These moist, delicate little nuggets of pancakes are almost too good to be true. A cross between fluffy cheesecake and doughy breakfast pancake, they also pack a huge protein punch. Plus, they contain no sugar! You won’t feel guilty feeding these to your family in the mornings (even if they do load them up with sweet toppings.)
My kids have always loved pancakes, and could eat them any time of day. I never have to refrigerate leftovers, no matter how big the batch I make. They stay on a plate on the counter, covered in plastic wrap, and are always gone by the next morning, filched by invisible hands all day long.
When I was growing up, Saturday was housecleaning day. Unless it was seeding time or harvest time, farm chores were suspended for a few hours so we could tidy and dust and clean inside. But my sisters and I never minded too much, because we knew the compensation was always a Saturday supper of pancakes and tea. (I think Mom’s philosophy was that pancakes were easy and didn’t require too much additional mess in the kitchen, but we thought we were being rewarded for our hard work.)
I haven’t been able to instill such a weekly housecleaning routine into my children – our lives are too busy with other Saturday activities. In fact, housecleaning is something that ends up being squeezed in whenever there is a small empty space of time between sports and music and school – or when guests are about to arrive. It’s amazing how much housecleaning can be done in an hour when everyone is commandeered for company’s-coming-quick-let’s-clean-the-house duty.
So, in our house, any day can be Pancake Day. And though I make many different types of pancakes, these little High Protein Pancakes are one of our favourites. They are not like regular pancakes. They are thinner and much more moist and velvety, and a touch fragile, so it’s best to make them small-sized. The cottage cheese and eggs give them their lovely texture and cheesecakey quality. Try them with a topping of Greek yogurt and a dollop of marmalade or jam, or douse them in the traditional maple syrup for a simple treat.
Kitchen Frau Notes: These pancakes don’t need additional salt, because the cottage cheese is already salted. If you live in an area where you can’t get cream style cottage cheese, you could substitute with ricotta or dry curd cottage cheese and add more milk as you are blending until the consistency of the batter is liquid enough to pour. In that case, you could add a pinch of salt.
The original recipe (from my grease-spattered and much used Canadian Kinette Cookery, compiled by many home cooks) uses all purpose flour which, of course, works very well. But I have tried these pancakes with many different gluten-free flours, too, and find that brown rice flour works the best. Millet flour also works well, though the batter will be a little thinner and have a slight millet flavour. Quinoa flour raises the protein content of these pancakes even more, but adds an earthy flavour that may not appeal to everyone.
High Protein Pancakes
(adapted from Canadian Kinette Cookery, Derksen Printers, Steinbach, Manitoba)
- 1 cup (240ml) cream style cottage cheese
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup (120ml) all purpose flour (or brown rice flour or millet flour)
- ¼ cup (60ml) oil (or melted coconut oil)
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk (can use non-dairy milk, too)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- oil or coconut oil for greasing the pan
Plop all ingredients into a blender, and whirl until smooth. (Or use a food processor or mixer and beat well).
Set a skillet (non-stick works best) over medium-low heat. Grease it with oil or coconut oil. Make each pancake by pouring in a small amount of batter (1 to 2 tablespoons). Make them no larger than 3½ to 4 inches (9cm) in diameter. Cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on the bottom, then flip carefully and brown the other side. Cook these pancakes at a slightly lower temperature than you would cook normal pancakes. They will puff up while cooking, then deflate again when removed from the heat. You will need to add a little more oil between every couple batches.
Remove to a plate to keep warm.
Makes 24 to 28 small pancakes.
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