Protein-Packed Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Written by Emily

I imagined mealtimes as peaceful times–a time for slowing down and sharing our days, a time for laughing together. You know, like Kraft shredded cheese commercials. And then I had children. Mealtime (most often dinner) rivals bedtime as the worst time of the day. Thanks for the heads-up, moms who have gone before me and Kraft!

I should preface this by saying that my son is a very nice boy. I’m sharing that because I have to say that over and over again in my head before meals so that I don’t go all “Hulk smash!” in the kitchen.

Cooking is hard in my house. Noah is a VERY picky eater. A “what is that? I’m going to gag. Oh no! I’m doing it. I’m gagging. <gag. gag. gag> Don’t make me eat it. Ewwww, it smells gross. I’m full (even though he hasn’t taken a bite)” kind of kid. It’s hard for me not to take it personally. Please teach me how to not take it personally! There are days I spend an hour and a half preparing a meal, and upon stepping into the kitchen, Noah is grimacing. Chloe and Sylvie do pretty well, so naturally they are my favorites.

The second tricky part to cooking in this house is that my husband is a vegetarian. I don’t mind that at all. I prefer it most of the time. Noah, not so much.

If Noah had his way, he’d eat chicken nuggets and pizza and bacon every single day. Not happening.

Needless to say, it’s complicated and sometimes always tricky to find meals that appeal to everyone. I have my own stipulations as well: healthful, little or no refined sugar, complex carbs, good fats, vitamin rich. I know. That sounds kind of horrible. But it doesn’t have to be (unless you ask Noah).

Since this is a daily struggle, I thought I’d share some of my successes, recipes that EVERYONE or most of us love and ask for again and again in hopes that others might add them to their repertoire for even their pickiest eaters.

This is a family favorite.

Protein-Packed Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (no chunks–Noah doesn’t do chunks.)

  • 1 cup whole grain flour
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup light buttermilk ( I make my own by adding 1T vinegar to 1 cup of skim milk)
  • 2 scoops Whey protein powder (I use vanilla flavored)
  • 3/4 cup 0% or 2% plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4 cup strained, unsweetened apple sauce (pick some up at the Dollar Store!)
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites


In a medium mixing bowl, mix the first six ingredients.


In a blender, mix cup of buttermilk with protein powder and blend until fully mixed.


Pour this mixture into a bowl. Add yogurt, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla.



(I realize this is not a professional way to strain applesauce. There is probably special equipment. But I think I deserve an award because I am actually straining applesauce!)

Add the liquid to the dry until incorporated, but do not over mix.


I use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter onto my griddle.




These pancakes freeze beautifully, so I usually make them at 10:30 at night when the kids are asleep. I let them cool and pack 2 in sandwich bags and toss them in the freezer. Thaw and serve with real maple syrup or maple/cinnamon butter if you’re feeling fancy. Yum! And super healthy!

This is a perfect recipe for experimenting–feeling like bananas? Do it! Want to add chocolate chips? Yes! Want flax instead of eggs? Absolutely doable!

Try them and let me know your thoughts. Happy eating!

*This recipe is modified from Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads by Christine Avanti.

Categories: Emily, Family

Tags: , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. I’ll have to try these Emily–are you using the liquid from the applesauce or the thick (didn’t want to say “chunky”) part? Here is a super easy muffin that I think you can call breakfast for your kids and still call it dessert too… “kid” likes them….. sorry it isn’t letting me leave a link you can copy and paste this:

  2. I agree! These are really yummy pancakes. And straining the applesauce is very quick and easy. The paper towel or coffee filter just absorbs the excess water so you are left with a thicker applesauce. Emily also makes a version that contains pumpkin. So good!

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