Me and pancakes go way back. At first, they were nothing special – just a yellow box of Bisquick in Mom’s pantry that I had to shove out of the way to get to the Apple Jacks. We rarely cracked that thing open because in a house with 4 kids and 1 parent, even pre-made mix wasn’t convenient enough. Instead, we reached for the next best yellow-boxed thing…Eggo waffles.
While toasted freezer waffles were definitely good, and once-in-a-blue-moon Bisquick pancakes were definitely better, the clouds still hadn’t parted to reveal to me the true glory of the breakfast cake.
It wasn’t until my first trip to the Pancake House in Ridgewood, New Jersey that I understood why I needed pancakes in my life. The Pancake House makes a pancake so big, so fluffy, so buttery and sticky with the most wonderful maple syrup you’ll ever taste…that you actually struggle emotionally with the fact that it’s impossible to clean the plate yourself.
After that enlightening experience, trips to the Pancake House became a tradition. When I was in high school, my annual birthday treat was to skip morning classes and go there for breakfast with Mom. It’s where my friends and I went on weekends because we could drive (which was super cool). Even now when I travel back to NJ to visit family, it’s a mandatory stop.
All this talk of pancakes and butter and syrup probably doesn’t make much sense, given that this post is in the “Clean Eating” category, so let me explain. There are some things in life that you just shouldn’t have to give up [entirely]. A good pancake is one of those things. After falling in love with them at the Pancake House, I went back to Mom’s and learned how to make pancakes from scratch. I used eggs, butter, milk, sugar and white flour just like the recipes called for. But as my cooking/baking/health journey continued, I learned that there were thousands of ways to customize recipes to fit my changing lifestyle. I was very intrigued, yet a little skeptical because I’m completely against healthy versions of things that either a.) aren’t actually healthy, or b.) sacrifice so much flavor that it’s not even a “healthy version” anymore. Basically, if I was going to eat healthy pancakes, they had to be GOOD.
Researching “healthy version” recipes has become somewhat of an obsession that has led me to a few absolutely gorgeous health food blogs. The pancake recipe I’m sharing today was adapted from the wonderful @loveyourbodycookery (Instagram) over at My Secret Hiding Point. Browse their site for two seconds and you’ll be hooked. They take sinfully delicious treats like chocolate pound cake and skillet brownies and turn them into nutritious, lower-calorie snacks with incredible flavor that won’t leave you with a brick in your stomach and 10 extra pounds on the scale. Win!
These Cinnamon Sweet Potato Pancakes are my version of @loveyourbodycookery‘s Pumpkin Pancakes. They’re fluffy and filling with a hint of cinnamon and a touch of sweetness. On their own, they’re perfect for breakfast foodies who lack my sweet tooth, but with a little maple syrup, they’re heavenly. The best part? A stack of 3 pancakes with 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup is only 250 calories total. Needless to say, I’m even more in love with pancakes now than I was at the Pancake House.
What’s your favorite pancake memory? Do you know of any good “healthy version” recipes I should try? Share below! ALSO!! Are you on Instagram? Follow me @tifforelie for behind the scenes blog and life stuff including food, fashion, exploring and other random goodness.
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Pancakes
Yields 10 pancakes (67 calories each)
*Note: you’ll need a scale for this recipe, as some of the ingredients are measured in grams.
64g all purpose flour (you can substitute coconut flour to make this recipe gluten free)
40g rice flour
20g Psyllium Husk (you can find this in the pharmacy section of your grocery store or on Amazon – it’s usually sold in the digestive health area)
3 stevia packets (avoid any stevia product that lists “maltodextrin” as an ingredient – it’s an unhealthy filler used to make stevia powder measure the same as sugar. SweetLeaf makes great all-natural powder packets with no fillers. Read more about healthy vs. unhealthy stevia here!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 egg whites
1 flax egg (to make a flax egg, mix together 1 tbsp. ground flax meal and 3 tbsp. water in a small bowl, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to let it set up)
180g cooked sweet potato, mashed
3/4 cup almond milk
Sift together dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
Beat egg whites and flax egg in a medium bowl until foamy, then blend in the sweet potato until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine. Lastly, add the almond milk and blend until smooth. The batter will be thicker than a usual pancake batter.
Brush a frying pan or griddle with a little coconut oil and set to medium heat. Scoop the batter onto the heated griddle with a 1/4 cup measure. The batter may not spread all the way on its own, so smooth out the rounds with the back of a spoon. Once the edges are golden brown, flip with a spatula and check the bottoms every few minutes so they don’t overcook.
Serve with pure maple syrup and enjoy!