I’m already dreaming up the next variation! But first – these Caramel Apple Protein Pancakes!!
Ok, so of course I didn’t use real traditional made-from-sugar caramel, but I did use a healthy, wholesome, very yummy, and very suitable replacement. Date caramel!
Remember when I made those delicious Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies a while back? …Well, I used date paste for the sweetener… and this date paste, is similar to a thick caramel!
When the dates are soaked in hot water to soften them, then blended, they turn into a dreamy, creamy, caramely sweet paste! Perfect for these Apple Protein Pancakes!
The thin apple slices cook perfectly into each pancake, and the apple sauce gives these pancakes just a tad more apple flavor, which works wonderfully with the date caramel!
For the pancakes, I used the same pancake base as I did for the PB & J Coconut Flour pancakes I made a couple weeks ago! They are gluten-free and darn delicious…and as you can see, the pancake base is very versatile.
You can easily add different fruits, fillings, and different toppings. Why not add some pumpkin, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg to make pumpkin pie pancakes?? The possibilities are endless!
Since I’ve been using coconut flour a lot more lately, I’m getting more accustomed to it. It can be a tricky flour with it, but I’ve found that there are a few key things you must do when working with coconut flour:
You should always use about one egg (or egg white) per 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy, so you need to use more than the average flour, and because this flour is naturally gluten free, the egg works a a binder. (this isn’t to say you can’t use coconut flour in a vegan recipe… I just haven’t gotten that far yet in my experimenting! If anyone has any tips with that, please let me know!)
Be patient. Especially with coconut flour pancakes, these little guys take longer to cook. You’ll need around 2 minutes for each side…these are definitely not a recipe to make when your in a big rush, unless you want a big mess in the pan! Coconut flour is a delicate one, so be gentle! 🙂
If you are using a dry sweetener you’ll need more liquid. I chose to use stevia as my sweetener, so my additional moisture for the pancakes came from applesauce! If you choose honey, or pure maple syrup, or a liquid stevia, you may not need the additional liquid ingredient!
… That’s what I’ve figured out so far anyways…I’m sure there is much more to learn, but I’m still rather new to the world of baking/working with different flours, so bear with me! 🙂
Back to the pancakes!
Mmmm… I really can’t even tell you how yummy these are, and OH! super filling too! The batch of batter (which is one serving) gets you a good 6-7 pancakes! Yum, who doesn’t love a HUGE stack of pancakes you can eat without feeling a stitch of guilt?!
I do, I do!!
I’m all about balance in my meals.
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I always make sure I have a good amount of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats.
My mini meals (the ones I eat between main meals…I eat a lot :)) I always include a protein source!
These pancakes very well balanced nutritionally; 321 calories, 36g carbohydrates, 6g fats, 32g protein, and 13g fiber (yes, seriously…13g of fiber!!)
Those stats include the date caramel as well!
A perfect breakfast I’d say!
Have you made anything with Date ‘Caramel’ before?? I’d love to hear about it!
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour (21g)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla whey protein powder (10g) (you could use a vegan vanilla protein powder as well)
- 1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed (10g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup egg whites
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1 packet stevia (or 2 teaspoons of another sweetener of your choice)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ apple thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons date caramel/paste (soak 20g pitted dates in hot water for 30 mins to 3 hours, drain and blend into a paste, use some of the soaking water to create a thinner consistency)
- Prepare your date paste.
- In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, protein powder, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and stevia (if using a liquid sweetener, wait and combine with the wet ingredients)
- In a separate bowl combine the eggs, almond milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
- Adding small amounts at a time, combine the wet ingredients with the dry until all is incorporated.
- Allow the batter to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat (spray lightly with olive oil spray if needed)
- Once heated, add in batter (about 2 tablespoons for each pancake).
- Wait a minute or so and top the pancake with an apple slice (the pancake should be partly cooked at this point and the apple slice will sit nicely on top)
- Flip each pancake only when the edges are fully cooked, cook for an additional 2 minutes on the opposite side.
- Repeat until you are out of batter.
- Top the pancakes with your date paste, and any additional toppings you might prefer (almond butter or pure maple syrup would be delicious!)
*Recipe inspired by Season to Season Eating