whisk to mix well.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the berries, banana, and vanilla extract. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash all the ingredients together. Add the eggs, almond milk, and honey; whisk well.
  3. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture; whisk until the batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt ½ tablespoon butter in the pan, spreading it over the surface. Pour the batter into the skillet in ¼-cup scoops. Don’t overcrowd the pan; you need enough space to flip the pancakes. Cook until you see bubbles starting to form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook the other side until golden brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  5. Keep the cooked pancakes warm on a plate in the oven while you repeat with more butter and the remaining batter. Serve warm.

Protein pancake pro tips

  • Make sure you use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, Ferris  says. He recommends King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour.
  • You can use any vanilla protein powder, but Ferris likes the MIKUNA Chocho Superfood Protein, which has only five minimally processed ingredients and packs 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per serving.
  • As for almond milk, Ferris’ go-to brand is MALK, which is organic, non-GMO, and oil- and gum-free.
  • “I like to mash the fruit in the batter so there aren’t any large chunks of berries,” Ferris says . “Mashing the fruit also brings out all of its natural sugars, enhancing the flavor of the pancakes.”
  • You can use any combination of berries you want for this protein pancake recipe, so feel free to swap the blackberries for more strawberries or raspberries, or use only blueberries, for example. 
  • For a different flavor profile, omit the berries, and add a couple tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes and unsweetened cacao powder. Add a handful of chocolate chips to the batter before cooking.
  • Serve the protein pancakes with a drizzle of local maple syrup or date syrup. Or, for more protein and some healthy fats, try a spoonful of nut or seed butter.

Read next: 10 Healthier Pancake Recipes You’ll Love

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