Pancakes are one of those magical foods that offer an easy way to have literal cake for breakfast. So you might be thinking that a healthy pancake recipe is either an oxymoron or a sad, tasteless trap. Well, we are here to tell you that delicious and healthy homemade pancakes are absolutely possible. You might just have to think outside the (pancake) box.
So what is the secret to great, healthy pancakes?
If you think about it, pancakes are super versatile and incredibly tasty pretty much any way you make them. You can spruce up the pancake batter with nutrient-dense ingredients (like quinoa, chia seeds, and nuts), you can top them with fiber-rich fruit or protein-packed nut butters, and then you can cover the whole thing in syrup. So when it comes to making a great, healthy pancake, it really depends on your preferences. In the following list, we rounded up everything from gluten-free pancake recipes and vegan pancake recipes to nutrient-rich twists on the classic buttermilk pancake recipe.
What can you add to pancakes to make them taste even better?
This is another matter of preference, but you’ll find tons of ideas in this list of recipes. Think: lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon, berries, coconut, and so much more. Many of the recipes also call for baking powder, which brings the fluffy factor. And when in doubt, add chocolate chips.
Does pancake batter need to rest?
You’ll notice that some of these recipes suggest letting the pancake batter rest for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. But others just tell you to mix up the batter and pour it out. So what’s the deal with resting pancake batter? Letting pancake batter rest can help the flour soften and the leavening agent (like baking powder) distribute throughout the batter, according to Kitchn, which can result in fluffier stacks. So if the recipe calls for flour and baking soda, it could be worth letting your batter rest for a bit, whereas you can skip this if you’re using a recipe that calls for tweaks on the traditional ingredients.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here are 23 healthy pancake recipes that are sweet, satisfying, and make for an actually substantial breakfast.
A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these recipes with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.