These Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes are the perfect thing to make when kickstarting your day! Completely fluffy, soft, jam-packed with protein, and naturally sweetened, these pancakes are truly irresistible! Made in just a few short steps and under 25 minutes TOTAL. Vegan + Gluten-free options available.
There's truly not much to say about these Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes. They are seriously SO delicious and fluffy that it's insane. I'm always here for starting my day with pancakes because they are so easy to whip together and they're so versatile in terms of flavors.
Pancakes were literally one of the first types of breakfast foods that I learned to master growing up. I remember whipping together pancakes and eggs during my teens years and creating big, thick pancakes that weren't the most perfect in shape, but they got the job done in terms of being filling and tasting great. Haha.
But if your family loves pancakes as much as mine does, then these protein pancakes are sure to be a hit! The great thing is that they taste so delicious that you don't even notice the health benefits that come along with them.
Plus, I have a great vegan and gluten-free option for those who are sensitive to certain ingredients. It's a win, win.
How to Make Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes
Don’t be intimidated by a pancake recipe. I know that many people are afraid to experiment with pancakes because they might not be perfect. But you probably already have most, if not all, of the ingredients at home for these Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes!
Banana. Use a ripe banana for the sweetest flavor.
Quinoa. Cook your quinoa ahead of time. This is a great way to repurpose leftover cooked grains!
Eggs. This is the binder for the batter. For an egg-free option, simple substitute your eggs with 2 “flax eggs”.
Maple syrup. This vegan-friendly liquid sweetener is subtly sweet and won’t overpower the cinnamon and banana flavor. You can also sub maple syrup with Agave, date syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or pure cane sugar. If you’re not vegan, honey also works.
Almond butter. This is a great source of protein. If preferred, you can always substitute Almond butter with peanut butter, SunButter (perfect for allergy-free needs!), Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter), Hazelnut Butter, etc.
All-purpose flour. I recommend organic flour from Bob’s Red Mill.
Baking powder. This will lighten your pancakes so they’re fluffy and airy. Make sure your baking powder is fresh (not expired!) for best results.
Cinnamon + nutmeg. These add a warm fall flavor the pancakes that compliments sweet banana nicely.
Almond milk. You can use any dairy or dairy-free milk you have on hand.
Vanilla. Another important flavor boost to these decadent banana pancakes.
Canola oil. I like to use a high-quality organic version of this oil by La Tourangelle, however, you can substitute with coconut oil or melted vegan butter, if preferred.
What Kind of Milk For Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes
When it comes to vegan milk options, there are so many possibilities. From soy milk to nut milk to the newest trend, potato milk, you can find a delicious plant-based option you love. And what makes these milks even better? You can make them from scratch at home! All of these dairy-free milk recipes will work for this Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes recipe:
You can use any kind of quinoa to make these protein pancakes. It must be cooked beforehand, however. You can choose between white quinoa, multi-color grains, or red quinoa.
What Are the Best Protein Packed Ingredients?
When it comes to making these Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes, you can definitely add your favorite protein powder to the mix for a great source of protein. However, if you're looking to add specific ingredients that contain good amounts of protein, then these are a great place to start:
Dairy products (i.e. milk, yogurt, cheese)
Nuts and seeds (i.e. almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)
Like I said, my very first mastering of pancakes came out of a pancake mix box, so I totally understand if you’d prefer this method. Besides, there are many healthier pancake mixes out today which makes for a quick, easy alternative to whipping together the ingredients yourself.
When using pancake mix, I definitely recommend a high-quality mix for starters. Secondly, here are a few tips to turning that pancake mix into fluffy pancakes:
Sift the dry ingredients of the mix.
Use melted butter or vegetable oil to add fat to the mix, especially when it says to just add water.
Again, even if it says to just add water, use milk or milk + apple cider vinegar instead.
Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the mix as an extra boost in fluffiness—it’s helps!
Toppings for Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes
Add crunch and texture to your Healthy Fluffy Protein Pancakes with your favorite toppings. I like to serve these pancakes with:
Fresh berries, especially strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
Sliced almonds or another nut. Walnuts, hazelnuts or brazil nuts are also great.
Almond butter or another nut butter
Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower
Yogurt. You can use plant-based or regular Greek yogurt to add a nice creamy addition.
Sliced bananas for additional sweetness and nutrients.
Can I Make Gluten-Free and Vegan Protein Pancakes?
Absolutely! If you’d like to make this protein pancake recipe gluten-free, simply swap the flour with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. I like Bob’s Red Mill. If the batter is too runny, add more flour, ¼ cup at a time, until you have a thick and fluffy batter.
You may need to make slightly smaller pancakes so they hold their shape better. However, to make these pancakes vegan, simply omit the eggs and substitute with 2 ‘flax eggs’ (2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsps water) and create a dairy-free buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the milk.
How to Store + Freeze Leftover Pancakes
If you’re thinking about storing your leftover pancakes for a longer period of time OR you’d rather meal prep them for less hassle, it’s so easy to freeze them. When you freeze them, they generally last for up to 3 months when stored properly. If you
Personally, I doing method #2, however, you can always pick and choose which works best for you:
Method #1: Place your cooled pancakes in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about 1 hour or so. Once solid, add them to an airtight sealed container or ziplock bags and store in the freezer.
Method #2: Once your pancakes are cooled, stack them together with parchment paper in between each pancake and place them into an airtight sealed container or ziplock and store in the freezer.
When you’re ready to reheat and serve, simply do so in a microwave, toaster, oven, or over the stove top in a skillet until warmed through.
1 ¾cupsAlmond milk(You can use whole milk or your fave plant-based milk)
2Tbspsalmond butter, softened(See Notes!)
3Tbspspure maple syrup
1-2Tbspsunsalted butter, for cooking
Slice almonds, toasted
Fresh berries(You can use strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries)
TO COOK THE QUINOA:
Begin by adding 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Add in the ½ cup quinoa, whisking continuously while boiling for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking every 3-4 minutes until fully cooked through, and water has dried, and the quinoa has thickened. Remove from heat and let it cool.
TO MAKE THE PANCAKES:
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together and whisk until combined.
Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, eggs, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, cooled cooked quinoa, and mashed banana, stirring gently (using a spatula) until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX! NOTE: If the batter is way too thick and hard to stir, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until more smooth, yet still thick enough.
Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to a heated skillet over medium-high heat and wait until fully melted. Pour ½ cup of pancake batter unto the surface of the skillet and cook for about 1-2 minutes (until batter begins to bubble) and gently flip pancake to it’s opposite side, cooking another 1-2 minutes. NOTE: Be sure to gently press down on pancake to ensure that center cooks through.
Once cooked and lightly brown on both sides, remove pancake from heat and repeat steps until all batter is used.
To serve, stack pancakes onto one another and top with your favorite topping(s) and lightly drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: You can store any leftovers tightly sealed in a ziplock bag and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat in the oven or microwave when ready to serve.
FREEZE OPTION: If you’d like to make these pancakes ahead of time, you can freeze them for up to six months. Simply cool the pancakes to room temperature, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, then place in a zip-top bag and keep in the freezer. You’ll have a healthy breakfast to grab anytime.
GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these pancakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). NOTE: If the batter is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.
VEGAN OPTION: To make these pancakes vegan, simply omit the eggs and substitute with 2 ‘flax eggs’ (2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsps water) and create a dairy-free buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the milk.
SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of maple syrup, you can always substitute with Agave, date syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or organic cane sugar.
OIL: Instead of canola oil, you can always use coconut oil or melted vegan butter, if preferred.
NUT BUTTER: If preferred, you can always substitute Almond butter with peanut butter, SunButter (perfect for allergy-free needs!), Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter), Hazelnut Butter, etc.