The need for super simple low-carb pancakes
People new to the LCHF diet and life-style often miss their customary carb-laden comfort food. Personally, I think the best approach is to move on, embrace your new way of eating, and not try to recreate in low-carb form all the breads, pastas, and baked goods you used to enjoy. But a few exceptions may be good for your morale, and not hurt your carb count much or at all.
I’ve been eating LCHF for over six years, but recently decided that I needed to get more disciplined about it, and start keeping detailed dietary records again while aiming for a ketogenic level of eating. That’s what my Keto Diet Reboot is about. Just a week in, and already I’m looking for a mood enhancer — a little variety in my breakfast, for instance.
So I decided to whip up a batch of almond flour, low-carb pancakes. My goal (aside from eating the pancakes slathered in butter for breakfast) was to pare the recipe down to the fewest ingredients possible. I wanted these to be Super Simple Low-carb Pancakes.
The base batter has only two ingredients. You can’t get any simpler with made-from-scratch pancakes. Those two ingredients are eggs and almond flour. One serving has only two net carbs. Here’s the recipe for a single serving:
Makes four medium-sized low-carb pancakes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely sifted almond flour (I use Blue Diamond brand, but any should do.)
Put almond flour in a bowl, crack in the eggs, whisk together (a fork will do).
The base batter contains 210 calories, 25 grams fat, 5 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, and 18 grams protein.
Cooking (and Cooking Oil)
OK, you’re not going to eat the base batter with a spoon. You could, but then it’s not pancakes. You’ll want to heat up oil in a pan, spoon in the batter to form about four pancakes, and cook the cakes until golden brown on each side. The oil will add some fat and calories — which frankly is a good thing for a LCHF meal.
I prefer to use coconut oil for the cooking, but butter is also fine. A tablespoon will do, but use more if you want to. It’s all fat.
Below is the per-serving nutrition breakdown for my Super Simple Low-carb Pancakes after cooking the base batter in a tablespoon of coconut oil:
Calories = 330
Fat = 39 grams
Carbs = 5 grams
Fiber = 3 grams
Protein = 18 grams
The weight of the fat in a serving (39 grams) is much higher than the weight of the carbs and protein combined (23 grams), which qualifies this as a true LCHF recipe. (See “Calculating Skaldeman’s fat burning quotient.“)
I can hear you saying, OK, that’s a super simple recipe, but is it tasty? It seems kind of bland.
Yes, the base recipe could use some flavor add-ins. I usually add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a half-teaspoon of vanilla extract. For sweetness, I also add in stevia or a similar natural, low-carb sweetener. A granulated sweetener, such as Stevia in the Raw, could also be sprinkled on top of the finished cakes. (Note: if a sweetener package says the product contains “less than 1g” of carbohydrate per serving, I figure it has half-a-gram of carbs per serving.)
Berries are another possibility (see this recipe), but then you’re talking a significant increase in net carbs. Probably worth it, though, in many circumstances, both for nutrition and flavor.
You can also melt some butter over the top and garnish with bacon or sausage, depending on how big you want your meal to be in term of calories, fat, and protein.
But the add-ins and add-ons are optional. To get these low-carb pancakes started, all you need are two eggs and a quarter-cup of almond flour.
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