February 23, 2014

Low Fat Whole Wheat & Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I felt like being naughty this morning. How could I eat chocolate for breakfast without it being bad for me? Hm... whole wheat pancakes + oats + dark chocolate chips... eureka!

These pancakes are fluffy, taste delicious, and you can adapt them to meet your preferences. You can leave out the chocolate if that's pushing it for you, but dark chocolate has nutritional benefits so that was my justification this morning. :-)

They are very filling as well since they are made with whole wheat flour and they also have oats mixed in for extra protein and fiber. Greek yogurt adds a bit more protein and low fat milk keeps the fat content from being as high as regular buttermilk pancakes.

The best part -- dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical your brain produces when you're falling in love. And once you try these, you'll be falling in love for two reasons, the chocolate and the taste. What a great start to the day!

Low Fat Whole Wheat & Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup milk (low fat, almond, soy, rice, any kind will do)
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (soy or applesauce for vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, or you could substitute nuts, fruit, or keep them plain)

Combine flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk egg and milk in a separate bowl until egg is mixed in. Whisk in brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla until there are no or very small lumps.

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, do not over mix. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips or other mix-ins. Be careful not to stir batter too much after the wet ingredients are incorporated or your pancakes will be tough and dry. Batter will be lumpy.

Heat skillet on medium heat and coat generously with butter, cooking spray, or coconut oil. Place batter in 1/4 cup additions on skillet. Let cook for about 1 minute, until bubbly and sides start to look cooked, then flip and cook for another minute or until both sides are browned.

Serve with real maple syrup, jam, or plain. They are pretty sweet already. I always suggest real maple syrup as Aunt Jemima and those other "regular" brands are full of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial additives. Not good for you at all! Stick with clean ingredients.

And remember, operate under the 80/20 rule. If you want to indulge a little for breakfast with a treat like chocolate chip pancakes, try to eat lean protein and veggies the rest of the day.

Happy Sunday!


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