So you’re on a diet? Looking for low carb / keto options? Craving some pancakes? Look no further. Fork and Twist is here to help!
Good tasting healthy pancakes can be hard to come by, and when they do it’s full of mashed banana – what if you want to taste something other than banana? The secret (not so…secret) is Whey Protein Powder. To those of us who lift this will not be an alien ingredient, but to those of you who don’t it can be daunting.
What is Whey Protein Powder?
There is a great article on Whey Protein here at health line. In short, the below will summarise what this post entials.
Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, which is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. Whey is found in the watery portion of milk. When cheese is produced, the fatty parts of the milk coagulate and the whey is separated from it as a byproduct.
If you’ve ever opened a yogurt container to see liquid floating on top — that’s whey. Cheesemakers used to discard it before they discovered its commercial value. After being separated during cheese production, whey goes through various processing steps to become what people generally recognise as whey protein — a powder. Whey protein doesn’t taste very good on its own, which is why it’s usually flavoured.
It’s important to read the ingredients list, as some products may have unhealthy additives like refined sugar. It’s worth noting that it’s possible to get vegan powder nowadays, so if you can’t have milk there are other options.
What Protein Powder Should I Get?
The best allrounder is Optimum Nutrition’s GOLD STANDARD 100% WHEY (not sponsored).
It delivers 24 g of whey protein with just 1 g of fat, 1.2 g of sugars, and with 1.6 g of carbs (Vanilla ice cream flavour). It has a great balance of taste and nutrition, I suppose that’s why they call it the Gold Standard!
This is the preferred choice, but there are many others out there for example:
Always go for vanilla when using the protein to cook with as it gives the perfect base to enhance the flavour to whatever you want, be it chocolate, cinnamon, strawberry etc. It’s really versatile and will last for a long time, so stock up and you’ll be fine for a year or so.
How are these Pancakes Low Carb?
These are low carb thanks to the removal of flour/oats. This is taken out and removed with pure protein powder, which combined with eggs creates the pancake itself. It’s a very simple recipe, which was found originally on a blog by Jennifer called JenniferBanz. The recipe below is the same recipe, with a slight twist on the egg whites.
Top Tips for Cooking Keto Pancakes
- Protein Powder – Get the best quality you can. As mentioned above, I go for Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vanilla Whey. It’s really good, and most importantly tastes great on its own without nasty additives.
- Eggs – As these are low carb we will be using the whole egg. The rule of thumb is to up your fat content if you’re lowering your carbs. However, we will be needing to separate the whites from the yolks and using the meringue technique as mentioned in the Ultimate Pancake recipe. To make the pancakes light as air, you’ll need to whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold them in carefully to the batter at the very end.
- Ingredients – Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients in separate bowls. Egg whites in a third dish.
- The Batter – When making the batter (excluding the egg whites) use a whisk to combine, but try not to overwork it. What I mean is, don’t use a hand mixer and mix the hell out of it – all we need to do is combine the wet and dry ingredients until it’s smooth. Just go easy on it – patience is key. The more it’s overworked the less fluffy it will become. As soon as it’s smooth, stop.
- The Frying Pan – Have your pan on a medium heat – we don’t want it too hot. For my current kitchen I am using a halogen hob and I put it on level 6. If your pancake comes out too brown on the top just adjust the heat for the next ones – turn it down by 1 level, or a small twist and take the pan off the heat to cool a little before going ahead, about 10 seconds should do it.
- Grease – Even with the best non-stick pan you still need something to transfer the heat. Taking into account that you, the eater, are clearly after a calorie deficit, it’s best to use a 1Kcal cooking spray. For each pancake 3-4 sprays in the centre at about 20 cm distance from the surface will do.
- Keeping Warm – To keep the pancakes warm whilst cooking them, pre heat a grill on a low heat, place the cooked pancakes on a plate and loosely cover with foil and place under the grill – put the tray in the grill as low down as possible, we don’t want them to actually cook.
- Pouring batter – When pouring the batter into the hot pan, use a normal sized ladle and fill it almost to the top. Spoon the batter straight into the pan and let the ladle create the pancake circle – give it a helping hand by drizzling the batter where needed to ensure perfect circles. Do not use the ladle to spread the batter directly, it will lose the height. Let gravity do the work.
Let’s jump into the recipe!
Ultimate KETO low carb protein pancakes without banana
- Mixing Bowl x2
- Small bowl
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Non-Metal Spatula
- Serving Plate
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder can be any flavour you want
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 100 ml Choice of milk almond, oat, semi skimmed etc..
- 1 Kcal Cooking Spray
- Mix the protein with the baking powder in one big mixing bowl
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place the whites in a separate bowl.
- Mix the yolks with the milk and combine until no more traces of egg yolk can be seen.
- Using a hand mixer or a whisk, mix the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This will vary in time depending on the method you use to mix. A hand mixer may take 1 minute, but a hand whisk may take 5 minutes and a few more calories burned!
Mixing it all together
- In the dry ingredients make a small well. Pour in the wet ingredients half at a time and combine thoroughly each time. Best to use a good whisk here. Try not to over mix, be gentle and as soon as there are no lumps stop.
- Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined we can fold in the whites. Using a rubber spatula, or spoon, fold in the whites gentle into the mixture. Do this a half at a time. Try to be gentle and slow, and use the fold technique. Try not to stir. The aim is to keep all the air in the whites to create a ridiculously light batter.
- Get a frying pan on a medium heat (Halogen level 6 maximum – may need to modulate the heat between 5 and 6)
- Once it's hot spray 3 to 4 1Kcal cooking spray into the centre (it should sizzle) and add the batter into the pan using a ladle. Fill the ladle up to about 3/4 and pour into the centre of the pan. Use the ladle to pour the batter into a circular shape, do not use the ladle to press it into shape otherwise the batter will lose it's height.
- Once the top of the pancake has some craters on top it's tiem to flip. Using a non-metal spatula flip the pancake over and cook for a further 10 seconds or until the pancake is just cooked through.
- Place cooked pancake on the serving plate, cover with foil and place under a low temp grill to keep warm.
- Repeat for each pancake.
- Serve topped with your favourite low carb toppings. Pictured above is Fage Total 5% Greek Yoghurt, fresh blueberries and Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup.
- Don’t overwork the batter. As soon as there are no lumps stop mixing
- The whisked egg whites are key to the light, airy pancake. Ensure you whisk into stiff peaks.
- Be patient during the cooking, don’t have the heat on too high. You may need to modulate the heat throughout cooking. Do this by taking the pan off the heat for a few seconds to cool and turn down the heat by a notch.
- Don’t expect these to taste like the ultimate pancakes. They don’t have carbs after all.
Fed up of low carb pancakes? Have you tried the Oaty Protein Pancakes? They’re crazy good!
As always, if you end up making these keto pancakes (and we hope you do!) tag us on Instagram to show us your creations @forkandtwist. We may even re-post it to our stories!