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Pancakes don’t always have to be an indulgence! These low carb pumpkin chocolate pancakes will satisfy your need for something sweet and indulgent without causing you to go into a food coma or have to come down from a sugar high. By replacing the oil with pumpkin, these pancakes are not only low carb but they are also low fat, allowing you to savor every last bite without an ounce of guilt or remorse.
I grew up eating pancakes on Saturday mornings with my mom. Oil, eggs, white flour, just a pinch of sugar, and you can’t forget the touch of vanilla and all the butter and syrup known to man. These pancakes were fantastic, but once I started to focus on the foods I was eating, most of these key ingredients started changing. I started using whole wheat or buckwheat flour, buttermilk, maple syrup, fruit, the list goes on. But what I found was that I was ALWAYS hungry within an hour or two after eating pancakes. And this would be after eating so many pancakes that I would give myself a stomach ache (what can I say, I have no self control, so good!. There had to be a better way to make pancakes!
Dave and I have been enjoying pancakes almost every Saturday and Sunday morning since we started dating. When I told Dave I could make him healthy pancakes that he would actually get full from (instead of needing food again in 2 hours), he didn’t believe me. So I made him my classic protein pancakes. He was hooked, and almost 2 years later, we still start our weekends with pancakes followed by an intense sweat session at the gym. These pancakes are packed with protein, fiber and a healthy amount of carbs, the perfect pre-workout fuel.
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Unfortunately, Dave can’t have any fruit for the next few weeks, as he is are eliminating all sugar (that includes fruit sugar) in hopes to fix his gut. His first reaction to this was “What about my pancakes?!?” I told him I would figure it out. After all, I do love a challenge.
The answer was sitting in my fridge. A leftover from all the cookies, pumpkin brownies and single serve pumpkin pies I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks. When baking with pumpkin puree, I find that I always have a half cup or so that goes unused and just sits in the fridge waiting to be used. These pancakes are the perfect way to use that extra pumpkin puree you have left over from a day of baking. There is no reason to leave that pumpkin just sitting in the fridge, re-purpose your leftovers! There are so many great tips on how to re-purpose those holiday leftovers in this post from Healthy Living Made Simple, a publication from Sam’s Club. Don’t just settle of the same-ol, same-ol, get creative!
Pumpkin puree was the key! Instead of using mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce, I was able to use pumpkin puree and coconut milk to keep pancakes in Dave’s normal routine and not let leftovers go to waste. I used chocolate protein powder and unsweetened cocoa powder to help boost the antioxidants in this already healthy breakfast. By adding pumpkin, I’m not only cutting the fat and the carbs, but I’m also adding a ton of nutrition, not to mention using that left-over pumpkin puree!
Did you know that pumpkins were first thought to be cultivated in Central America? Or that they are a great way to get essential nutrient and phytosterols (that help lower cholesterol). I read this article from Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine from Sam’s Club on Superfood Spotlight: Pumpkin. I could not agree more, pumpkin really is a superfood! Who knew this bright orange squash was so healthy! I feel even better starting my day with these low carb pumpkin chocolate pancakes! The Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine has so many helpful tips that can help you build healthy habits. There are so many great articles online as well! Be sure to check them out at Healthy Living Made Simple.
The key to making pancakes that are filling yet low carb? Pumpkin and coconut flour! The coconut flour absorbs 2-3 times more liquid than traditional flour, and it’s minimally processed so it’s something I feel good about eating! You can find both of these low carb wonders at your local Sam’s Club. While we were at Sam’s Club we also checked out their wellness section, looking for probiotics to help heal Dave’s gut naturally. Have you checked out the wellness section at your local Sam’s Club? It’s fully stocked for all of your health and wellness needs.
I use a vegan protein powder that tends to make the batter a bit thicker than the average whey protein. If you find that the batter is thin or runny, add an additional 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of coconut flour to get the right consistency. The batter should be thick enough that you have to scoop it out with a spoon to form the pancakes on the griddle instead of pouring it out to form the pancakes.
I topped my pumpkin chocolate pancakes with plain Greek yogurt and pomegranate arlis and a touch of maple syrup. I made Dave a combination of coconut butter, coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon mixed together as his “syrup” since he is cutting out sugar and can’t even have the sugar free artificial stuff right now. All good things that just scream holiday season to me. We are still full for hours from these low carb pumpkin chocolate pancakes, even without the added carbs! Hooray for pumpkin and holiday leftovers. Pumpkin is definitely our new superfood of course!
If protein pancakes are your jam you MUST check out these carrot cake pancakes!
Low Carb Pumpkin Chocolate Pancakes
- 4 egg whites
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree - not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk - in carton or milk of choice - almond, cashew, flax, rice,etc.
- 1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds or almond flour
- 2 tbs. coconut flour
- 2 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 3 tbs. cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup or 6oz. container of plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 packet stevia
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4-1/3 cup pomegrantate arlis - or fruit of choice
- In a large bowl, add the egg whites, egg,pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Stir to combine.
- To the egg and pumpkin mixture add the ground sunflower seeds, coconut flour, chocolate protein powder and cocoa powder.
- Stir well to combine the ingredients well, making sure all the cocoa powder is mixed in.
- Add the vanilla extract and baking powder Stir to combine.
- Spray an electric griddle that has been set to 250 with coconut oil (or other non-stick spray). Divide the batter into 8 pancakes, using a spoon to scoop the batter (it will be thick).
- Cook for 4 minutes until firm and lightly brown on the bottom.
- Carefully flip the pancakes and cook another 3-5 minutes until firm to the touch.
- Serve with lightly sweetened Greek yogurt and pomegranate arlis and your favorite syrup.
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What about you?
- Pancakes, waffles, omelets, cereal – how do you like to start the day on the weekends?
- Did you know that pumpkins originated from Central America?
- What leftover do you plan on re-purposing this holiday season?