I have learned that I do best with a high protein breakfast. When I eat a high carb breakfast (which is what many breakfasts are made of) I am usually hungry again by 10am, I am cranky, I have low energy, etc. When I eat a high protein breakfast, I am good to go ’til lunch without even batting an eye. And my family likes to be around me more. Go figure.
Recently I had an astounding revelation. I was happier, more productive, and more energetic as a result of eating protein for breakfast — and yet I was letting my kids have cereal every day! Or bagels. Or toast. Or whatever other high carb thing was on hand. Because it was more convenient for me to let them get their own breakfast than to provide something healthier for them. And you guessed it: they were struggling to concentrate on schoolwork. They were cranky. They were picking fights. They needed snacks. And I was frustrated.
So yea, lightbulb moment — it would be better to put forth the effort to make the kids a nutritious protein breakfast than to have to deal with their sugar-induced behavior. Not to mention it would be more loving to them, more considerate of what was best for them than what was more convenient for me. What a concept!
So I polled some Facebook friends for high protein breakfast ideas, and they told me the usual stuff – scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelets, etc. Eggs, eggs, eggs. And we do those now, a lot. (I collected many of them into one place on this post: 6 Quick & Healthy Breakfast Recipes with Eggs.) But one gal mentioned protein pancakes that she makes primarily with eggs and oatmeal, which sounded like they might be good for variety. She didn’t give any more details than that, so I was on my own to come up with a recipe that would work.
After some experimentation, I have hit upon a recipe that is really yummy and fries up nicely. You’ll have to try it and see if you agree with me — but my kids honestly and truly do rave about them. Which is always gratifying, I must say. :-)
You may know already that I don’t do gluten, which is another reason why I liked the idea of pancakes made mostly with oatmeal. (Not to mention that traditional pancakes would just be another high carb breakfast like I was trying to avoid in the first place.) Oatmeal is a whole grain that can be purchased as gluten-free and is also a decent source of protein — 5 grams per 1/2 cup of the old-fashioned kind, 3 grams per 1/2 cup for instant*. The recipe does contain a tiny bit of flour, just for texture, but I use brown rice flour. If gluten is not an issue for you, regular flour would work just as well.
The recipe also includes flaxseed meal. I do not like to put weird ingredients into my recipes – but I have gotten past thinking of flaxseed meal as a weird ingredient. I can buy it at the grocery store, for one thing. And I use it fairly often: in my protein shakes, sprinkled on salad or yogurt, and as an egg substitute in baking if I am out of eggs. Flaxseed is an excellent source of healthy fat and also adds some protein — 3 g per 2 Tbsp.**
Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
- 8 eggs
- 2 c . oats (gluten free if desired, which I do)
- 2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal (probably could be omitted in a pinch)
- 2 Tablespoons brown rice flour (can substitute regular flour if you don't need gluten free)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
I just throw it all in a bowl and mix it together. (I can't be bothered with dry ingredients and wet ingredients...!) Let it sit for a few minutes.
Fry 'em up over medium heat. If the heat is too high, they will burn on the outside and not be cooked fully on the inside. Don't try to turn them too soon, or they will fall apart. But once they are firm on the bottom, they turn easily. They rise nicely and the cinnamon smells so good as they are cooking!
Serve with syrup, jam, honey, powdered sugar -- whatever you like to put on your pancakes. These are very filling, so adults may only need three apiece, and younger children would only need one or two.
For a more adult high protein breakfast recipe,
lol, take a look at my High Protein Breakfast Smoothie
— it’s low sugar and also dairy-free. I love its chocolatey
goodness for any meal of the day!
**according to the Bob’s Red Mill package