Punching up the Protein in Pancakes and Muffins

Several weeks have passed between my last post and this one, and usually during these lapses I would blame my busy schedule, chasing after the baby, travel etc. – and all that still remains. Traveling to Pittsburgh, family visits and birthdays, and preparation for Hurricane Sandy all took their fair share of time (and my love and support to those of you who have been so affected – we were very fortunate in my neck of the woods).

But the truth of the situation delaying my writing is that, over the past month, I became obsessed with PBS’s Downton Abbey, Seasons 1 and 2 of which miraculously came free suddenly on my new subscription to Amazon Prime. After the first two episodes I was completely hooked in this twisty drama, though I will admit that the rest of the first two seasons pales in comparison to the first few plot-building episodes. Last night I finally finished the Season 2 Finale and am finally well apprised of all of the ongoings in the Crawley clan.

Frankly, I am quite (quite) thankful that I have finished. Friends have now recommended that I move on to other shows like Mad Men and Homeland, but after having gone through the insanity of obsession, which when it comes to TV shows, so rarely comes to me, I am quite exhausted. Seriously, I don’t need to be obsessed with TV shows any longer. Now I need a break from that waste of time, and need to get back to the joy of living reality. . . .

Lest I continue any further on that topic I will move on to the topic at hand today:

High protein, family friendly Breakfast dishes.

As of late we have been trying to improve our food choices in my household, a task which is becoming all the more important with the holidays coming up. Breakfast is a frequent culprit. High protein and low fat is easy when it comes to egg preparation – switch a few whole eggs to whites and we are in business. But ever the sucker for delicious breakfast simple carbs, I’ve wanted to add some oomph to the protein and fiber content, improve the carbohydrate quality of some of my favorite breakfast dishes, but also enhancing rather than compromising on flavor.

In my efforts I have found that increasing protein content is as easy as substituting egg whites for egg yellows (which also improves leavening), adding 100% whey protein powder (25 grams protein per scoop protein), incorporating yogurt and cottage cheese into my recipes, and using ingredients such as chia seeds (an extra natural fiber source that puts some nice crunch in your baked goods, kind of like poppy seeds).  In some of my recipes I have started to substitute some of the all purpose flour with almond flour, oat flour/rolled oats, and sometimes adding flaxseeds to be more heart healthy.  Making these substitutions also decreases the gluten content of the dishes. I am also starting to add psyllium fiber to some of my baked goods to increase the fiber content a bit more directly – which I hope will help with my little one’s sometimes slow GI tract. I have also started to love using agave syrup as a low glycemic index sweetener.  One of my favorite new recipes using agave is David Lebovitz’s chocolate ice cream recipe. (BTW per my husband and sister-in-law, both chocolate connoisseurs, this was the ‘best chocolate ice cream they had ever had’.

Without further ado, here are a few of my personal experiments that produced excellent results. I would not classify them as “health food recipes” as they still need some work, but they have relatively higher protein content than I have seen in other recipes for similar items.

Blueberry Sour cream corn muffins (sorry, not from scratch – i was a little lazy today)   


1/3 cup egg white (or 2 egg whites)
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp sour cream (can be replaced with yogurt)
1/3 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (1/3 cup)
1 container muffin mix (I used betty crocker)
1 tsp unflavored coarse psyllium fiber
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2-1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In medium bowl whisk egg whites till quite frothy. Add milk, sour cream, olive oil, salt, and water and stir till combined.
  2. Add protein powder, muffin mix, and fiber. Stir gently till just combined.
  3. Add chia seeds and allow mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in blueberries to taste.
  5. Portion into muffin pan greased with olive oil or my favorite – a muffin top or cookie pan to increase crisp edges – and bake for 15-20 minutes. Toothpick inserted into muffin should come out clean when done. Recipe makes 6 larger muffins or 12-14 small muffin tops.

For 12 servings using 1 cup of blueberries and all other ingredients as written: 269 calories per serving, 20grams Carbs, 20 grams fat, 5 grams protein.

High protein Pancakes

These fluffy, protein rich pancakes are delightful accompanied by a little maple syrup or fruit and nuts, though because of the sweetness in the pancakes themselves these additions are by no means necessary!

5 egg whites
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 Tbsp unsatled butter, melted
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup cottage cheese (2% fat)
1/2 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder


  1. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites until they reach soft peaks
  2. In large bowl, mix together milk, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, salt, sugar, and vanilla
  3. In another bowl, mix together flours and baking powder. Stir gently into wet ingredients in large bowl. Fold in egg whites (don’t overstir – the mixture should look marbly or with little patches of egg whites)
  4. Heat cast-iron pan or nonstick griddle pan (whatever you want to use for pancakes!) and add a tiny amount of butter or oil, and fry/cook pancakes as desired.

Recipe makes 4 servings (about 8-10 pancakes).  Calories per serving: 460.  42 grams carbs, 16 grams fat, 39 grams protein.

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