Unless your breakfast has a good-sized serving of protein, you can count on daydreaming about lunch just a couple hours later. And that goes double if you worked out before getting to the office. But chalky sweet shakes and chewy bars aren’t the only way to get your fix. Piling your plate up with pancakes does the trick, too—seriously.
Anna Sward, author of the blog Protein Pow and the book The Ultimate Protein Powder Cookbook, grew up eyeing the tubs of protein powder her dad kept stocked in the kitchen. “My dad would use it for shakes, but I liked to get more creative,” says Sward. “I would add it to my oatmeal or use it to make cookies, cakes, and pancakes.” When she went away to college, she started experimenting with veggie-based protein powders to create delicious plant-based snacks and meals. Eventually, she became a pro at incorporating protein powder into a range of healthy recipes, from breakfast to dessert.
One of the top protein powder myths she wants to bust? That it’s not natural or not “real food.” “In fact, protein powder is just the byproduct of the creation of other foods,” says Sward. Whey protein, for example, is a byproduct of cheese production while hemp protein powder is a byproduct of the hemp seed oil extraction process. “It’s perfectly natural and as much a ‘real food’ as, say, the flour you use to make bread,” Sward points out.
Her apple pie protein pancakes recipe takes an uber-healthy base (egg whites and cooked sweet potato) and uses the OG protein powder —whey—to make them more satisfying and give them some staying power.
Want to try them for yourself? Keep reading to get the recipe.
Apple pie protein pancakes
Makes 9 Pancakes
1 small apple
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 Tbsp apple fiber (or ground flaxseed)
1/2 medium-size cooked sweet potato (steamed or baked)
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Peel and slice your apple thinly. Then, steam the slices over boiling water or in the microwave until soft.
2. Using a food processor or blender, blend the egg whites, apple fiber (or flaxseed), cooked sweet potato, and protein powder together to make a pancake batter.
3. Coat a medium nonstick pan with coconut oil and place over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, start pouring your batter onto it. (You want the pan to be hot enough so you hear a sizzle when you add the batter.) Bring the heat down to medium so the pancakes cook evenly.
4. Once bubbles begin to appear on the pancakes’ surface, flip them. Transfer to a warm plate and repeat with remaining batter. When the pancakes are done, stack them up, alternating with layers of apple slices, and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve.