Banana Protein Pancakes
Looking for a high protein, healthy breakfast idea that you can make ahead of time? Stop your morning struggle and add ‘breakfast’ to part of your weekly meal prep. These super fluffy banana protein pancakes are for you! You can start your morning off right with a delicious, easily customizable, protein-packed breakfast by enjoying these fresh and/or freeze them so you can enjoy them later.
The Power of Protein at Breakfast
Protein is so important! It’s a macronutrient, which means it’s one of three nutrients – protein, carbohydrates, fats – that we need in comparably large amounts.
So many people tend to have carbohydrate-rich breakfasts that are simply lacking protein. Consuming mostly carbohydrates at breakfast with little fat or protein can cause your blood sugar to spike and lead to a “crashing” feeling later in the day. Consuming protein as part of a balanced breakfast can help you feel fuller longer, keep your blood sugar from spiking and help you avoid an afternoon crash, and provide more sustained energy.
These banana protein pancakes have 10g of protein per serving, as well as carbohydrates and fat for a truly balanced and nutrient-rich breakfast. The all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, eggs, low-fat ricotta cheese, and milk all provide protein.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Did you know bananas are one of the most inexpensive fresh fruits you can buy? They’re packed with nutrition and a perfect staple to keep in your kitchen because they’re so accessible and can be used in a variety of ways. Bananas are known for being high in fiber, which supports digestive health. They are also packed with important vitamins and minerals like potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C.
Bananas will change color based on where they are in the ripening process. I prefer to eat mine when they are slightly spotted because they are slightly sweet, but they can be eaten at any stage of the ripening process from green to brown! This recipe is a perfect way to use up bananas that are starting to brown!
Making the Banana Protein Pancakes
These banana protein pancakes are perfect for a weekend brunch or to make ahead of time and grab on your way out the door on a busy morning. They require minimal cooking skills, are easily customizable, and perfect for kids! Let’s get cooking!
To start, you’re going to heat your griddle over medium-high heat. While your griddle is heating up, combine your 7 dry ingredients in a large bowl – all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, white or brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. You can use 2 cups of all-purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand. If you’re a spice lover like me, feel free to add more spices! Nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, or even pumpkin spice would all compliment the cinnamon well. Just be mindful of how much you’re adding.
Next, you’re going to whisk together your 5 wet ingredients – eggs, ricotta cheese, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. If you’re dairy-free or vegan, look below for information about how to substitute the eggs, ricotta cheese, and milk. You could use any oil you like, but I prefer to use canola or grapeseed in baking because they have a pretty neutral flavor. If you’re not a fan of vanilla, almond extract would also be great in these. You’re going to fold the diced banana in with your wet ingredients. If you’re not a banana fan, don’t worry! I have some ideas for you below in the FAQs section.
Slowly add your wet ingredients into the large bowl with your dry ingredients and mix gently until well combined. You don’t want to overmix or the mixture could become too solid. It should have a slightly runny, batter-like consistency. If the batter is too thick, add more milk.
Now it’s time to get cooking! Once the griddle is hot, spray it with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium. If you don’t have a pancake griddle, you could also use a cast iron skillet or any large non-stick pan over medium heat. Measure out about a ⅛-¼ cup of batter and pour it onto your hot griddle or pan. You can adjust the amount of batter depending on how big or small you want your pancakes. Just keep in mind that larger pancakes will take longer to cook and vice versa.
Cook the pancakes until you notice bubbles start to form on the top and the bottom has firmed enough to flip. Keep an eye on them, but it should take about 2-4 minutes before bubbles start to form. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking them on the second side for another 2-4 minutes until the second side is lightly browned. Continue going through these steps until you use up all your batter. Enjoy!
How to Store Your Leftover Pancakes
If you happen to have leftover pancakes or are making these for food prep, here’s how you’ll want to store them.
- Start by putting the pancakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and placing it in the freezer for about an hour, or until the pancakes are frozen.
- Once they’re frozen through, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a (or a few, depending on how many leftovers you have) Ziploc freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. Put parchment or wax paper between the pancakes to prevent them from sticking together. If you’re using a Ziploc bag for storing, make sure you remove excess air from the bag. They should keep in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- To ensure the taste and texture remain the same, thaw these in the fridge for a couple hours before reheating. After they’re thawed, pop the pancakes in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through, on a microwave-safe plate.
Can these be made vegan? Yes! The eggs can be replaced with an egg substitute of your choosing, like flax or chia eggs. If you choose to use an egg replacement product, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure you’re substituting the correct amount.
The low-fat ricotta cheese can be swapped out for firm silken tofu.
If you’re looking to swap out the milk, you can easily substitute any non-dairy milk of your choice – soy, oat, almond, cashew – anything goes! You really won’t be able to taste it with all of the other ingredients in these so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Just be sure that it’s unsweetened!
Can these be made gluten-free? Absolutely! Simply swap the cup of all-purpose flour and cup of whole wheat flour for an all-purpose gluten free flour of your choice. Bob’s Red Mill has a great 1-1 all-purpose baking flour, but there are others out there, too.
What if I don’t like bananas? No problem! I have a few ideas of how you can swap this ingredient out. Pumpkin would be a great substitute. Use a ½ cup of canned pumpkin puree as a replacement for the 1 medium banana, and mix it in with the rest of the wet ingredients.
You could also swap the banana out for fresh or frozen blueberries. You could chop them if you like smaller pieces or leave them whole. Either way, opt for ¾ cup and mix them in after the rest of the ingredients have been combined, as you would with the banana.
Let’s get creative with toppings! These banana protein pancakes could be topped with so many fun and nutritious ingredients. Here are some ideas…
-fresh fruit – banana, fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
-nut butter – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter
-jam or jelly
-chopped nuts – pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews
-dried coconut flakes
If you enjoyed these Banana Protein Pancakes and are looking for other healthy and easy breakfast ideas, check these out:
Please be sure to rate and comment if you make this recipe. Let me know what you decided to top these protein pancakes with!
Fluffy Banana Protein Pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium ripe banana, diced
- Heat your griddle over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients - the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, white or brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients - the eggs, ricotta cheese, milk, oil, and vanilla extract., Fold the diced banana into the wet ingredients.
- Spray the griddle with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium. Measure out a ⅛-¼ cup of batter and pour onto the hot griddle. Cook pancakes until bubbles start to form on top and the pancakes start to rise - about 2-4 minutes, and then flip. Cook until the second side is lightly browned. Continue the process until all batter is gone.
- If you have leftover pancakes, stick them in the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about an hour. Once frozen, place in a (or a few) Ziplock freezer bag (get rid of excess air) or freezer-safe airtight container. Separate the pancakes with parchment or wax paper to keep them from sticking together. They should keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, thaw them in the fridge for a couple hours prior to reheating. After they’re thawed, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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