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Two-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Jillian is a self-taught chef with more than eight years of experience in the kitchen. Her favorite foods to make include cake and stir-fry.

One of the biggest challenges I faced as a newcomer to the world of health and fitness was figuring out how to optimize my diet. I wasn’t a stranger to nutrition, per se, but I knew my eating habits could be improved.

Over a period of time, I made an effort to learn more about the “ideal diet,” a theoretical pattern of eating that would maximize the number of nutrients I was taking in on a daily basis. I pored over articles from websites like Livestrong, Verywell Fit, and Stronger by Science, noting the patterns I observed in the advice each author gave regarding the optimal macronutrient balance. Eventually, I settled on the following guidelines:

My Nutrition Guidelines

  • The ideal diet varies from person to person depending on his or her levels of activity and fitness goals.
  • Protein is important, but it’s not the holy grail: Eating between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight—around 98 grams for a 150-pound individual—will suffice for most people, even those who exercise frequently.
  • In terms of percentages, consuming 20–25% of your daily calories in protein, 20–30% in fat, and 45–65% in carbohydrates appears to provide an ample balance of nutrients to help you gain strength and improve your athletic performance.

With those guidelines in place, my next step was to develop a recipe that provided “emergency protein” in the event I didn’t meet my daily goal of about 75 grams. Considering how much I like carbohydrates like brown rice and pasta, it wasn’t entirely unreasonable to think I might need such a recipe.

Enter the two-ingredient pancake. Unlike its conventional counterpart, this flapjack lacks flour, milk, and sugar, gaining its substance from egg whites and protein powder instead. In terms of texture, this pancake is more rubbery and less moist than the more conventional type—traits that tend, unfortunately, to turn people off from the recipe.

For what they lack in texture, however, these protein pancakes make up for in taste. I won’t say they mimic regular pancakes exactly, but their unique, eggy flavor is lovely in its own right. Drizzled with syrup and melted dark chocolate, they satisfy a sweet craving just as well as any buttermilk pancake—and provide 21 grams of protein while they're at it.

Ingredients

  • 70g liquid egg whites
  • 15g whey protein powder, unflavored

Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high temperature, spritzing with canola oil spray as necessary.
  2. Pour liquid egg whites into a small bowl.
  3. Add whey protein over the egg whites.
  4. Stir for 30 seconds, or until the ingredients have been thoroughly combined. It’s normal for the protein powder to bead up and form lumps in the egg whites; just try your best to remove them by mixing.
  5. Spoon 1/5 of the mixture onto the heated skillet—more or less is fine, depending on how large you want your pancakes to be.
  6. Cook until sides have become firm enough to lift with a spatula. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
  7. Remove from heat and consume immediately, topping with sugar-free syrup or chocolate chips, if desired.
  8. Repeat with remaining batter.
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© 2019 Jillian Cameron