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Almond Pancake Recipe

February 18, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

I always try to find new and inventive ways to improve the health of those I love. I keep this objective in mind whenever I scour the medical journals or surf the information superhighway. But, in all honesty, I have an even more specific agenda – to discover delicious, pleasurable and/or simple ways of promoting wellness in my family and friends. I simply despise having to tell them that they need to make difficult changes in order to achieve better health. Sometimes this an unavoidable fact of life. However, if there is any way for me to offer a kinder, gentler alternative that’s precisely what I’ll do.

In the United States there are few comfort foods that say breakfast quite like pancakes do. The image of a stack of “flapjacks” topped with buttery maple syrup, a few strips of crispy bacon and scrambled eggs is about as iconic a meal as you can hope to find. But if you’re carefully minding your health this type of indulgence is probably just a heartbreaking memory of an all too distant past. Or is it?

A few weeks ago, I began looking for a grain-free, low carb pancake recipe for Mrs. Healthy Fellow, my father and my mother. Some of you may know that my wife has recently adopted a carbohydrate restricted program and is always on the lookout for unique items to add to her daily menu. A varied diet is crucial to keeping her taste buds content. My dad is currently experimenting with a wheat-free diet based on my recommendation. I’m hoping that this small change and a few other dietary shifts will improve his cardiovascular health. Finally, I believe my mom would benefit from some additional healthy fats and protein in her diet. The goal for her is to help preserve bone density and lean body mass.

One of the first recipes I encountered was by Laura Dolson, a leading figure in the online low-carb community. Her site is a wonderful resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the many low carb programs being promoted these days. Through some trial and error, I made some minor adjustments to Laura’s original low-carb pancake recipe. I think the end result is a true alternative to the illusive traditional, white flour pancakes of my past. (1)

Vanilla Almond Pancakes

8 oz of slivered almonds (by weight – not volume)
2 organic, omega-3 enriched eggs
2 oz of sparkling water
2 Tbs of organic safflower oil
2 packets of Truvia (stevia + erythritol)
1 tsp of organic vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of Nutrasalt or salt substitute

Step 1: Make Fresh Almond Flour – Place the slivered almonds in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until you reach a flour-like consistency. Be mindful to pulse and not blend the nuts otherwise you will end up with almond butter instead of flour.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients – Mix the almond flour and the remainder of the ingredients until they form a batter. Allow the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes. The latter step will thicken the batter and make it easier to ladle into the pan.

Step 3: Cookin’ and Flippin’ – Lightly grease a non-stick pan and heat on a low-medium flame. After the pan is hot, add a few heaping tablespoons of the batter for each pancake. I’ve found that making the ‘cakes about 4-5 inches wide is ideal. Look for small bubbles to form on the surface of the pancakes and then carefully flip them. There should be some browning and a slightly crispy texture. The approximate cooking time will likely be about 5 minutes on the first side and a few minutes on the flip side. Remove pancakes from pan and place on a cooling rack so they won’t get soggy. Top with butter, sugar-free maple syrup (more on that later) and enjoy! Refrigerate leftover pancakes in a sealed container with a paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture.

Nutritional Information Per Pancake (based on 10 pancakes) – Calories: 170. Fat: 15 grams. Protein: 6 grams. Carbohydrates: 2.5 grams. Fiber: 2.5 grams.

Almonds Positively Affect Blood Sugar and Hunger Satisfaction
Source: J. Nutr. 136:2987-2992, December 2006 (link)

This recipe can be included in my 2010 Health Challenge play book. You may recall that my plan for this year is to devise nutritious recipes that can be used to successfully manage weight. These pancakes are filling enough to help control appetite in those who need to shed pounds. However, they can also serve as a replacement for traditional breakfast items, such as toast, for those that require additional calories.

Using almonds in place of white flour offers a whole host of advantages. The most obvious benefit is a dramatic reduction in carbohydrates and a significant increase in healthy fats and protein. Almonds are also a rich source of essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E. But beyond that, it’s important to note that almonds have documented success in: a) combating constipation and inflammation; b) protecting the liver; c) lowering “bad” (LDL) and raising “good” (HDL) cholesterol; d) reducing the incidence of colon cancer and; e) supporting immune function. Some of the health promoting aspects of almonds may be the result of a newly discovered pre-biotic effect. If you eat almonds regularly, you can literally encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. Boosting the number of good bacteria and reducing the harmful variety can improve everything from digestion to mood disorders and even skin conditions. (2,3)

The inclusion of safflower oil (SAF) may further contribute to the value of this recipe. SAF is a rich source of monounsaturated fats much like those found in olive oil. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that women who consumed 8 grams of SAF/day for 16 weeks reduced body fat (trunk adipose mass) and increased lean body mass. SAF also decreased blood sugar levels and increased the concentration of adiponectin. Higher levels of this hormone are associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease. A separate study from April 2009 concluded that adding safflower oil to meals “significantly increased fullness and reduced hunger”. (4,5)

Everyone knows that you need all the “fixings” in order to truly enjoy a pancake breakfast. The traditional way to go is to pour some thick, rich maple syrup on a well-buttered stack of golden pancakes. But most maple syrups are loaded with sugar and sometimes even artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Luckily, we’ve discovered at least one brand that provides all of the flavor but none of the sugar normally found in said products – Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Maple Flavored Syrup. It’s sweetened entirely with xylitol and contains 0 “effective carbohydrates” per serving. In our home, we’ve even made a delicious blueberry syrup by mixing the maple syrup with a spoonful of Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Blueberry Preserves either in a small saucepan or in the microwave. The result is a decadent blueberry pancake topping without any of the typical guilt you’d associate with a maple-fruit syrup. Incidentally, a recent publication in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry reports that sugar-free blueberry jam actually retains higher levels of antioxidants (anthocyanins) than sugar sweetened varieties. In case you needed an extra reason to try this recipe out, there it is! (6)

Be well!


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition, Recipes

17 Comments & Updates to “Almond Pancake Recipe”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Good Morning JP 🙂

    ..and what a good morning which such an delicious recipe :-).

    I buy my organic oils from a small organic oil dealer, they produce all the oils daily fresh, they also produce organic almond oil. The almondresiduum after squeezing the oil out is dried and ground to almond flour.Is its a really good flour the same do they with walnuts. Both flours have a lower fat content which makes them floury, has both high fiber content, minerals and about 10% healthy fat. So if you have a oil mill near to you you should ask for that. I use the flours for baking and cooking. Works really good.

    My fav pancake recipe with the walnut flour:

    the same amounts of flour you listened above but i add a squashed banana.

  2. JP Says:


    Thank you for sharing that! You have so many great ideas! 🙂

    I was just wondering about walnut flour last night. Someone on Twitter mentioned (possibly) using walnuts and I told him that they *might* work as well as almonds. Now I *know* they can be used as an almond alternative. Thank you! Your timing was perfect! 🙂

    I’ll see if I can find a way to use walnuts in this recipe and incorporate a lower carb replacement for the banana – for those that need to keep natural sugars very low. I’ll report back with what I discover!

    Be well!


  3. Bill Rawls, M.D. Says:

    A very interesting twist with the almond flour, I will have to give it a try! I am always on the lookout for tasty foods to offer to patients who are having a hard time eliminating white flour from their diet.

    Waffles are a Sunday morning favorite of mine. Lately I have been using buckwheat mix and substituting 1/3 of the mix with oat bran. I add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds for extra fiber and essential fatty acids. Unsweetened soymilk instead of milk and a free-range egg. Raw honey or real maple syrup with crumbled pecans on top. Yum!

    Bill Rawls

  4. JP Says:

    Sounds delicious, Bill! What time is breakfast served? 😉

    Be well!


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for a delicious recipe. The benefits of almonds is so many.And you have used so many organic items.Nice blog.

  6. Nina K. Says:

    …happy that my post helped you JP 🙂 and if you use the walnut flour for baking it develops an unbelievable smell yummy!

    Nina K.

    PS: im soooo happy today – sun is shining and we have about 3°C 🙂

  7. Nina K. Says:

    …me again… 😉

    if you like baking here some additional tips:

    you can use every nuts for baking:

    you have to buy them like that (http://www.rapunzel.de/uk/index.php?plink=p_brotaufstriche&fs= )

    or you have to ground them till they are a cream/butter.

    its a little sticky but you can then use the nut cream for a biscuit/sponge cake. i use 4 -6 eggs separate the egg yolk from the white and make beaten egg whites. Nut cream egg yolk and spices or raisins or whatever you want mixed together, add a little baking soda, lemon juice and so on… at the end you put the beaten egg whites in and thats it…

    have this sort of sponge cake from scdiet.com

    don’t care about the stickiness thats normal 🙂

    oh i use one glass container for one cake – thats about 250 gr nut cream/nut butter

    try that with poppy seeds (they are sooo healthy ;-)) with lot of lemon zests and Jamaica rum 🙂 great

    Wish you both and family a very nice weekend 🙂

    Nina K.

  8. Sai Says:

    Good Day JP!

    I tried this and it came out fine. Have this for breakfast and it seems we can go on the treadmill for an extra 30 minutes and still have the energy to do more! Thanks for an excellent recipe. Have a pleasant weekend 🙂



  9. JP Says:


    Great news about the weather! Finally some sun! 🙂

    I’m looking forward trying out your kitchen advice. Thank you for the tips!

    I wish you and yours the same. Have some fun in the sun! 🙂

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Good day, Sai!

    I’m happy to know you enjoyed the recipe and that it served your body well. Success! It should be a winner in terms of supporting your blood sugar goals too.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well. 🙂

    Be well!


  11. Chef Rachel Says:

    These pancakes sound great. If you are looking for more almond flour recipes, check out the post on my blog about The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook. I have made almost a dozen recipes from this book. The author recommends buying blanched almond flour on line in 5 pound bags for best results. I found that made a huge difference in her recipes compared to making my own.


  12. JP Says:

    Thank you for the tips, Rachel. 🙂

    Be well!


  13. Paul Fanton Says:

    Hi JP.

    Giuliana used 8 Oz by volume of full untoasted almonds; she was able to chop them in small batches and make the coarse flour in a few times using her small food processor. She made minor changes.
    She used three medium size eggs and no Truvia. The delicious thin pancakes were a feast, either with wipped cream or a little mapple syrup.
    I was satisfied for hours and full of energy! I hope she will be able to make another batch soon!
    Thank you for excellent healthy recipe!


  14. JP Says:

    Thank you, Paul! I’m so happy to know you enjoyed them! 🙂

    Be well!


  15. Blair McMorran Says:

    This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I wonder why you don’t use a saturated fat like butter or coconut oil instead of safflower oil?

  16. JP Says:

    Thank you, Blair. 🙂

    Butter and ghee would both work well, IMO. Coconut oil would too but would impart a coconutty flavor – at least the virgin variety. I used organic safflower oil because of it’s mild taste and to make the recipe accessible to those who need to avoid dairy. I try putting together recipes that appeal to all kinds of needs and sensitivities. But I’m a big fan or grassfed butter and virgin coconut oil to be sure.

    Be well!


  17. JP Says:

    Update: A good reason to include almonds (or almond flour) in your recipes …


    J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Jan 5;4(1):e000993.

    Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal adiposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: a randomized controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND: Evidence consistently shows that almond consumption beneficially affects lipids and lipoproteins. Almonds, however, have not been evaluated in a controlled-feeding setting using a diet design with only a single, calorie-matched food substitution to assess their specific effects on cardiometabolic risk factors.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: In a randomized, 2-period (6 week/period), crossover, controlled-feeding study of 48 individuals with elevated LDL-C (149±3 mg/dL), a cholesterol-lowering diet with almonds (1.5 oz. of almonds/day) was compared to an identical diet with an isocaloric muffin substitution (no almonds/day). Differences in the nutrient profiles of the control (58% CHO, 15% PRO, 26% total fat) and almond (51% CHO, 16% PRO, 32% total fat) diets were due to nutrients inherent to each snack; diets did not differ in saturated fat or cholesterol. The almond diet, compared with the control diet, decreased non-HDL-C (-6.9±2.4 mg/dL; P=0.01) and LDL-C (-5.3±1.9 mg/dL; P=0.01); furthermore, the control diet decreased HDL-C (-1.7±0.6 mg/dL; P<0.01). Almond consumption also reduced abdominal fat (-0.07±0.03 kg; P=0.02) and leg fat (-0.12±0.05 kg; P=0.02), despite no differences in total body weight.

    CONCLUSIONS: Almonds reduced non-HDL-C, LDL-C, and central adiposity, important risk factors for cardiometabolic dysfunction, while maintaining HDL-C concentrations. Therefore, daily consumption of almonds (1.5 oz.), substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack, may be a simple dietary strategy to prevent the onset of cardiometabolic diseases in healthy individuals.

    Be well!


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