Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vegan protein-packed almond pancakes with berries and chocolate sauce

I make no secret of loving carbohydrates. I am fortunate not to have difficulties with wheat or gluten, I don't fear the fullness that comes with eating a bowl of pasta, and I find that carbohydrates give me steady energy that supports running, working and playing. At the same time, as a vegan, I am aware that it is easy to eat lots of carbohydrates and not necessarily enough protein. (Actually, I suspect that applies to meat eaters too, given the steady stream of processed carbohydrates available to us.)

Welcome, protein pancakes.

Now, these do not have the same comforting fluffiness of regular wheat flour pancakes. On their own, I found them only moderately enjoyable and I was thrown by the texture reminding me of egg (I can't explain exactly why). However, when topped with berries and chocolate sauce, they came into their own and were an entirely satisfying meal that also packed a very decent punch of protein.

I like these because they don't use protein powder or any ingredients that require a health food store (unless you struggle to source chia seeds). The protein comes mostly from almond flour, with chia seeds rounding it out. For the full batch, which would make a substantial breakfast to keep you going for hours, there is 24g protein. Even if you have a half batch, 12g protein is equivalent to 2 eggs.

If you live in the UK, you can skip making your own chocolate sauce by buying the sugar-free Sweet Freedom variety. I confess I did this! However, I am including details for a DIY chocolate sauce too as I know not everyone has access to a vegan store brand. It is one I've used in various previous recipes and you can make it sugar-free (with stevia) or not (with rice malt syrup, agave or maple syrup).

A final note about the berries: I added some to the batter as well as topping the pancakes with berries. Whilst I recommend this, pancakes are always harder to cook neatly when they include lumpy fruit pieces. If you aren't fussed about a double dose of berries and/or want more regularly shaped pancakes, you could leave the berries out of the batter.

Protein-packed almond pancakes with berries and chocolate sauce
Vegan and gluten free
Serves 2

Author: Bite-sized thoughts

For the pancakes
1 cup (approximately 100g) almond flour / almond meal
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
1/4 cup berries, fresh or defrosted from frozen

For the chocolate sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp cocoa
2 drops liquid stevia or 2 tbsp rice malt syrup, agave or maple syrup (if using stevia, thin the sauce with a little non-dairy milk if needed)

To serve
1/4 cup berries, fresh or defrosted from frozen


Combine the almond flour, chia seeds, baking powder and milk in a bowl. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the berries if using and stir through.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and label heaped tablespoons of batter into the pan. You should be able to cook 2 or 3 small pancakes at a time (pan size permitting). The batter will spread out easily once placed in the pan, to give thin pancakes.

The pancakes will bubble on the surface as they cook. After 2 to 3 minutes the bubbling should slow down; flip at this stage and repeat to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.

Repeat for the remaining batter.

To make the chocolate sauce, gently melt the coconut oil and then add the cocoa and sweetener. Stir to combine.

Top the pancakes with chocolate sauce and berries. Enjoy hot or cold.

What protein-packed meals are you enjoying at the moment?


  1. I know what you mean about going easy on the carbs - I could live on them too. These pancakes sound delicious - I have made similar ones with eggs and am glad to hear they work well eggless. Berries and chocolate is a great topping.

    1. I think berries and chocolate add to most things, don't they!

  2. This looks so much like dessert! YUM!
    I love blueberries and we have just finished picking 2kgs of fresh organic blueberries.
    So good!
    Thanks for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways

    1. This would definitely be a good use for your blueberries! And dessert at breakfast is perfect in my world ;)

  3. It hadn't even occurred to me to that you could use almond meal like this - clearly I've been missing out! The chocolate and berries combination sounds delicious.

    1. I think I still prefer almond meal in cakes and things, but this is fun for variety and does help if you want a filling protein breakfast :-)

  4. Chocolate and cherry is the best pancake topping. That's how I make my chocolate sauce too and I want to put it on everything.

  5. I haven't had pancakes for breakfast in forever! This looks like an awesome way to make them wholesome!

  6. Pancakes with berries and chocolate sauce! How lovely. I'm trying to cut back on carbs too as everyone here screams that if you don't burn them off they turn to sugar. I don't know if I'm getting enough protein but it is something I'm conscious of xx

    1. These are pancakes for even the carbohydrate / sugar averse :-)

  7. I am not vegan but I love the sound of these. Yum!

  8. Yay! Gluten free pancakes! With loads of protein. My dream breakfast =)
    My pancakes always look like that - they are quite pretty to me.
    "it is easy to eat lots of carbohydrates and not necessarily enough protein"
    I find this more with fat than carbs myself ;)


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