Sweet potatoes are flavorful, all-natural, low in calories, and packed with nutrients like beta-carotene. It’s no wonder they’re a favorite starchy carb among bodybuilders, fitness competitors and health-seekers. A sweet potato, chicken breast, and vegetable is a popular bodybuilding dinner. But did you ever think about trying sweet potato for breakfast? These sweet potato protein pancakes are amazing! Absolutely the best!
What Kind Of Flour Do You Use In Sweet Potato Pancakes?
Sweet potato protein pancakes are made with real, whole sweet potato. The recipe calls for a 6 ounce sweet potato, and that’s weighed raw with skin on. This is a small sweet potato. If your potato is 7 or 7.5 ounces you can go ahead and use it all – the pancakes will come out the same, you’ll just get a little bit more carb calories.
We also use a flour-based pancake mix. The pancake mix makes a thick batter that fluffs up nicely and is also smooth and thick.
Pancakes that use only oatmeal and no flour are still tasty, but have a different consistency. I use sweet potato pancake mix when I have it on hand, but any pancake mix works. Either way it’s simply ideal to use a mix that’s whole grain with minimal added sugars.
I’ve successfully used a whole wheat and multi-grain plus flax pancake mix with great results as well. Most recently, I used Kodiak cakes pumpkin pancake mix. It was fantastic. Pumpkin pancake mix has a similar flavor as sweet potato pancake mix. Theres a little bit of added sugar, but it only amounts to 2.5 grams per pancake.
What Kind Of Spices Are Used In Sweet Potato Pancakes?
One of the reasons these sweet potato pancakes taste so good is because of the spices. The nutmeg and cinnamon complement the flavor perfectly.
I suggest adding cinnamon generously (1.5 teaspoons). But go easy on the nutmeg because nutmeg is a strong spice – a little goes a long way. Try 1/4 teaspoon for a light nutmeg flavor. Use 1/2 teaspoon for a stronger nutmeg flavor.
Maple extract is optional, but it enhances the flavors even more. If you don’t have maple extract, vanilla extract works well too.
Zero-Calorie, Healthy Sweetener For Pancakes
Sweet potatoes have some natural sweetness, but if you like, add a non-calorie sweetener like stevia, eyrthritol, monk fruit, or any other sweetener you choose.
In my most recent updates to the recipe, I started using calorie-free brown sugar. (Truvia sweet complete, Swerve, etc). This adds to the flavor profile. Adjust the amount depending on how sweet you want your pancakes.
Sweet Potato Protein Pancake Batter
Using the ingredients listed above, this will make a thick batter. If your batter isn’t really thick, letting it sit for a few minutes will allow it to thicken up.
Thick batter is ideal to make a thick dense pancake. If the batter is too runny, it spreads out into a wider, thinner pancake. You may need a silicone spatula to help pour the batter out of the mixing bowl, but if the batter is too thick (so thick it doesn’t pour at all), you can add a little more skim milk.
How To Make Sweet Potato Pancakes High In Protein
These pancakes can be made without protein powder, but you’ll have to either increase the dry ingredients or decrease the liquid ingredients for the same batter consistency.
The big advantage of using protein powder is that it makes these pancakes a complete meal, not just the carb source in a breakfast. You don’t have to have eggs or meat on the side. There’s 30 grams of protein per pancake. Using vanilla protein powder also adds flavor.
How Many Calories Are In Sweet Potato Pancakes?
This batch of batter contains 680 calories and makes two 340-calorie pancakes (about 5 to 5.5 inches diameter). 1 pancake equals 1 serving. Remember, these are not traditional pancakes. These are designed to be a full stand-alone meal.
Sweet potato pancakes are low in fat, and this is a good thing because they are moderately high in carbs. This is not a super-low-calorie meal. This is a great meal when you want to carb up.
I used all egg whites to keep the calories down. If you use cartoned liquid egg whites, the conversion is 1 egg white equals 2 tablespoons of liquid egg whites. That means the 4 egg whites called for in this recipe would equal 8 tablespoons of liquid egg white (1/2 cup).
You don’t need egg yolk to make these pancakes. However, if you have calories to spare, you can use one whole egg and 2 whites rather than 4 egg whites.
If you want to bump the calories and protein, you could add a hard-boiled egg or two on the side and or fruit if you want more carbs.
An alternate serving idea is to eat one and a half pancakes which brings you to 510 calories and 45 grams protein. (Big guys on muscle mass programs could easily knock down two of these in one sitting to get 680 calories).
The Best Toppings For High Protein Sweet Potato Pancakes
These pancakes are fantastic with blueberries, and a small portion of blueberries doesn’t add many calories.
You’ll find these moist, sweet, and tasty enough to eat plain, but you can top them with maple syrup if you have the calories to spare. I use a sugar-free, zero-calorie syrup unless I desperately need the extra calories for muscle-mass gaining.
Protein Pancake Cooking Tips
Here’s an important cooking tip:
These pancakes won’t take more than 3 minutes cook on the first side, and may be done sooner (2:30 or 2:45). When you flip the pancake (they flip easily when done), it may take less time for the second side because the skillet/griddle is hotter. If you took 3 minutes for the first side, it will only take 2 1/2 for the second.
If in doubt, under-cook, rather than overcook because once these start to burn, they burn fast. If you see them smoking at all, flip immediately, even if it seems early.
As long as they’re solid, they’re done. It’s okay if they’re still slightly moist in the middle. (That’s better than than burned).
If the middle is still too moist and yet the outside is starting to burn, try making the pancakes flatter and thinner. Also, you can try setting the heat just below medium instead of medium to reduce the chance of burning. It will take slightly longer this way. Another option is to simply make 4 smaller pancakes that are thinner so they cook quickly all the way through the middle.
If you’re using a griddle, you’ll have room to cook both pancakes at the same time, so you’ll be done in 5 to 6 minutes. If you use a nonstick skillet, then you’ll be doing one pancake at a time. In this case, the total cook time is 10 to 12 minutes. With 8 minutes of prep time, the total time required is no more than 20 minutes, and as little as 13 minutes.
Serve Hot Off The Griddle Or Take With You On The Road For A Portable Meal!
Sweet potato protein pancakes also make fantastic portable foods. They are even good room temperature or cold after being refrigerated. Just wrap them up in foil or put in plastic baggies and take them with you wherever you go.
But I must say, nothing beats these piping hot with maple syrup and fruit on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
-Tom Venuto, Author of, Burn The Fat Guide To Flexible Meal Planning For Fat Loss
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- 6 oz sweet potato, microwaved (170g)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (oatmeal) (40g)
- 1/4 cup pancake mix (sweet potato, pumpkin, or multi-grain) (37g)
- 1/3 cup whey protein, vanilla (31g/1 scoop)
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk 120ml
- 4 lg egg whites (or 1/2 cup liquid whites)
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp zero calorie brown sugar (or to taste, or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or maple extract)
Microwave sweet potato about 4.5 to 5 minutes (use boiled or baked if you prefer)
Remove the skin, and mash with a fork in a mixing bowl
Add the oats, pancake mix, skim milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple extract, and sweetener to the bowl
Preheat a griddle or a non-stick skillet on medium (or just slightly under medium) heat. Pour half the mixture onto the pan or griddle to form a 5 to 5.5 inch pancake. Repeat for second pancake
Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 2.5 minutes
Watch the time closely as these will burn quickly after 3 minutes. Also the second side may not take as long as the skillet will be hotter. If in doubt, under-cook, don't over-cook
Eat plain, or top with reduced-calorie maple syrup. Great with blueberries too
Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.2g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 3g
About Tom Venuto
Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilding and fat loss expert. He is also a recipe creator specializing in fat-burning, muscle-building cooking. Tom is a former competitive bodybuilder and today works as a full-time fitness coach, writer, blogger, and author. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and backpacker. His book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is an international bestseller, first as an ebook and now as a hardcover and audiobook. The Body Fat Solution, Tom’s book about emotional eating and long-term weight maintenance, was an Oprah Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick. Tom is also the founder of Burn The Fat Inner Circle – a fitness support community with over 52,000 members worldwide since 2006. Click here for membership details