Get ready to be naughty!!!
OK…well I’m only being half serious 🙂 But in all honesty, when you try these amazing Lemon-Ricotta Protein Pancakes that thought might just run through your head!!!
But don’t fret my friends, I wouldn’t do that to you 🙂 These pancakes will only create the illusion that you’re being bad…in reality though, it’s a different story.
As you may know I’m a huge lover of all things pancakes. Even when I was a kid, I can remember how excited I always was when my mom would make pancakes on Sundays for my sister and I. And if we went out for breakfast that morning…can you guess what I always ordered??? Needless to say my affinity for this slightly sweet and fluffy breakfast treat runs deep!
Over the years as my culinary skills improved and as I became more health conscious, it was only natural that I began developing breakfast recipes that would incorporate one of my favorite breakfast items in the world, making them much more wholesome and figure-friendly in the process.
And let me tell you these Lemon-Ricotta Protein Pancakes do just that! They’re not your typical dry, plain, tasteless – errrr I mean healthy – pancakes that you see everyday. My pancakes are bursting with flavor and body nourishing ingredients!
Let’s start off with just how incredible these Lemon-Ricotta Protein Pancakes taste! Beautiful lemon is the main flavoring of the pancakes…with the fresh zest and juice adding both brightness and that special citrus zing to the dish. The intensity of the lemon is subdued and mellowed out by the smooth, creamy and heart-healthy part-skim ricotta cheese. This decadent cheese not only helps to meld all the ingredients in the recipe together, but also creates a thick lavish texture to the batter, in turn, making the pancakes plump and fluffy. And who doesn’t love that???
All-natural ground oat and almond flour are used in place of all-purpose flour, creating a healthier pancake while at the same time adding more depth and a certain “nutty warmth” to the recipe. Freshly ground flaxseeds – which are packed with Omega-3s and fiber – help to further establish that rich nutty flavor and texture.
And lastly the protein…a hugely important component. My Lemon-Ricotta Protein Pancakes are packed with tons of muscle building and energy creating whey protein, which allows them to be eaten as a complete meal – no eggs needed!!!
Healthy, delicious and incredibly simple to create, these Lemon-Ricotta Protein Pancakes are the perfect guilt-free breakfast to impress family and weekend guests alike!
(PS – These pancakes refrigerate and freeze well so they’re perfect as a snack in the middle of the day when you want something sweet or after a grueling workout…so versatile!)
In order to make this recipe you will need eggs, safflower oil, vanilla extract, low fat buttermilk, part-skim ricotta cheese, unsweetened almond milk, Splenda, gluten-free baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, gluten-free oat flour, gluten-free almond flour, freshly ground golden flaxseed, and lemons.
Since these are protein pancakes you will also need high-quality protein powder. My protein powder of choice for this particular recipe is BPI Vanilla Caramel HD Whey Protein. It mixes well with the batter and has a flavor that is subtle and complimentary to the recipe. However, feel free to use the protein powder that you like. (While we are on the subject of protein powder, I just have to give another great recommendation – which is also gluten-free!!! Metabolic Nutrition’s Protizyme Butter Pecan Cookie Whey Protein is another amazing protein powder that works well with this recipe. In fact…with its simplified list of ingredients and unbelievable taste, Protizyme protein is my go-to protein that I use in my daily life and when baking the majority of my protein desserts!)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, safflower oil and vanilla extract, whisking until combined.
Add the Splenda and whisk to combine.
To the bowl, add the ricotta cheese, buttermilk and almond milk, making sure to whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated and smooth.
Next sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt into the bowl. Whisk to combine. You will begin to see a little fizz developing from the baking powder – don’t worry it’s totally normal 🙂
Time for the flour! Sprinkle in the oat flour and almond flour to the bowl and whisk to combine.
Slowly incorporate the protein powder into the bowl while whisking, making sure to mix evenly.
Now time to add the lemon zest and juice to the batter.
Add the ground flaxseed to the pancake batter and stir to combine. Then set the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes – this is an important step as it allows the ingredients to fully incorporate, absorb and set which will in turn produce a fluffier pancake consistency.
Heat a nonstick griddle or fry pan on low and spread a very thin layer of safflower oil over it. Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop, ladle the batter onto the griddle.
Cook each pancake for about 2 minutes on the first side. (You will know when to flip because the batter will begin to form tiny bubbles. At that point take your spatula and peek at the underside of the pancake to see what it looks like. When the bottom is a light golden color the pancake is ready to flip)
Flip the pancake and cook for 1-2 more minutes on the second side – make sure not to overcook or they will come out dry! (I also like mine a little moist and underdone in the middle but cook longer if you like your pancakes more fully cooked.)
Remove the cooked pancakes and set aside. Repeat the process until the batter is all used up.
Do you want to know my favorite way to eat these delicious – and nutritious – beauties? Well they are amazing served warm and topped with fat-free frommage blanc and fresh fruit with a drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup and a sprinkle of roasted pistachios…that’s if I can keep myself from grabbing them right off the griddle and stuffing them in my mouth…either way works for me 🙂
For longer storage, allow the pancakes to cool completely then wrap a stack of three pancakes tightly in plastic wrap then foil and place in the freezer. If storing in refrigerator you don’t need to wrap a second time in foil – the plastic wrap alone will suffice.
- 3 extra-large eggs
- ⅛ cup safflower oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Brand: Nielson-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Extract)
- ½ cup Splenda
- ⅔ cup low fat buttermilk (Brand: Organic Valley Low Fat Buttermilk)
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (Brand: Axelrod All-Natural Part-Skim Ricotta)
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (Brand: Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder (Brand: Rumford Aluminum-Free)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup gluten-free oat flour (Brand: Bob's Red Mill)
- ¼ cup gluten-free almond flour (Brand: Bob's Red Mill Blanched Super-Fine Almond Flour)
- 1 cup (4 scoops) protein powder (Brand: BPI Vanilla Caramel HD Whey)
- ¼ cup freshly ground golden flaxseed (Brand: Bob's Red Mill Golden Flaxseed)
- zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ - ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, safflower oil and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
- Add Splenda and whisk to combine.
- Add the ricotta cheese, buttermilk and almond milk. Whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated and smooth.
- Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt into the bowl. Whisk to combine. You will begin to see a little fizz developing from the baking powder - don't worry it's totally normal 🙂
- Sprinkle in the oat flour and almond flour and whisk to combine.
- Slowly incorporate the protein powder into the bowl while whisking, making sure to combine evenly.
- Add the lemon zest and juice to the batter.
- Add the ground flaxseed to the pancake batter and stir to combine, then set the batter aside to rest for 5 minutes - this is an important step as it allows the ingredients to fully incorporate, absorb and set which will produce a fluffier pancake consistency.
- Heat a nonstick griddle or fry pan on low and spread a very thin layer of safflower oil over it.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring scoop, ladle the batter onto the griddle.
- Cook each pancake for about 2 minutes on the first side. (You will know when to flip because the batter will begin to form tiny bubbles. At that point take your spatula and peek at the underside of the pancake to see what it looks like. When the bottom is a light golden color the pancake is ready to flip)
- Flip the pancake and cook for 1-2 more minutes on the second side - make sure not to overcook or they will come out dry!
- Remove the cooked pancakes and set aside.
- Serve pancakes immediately topped with fresh fruit and drizzled with sugar-free maple syrup or eat as a snack later in the day!