whole wheat cottage cheese pancakes with mixed berry chia syrup

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 in Food

Raise your hand if you don’t like pancakes.

I really hope none of you raised your hand. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like pancakes? While absolutely delicious, pancakes can be a bit of a health nightmare. Sure you can doctor them up with whole grains to make them a bit better for you, but the whole point of pancakes is to cover them in sugar, sugar and more sugar. After a nice stack of flapjacks, you might feel full, but you are full of simple carbs, which don’t fuel you for long and certainly aren’t balanced. To turn pancakes into a balanced breakfast, this standard needs the sugar levels to drop and the healthy fats and protein numbers to skyrocket. Enter these pancakes…

The cakes themselves are made with whole grains, egg whites, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. The egg whites, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are barely noticeable after cooking, but add in a nice bit of healthy fat and protein. These pancakes are big, fluffy and everything I love about Sunday morning breakfast. Not a fan of thick pancakes? Check out my recipe for Johnston Finnish Pancakes. Those’ll satisfy the folks on the thin side of the pancake fence. Although, I have to say, these pancakes may have even converted the thin pancake lover in our house (*coughBabyfacecough*).

Whole Wheat Cottage Cheese Pancakes

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

These fluffy pancakes will fool even the biggest whole grain hater. Babyface took one bite of these and said, “Do these have any whole wheat flour in them at all?” Yes, they certainly do!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup egg whites (8 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together bread flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add cottage cheese, yogurt, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until just combined.
  2. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Coat in cooking spray and spoon batter into middle. Cook until edges begin to brown and bubbles rise to surface, about 4 minutes, flip and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining pancakes.
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I chose to top my pancakes with a simple mix mixed-berry syrup that I thickened up using chia seeds. I know chia seeds are still a bit out there for most folks, but if you can find them, get them! Chia seeds have almost no flavor but add an awesome amount of healthy fats to everything they’re in. Plus, in this case, they play the part of syrup thickener. No need for the full cup of sugar most fruit syrup recipes call for.

Mixed Berry Chia Seed Syrup

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 4-6 servings

This slightly-sweet syrup is great on top of pancakes but would make an awesome yogurt or ice cream topping as well. If your berries are particularly tart, try upping the maple syrup amount by a couple of tablespoons until the sweetness is to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces frozen mixed berries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until syrup is thickened. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the larger berries. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving, syrup will thicken more as it cools.
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Thin pancakes or thick ones?

29 Comments

  1. Who doesn’t love pancakes?? That’s crazy talk.

    I went to an IHOP for the first time when I was in Orlando for the marathon. I didn’t want anything fancy, just to try their basic buttermilk. Man, they know how to make a fluffy pancake, that’s for sure.

    Yours sound awesome too. I love the addition of cottage cheese and egg whites for protein. Sometimes I add protein powder when I make pancakes but only if it’s unflavoured and unsweetened soy protein because I find anything else tastes nasty.

    • I tried the protein powder pancake thing with vanilla brown rice powder and it was SO NASTY. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t even choke down half a pancake. Thanks for the tip on the unflavored/unsweetened variety. :)

  2. Can I be sacrilegious and say I don’t like pancakes? I like the flavor of a couple of bites of one but after that it’s just a whole lot of meh for me. The texture? Not my favorite. I am always looking for different recipes since my significant other is a fan, so I’m down to try these… and your yummy looking pics are pretty convincing!

    • I knew there had to be some people out there! If you don’t like the texture of regular pancakes (fluffy, kinda mushy) you should try the Finnish Pancakes I linked in the post. They are a totally different texture. Very yum!

  3. Big, fat fluffy pancakes for me! Fun fact.. February is national pancake month!

    • DOH! I’m a week too early. I really need to pay better attention these important things. :P

  4. Mmmm… I thought my husband was crazy, when I first married him he said he didn’t like pancakes. Turns out he doesn’t like pancakes from a boxed mix – I converted him the first time I made homemade pancakes :D These look awesome. I especially love the idea of mixing frozen berries with chia seeds and maple syrup. Yummy :D

    • Psshh! Boxed mix!? Glad to hear he’s come over the fluffy and delicious side. :)

  5. I kinda raised my hand…

    Pancakes have never been a favorite of mine, but I do eat them occasionally. I also mainly have had box mix, so that could be why!

    My boyfriend loves them, so I will for sure make these. All the ingredients are very healthy and the pics look delish!

    • Just say no to the boxed mix! :) Unless you are making biscuits. Because that’s totally how I still make biscuits.

  6. I prefer thin pancakes (swedish pancakes or crepes are what we call them in my family), but I like thick pancakes if they aren’t blah like bisquick. I much prefer a buckwheat pancake or something with some flavor! I just bought chia seeds Tuesday and now have no idea what to do with them.

    • I tried buckwheat pancakes once (from a mix) and didn’t like them at all. The texture was super gritty! Do you have a good recipe that I can try?

  7. You know what I love about that first photo? That big gob of syrup on the table. I don’t know why. I just want to eat those pancakes more. Why do crumbs, floury messes and gobs of syrup always look so freaking good in food styling pictures? Is it some kind of psychological trick? If so, it’s working.

    Keep up the delicious work, Cassie!

    • Hahah! I actually thought about cropping it out because I didn’t realize I had dropped a big glob until after I’d already devoured the plate, but hey, it works. :)

  8. Looks delicious! I have a protein pancake recipe that I love, but I like the applesauce idea for sweetening. My recipe isn’t sweet at all. I also love the syrup idea!!

    • Ooh! I’d love to see your recipe.

  9. My family just had pancakes tonight! But I don’t like them, especially not the thick ones you find in America. It’s just to sweet to be a breakfast food and too rich for dessert. But I love it when my mom makes Swedish pancakes! And I actually enjoy pancakes in milkshake form.
    I really think it’s time I find some chia seeds…

    • Whaaaat? Milkshake form? Please advise!

  10. I never even would have thought to use chia seeds (we buy them in bulk) as a syrup thickener! Fabulous idea…will try this with the next batch of strawberry syrup I make!

  11. In Japan you can find the craziest stuff in vending machines, and one of my personal favorites is the “hotcake milkshake” in a can from the Morinaga company. I’m still trying to plan out my own version with a blender :)
    I don’t know if it’s available here in the States though. I wish it were! But Morinaga and Kraft have had some affiliations in the past…it might be possible. And you could be able to find it at a Japanese/Oriental specialty store!
    http://www.geekosystem.com/pancake-milkshakes-morinaga-japan/

  12. Mmmm, thick pancakes for me! Last time I was home on break, my mother experimented with sweet potato pancakes that accidentally turned out super thick. I froze the whole batch and took them back to school! :D
    These look amazing. Pancakes with cashew butter are my favorite pre-workout breakfast. Definitely need to give these a shot!

  13. Love the red colours and the pancakes of course. Sometimes thick, sometimes thin (like crepes) or somewhere in between (pannenkoeken, as we Dutch call them)!

    • I don’t discriminate against pancakes either. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. :)

  14. Love the idea of using chia to thicken your berry syrup!

  15. Those pancakes are looking really good!

  16. OH MY GOD ! it looks delicious ! :)

  17. i just made these and they are amazing, thank you so much for the recipe! this is my official pancake recipe. by any chance do you have any nutritional info? thanks!!

    • Awesome! Glad you like ‘em. I don’t have the nutritional info. But SparkRecipes has a great nutritional info calculator for recipes. :)

  18. Thanks for this great recipe! I make it all the time. A few suggestions to tweak it: I
    I’ll sometimes add oats and end up with 1C whole wheat flour and 1/2 C oats. This ratio makes it easier for me to half the recipe
    If I have a really ripe banana I’ll use that instead of applesauce. I mashed 1/4 C has about the same consistency and is tasty
    Pumpkin purée did not work so well. I ended up somewhere between a pancake and a muffin. I may try pumpkin butter at some point but back to the original recipe next time.

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