How Do I Make Healthy Pancakes?

Welcome to our new(ish) column, "Ask the Pastry Chef," by Amy Morris, a pastry sous chef at J&G Steakhouse. Have a question for Amy? Leave it in the comments section.

Today's question: How do I make healthy pancakes?

After last week I felt a bit guilty for tempting you with delicious cinnamon rolls. There's no doubt that many of you are hitting the gyms and trying to shed a few pounds. I probably didn't help, but hopefully that recipe will be tucked away for a future date.

One of the best ways to diet, in my experience, is to not deprive yourself too much. Yes, this is a pastry chef speaking and promoting sweets is what I do. However, if you have a craving and you let it gnaw at you for too long, eventually you're going to give in and then end up overdoing it. My proposition is to let you make your cake and eat it, too.

The most important meal of the day, they say, is breakfast. It's very important to boost your metabolism and give your body something to burn. Why not in the form of pancakes--healthy pancakes.

This recipe for cottage cheese pancakes is loaded with protein, which makes it perfect for any diet. Everyone needs protein in some form or another and I can't think of a more perfect way to satiate that craving for pancakes. Whole wheat flour and wheat germ are used instead of all purpose flour making it ideal for whole grain diets.

My family has been using this recipe for years. We have lost track of where it has originated from, but we haven't forgotten how it has come to be a need. True story: these pancakes saved our family's dog from death when he couldn't eat anything else. It was the only thing keeping him alive--literally. If that doesn't make you a believer, I don't know what does. We have even gone so far as to invest in a non-electric blender so we can make these when we go camping, which has become a staple now.

The other great thing about these pancakes is that you don't need to like cottage cheese. You will not taste it, but it does lend a huge hand in keeping them moist and tender. They are also very thin, but if you would like them thicker add more whole wheat flour till it reaches the desired consistency you prefer.

These pancakes may be small, but they carry a hefty punch. Remember, they are packed with protein so I would suggest eating 2-3 at first then waiting a little before you delve into more.  Topping them off with fresh fruit makes another healthy alternative--I like to add whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup, but if you're more hardcore about your diet, then fresh fruit macerated with a little sugar will be all that you need. They taste great with a little butter as well. Oops, that might not be on the diet either! I guess I have as much to learn as you...enjoy!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes


6 eggs

1 cup cottage cheese

¼ cup milk

¼ cup wheat germ

¼ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract


In a blender, blend cottage cheese with one egg till it is smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend till all is incorporated. Batter should be thin like a crepe. Bake on a griddle. Serve warm or can be frozen. Yield--20 small pancakes.


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