Are you a fan of breakfast for dinner? I sure am! With National Pancake Day in February, I thought we could talk about how to make them a dinner option.
Traditionally, pancakes can be a tough sell for a balanced dinner meal as they are often heavy on the carbohydrate side. Pancakes themselves will count as a grain, and then we often top them with fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, or a healthy dose of whip cream. The protein content at the meal tends to be quite lacking, leaving us feeling unsatisfied and hungry again shortly after eating.
In light of the national celebration and my love for “brinner” (breakfast-dinner), here’s a few ways to increase the protein content at your pancake dinner.
Top traditional pancakes with high-protein toppings
Choose whole grain sources to put into your pancake mix to increase the fibre (think whole wheat flour, wheat germ, ground flax seed, etc.). Try proteins like plain Greek yogurt, nut butter, or chopped nuts as toppers on your pancakes. The fibre and protein will go a long way to helping you feel full and satisfied.
Turn to beans
That’s right: the high-protein, high-fibre superfood. For a simple integration of beans into pancakes, try swapping out some of your regular flour for chickpea flour. To keep the carbohydrates down to a healthy level, try topping your pancakes with berries instead of chocolate chips and extra syrup. Finally, a savoury pancake just might be just right for a dinner course.
Try a protein pancake
This style of pancake skips out on the flour all together. Cottage cheese, eggs, and quick oats are the core ingredients of many protein pancakes – the combination blends up in a jiffy, and you’ve got a great protein pancake on the table in minutes. Alternatively, if you have a high-quality protein powder on hand you enjoy, try adding a scoop to your pancake mix. If it’s flavoured, it will sweeten your pancake significantly, so the toppings can likely be reduced.
Try our version of protein pancakes (they make a great meal prep recipe for the week too!)
Pancakes are a beautiful blank slate, ready for your creativity to take over. Whether sweet or savoury, start with a great base: find a good recipe you love and experiment from there. Keep the fibre and the protein high, and your pancake breakfast (or dinner) will take you further than you think!
By Raina Beugelink – Registered Dietitian (Nutritionist)