Dark Chocolate Cranberry Protein Pancakes

A stack of Dark Chocolate Cranberry Protein Pancakes with fresh raspberries on top
Photo: Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

These chocolate protein pancakes will delight your tastebuds, fill your belly and fuel you all morning long! Make a double batch today and keep some in the freezer for an easy, grab-and-go breakfast or snack.

For some reason, I’ve been craving pancakes for breakfast recently. I used to love them years ago, and often made them when my kids were young. With butter and LOTS of syrup on top, of course. The thing is, I always hated the way I felt after eating pancakes. I’d get shaky, really tired and even felt a bit nauseous after breakfast, so I stopped eating them. It wasn’t until I was in nutrition school and learned about reactive hypoglycemia that I put two and two together and realized that instead of fueling my morning, all of that flour and sugar was causing my blood sugar to spike and then crash. Duh! That crappy feeling I got after eating pancakes was hypoglycemia.

Needless to say, I haven’t eaten pancakes in years. Until today, that is …

These chocolate protein pancakes are packed with protein and lots of low glycemic ingredients, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar, so there’s no way it will crash. Even if you do add a bit of maple syrup to your stack.

You see, the more refined carbohydrates (aka flour) and sugar (aka syrup) a food contains, the faster it will spike your blood sugar, and that’s NOT a good thing. When your blood sugar is high, insulin has to work harder to bring it back to normal, and sometimes it works too hard, which leads to a low blood sugar after eating carb-rich foods (hypoglycemia). Eventually, if you eat lots of refined carbohydrate foods, your insulin gets tired of working so hard, and that can lead to prediabetes and eventually diabetes.

Long story short, it’s a good idea for everyone to limit refined carbs, and replace them with higher fiber carbs and more protein. And that’s just what I did with these chocolate protein pancakes. They have high-fiber oats instead of white flour, as well as eggs, milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder for a nice protein boost. 

They also have the ultimate low-glycemic fruit hidden in the batter — cranberries. I know, it’s almost summer, so where did I find cranberries, you’re asking? Check your freezer people…

Cranberries are just as nutritious as other berries, but because they’re so naturally low in sugar, they have a very low glycemic index — and they have a very minimal impact on your blood sugar. In fact, research has shown that some of the polyphenols in cranberries (and strawberries) help to improve insulin sensitivity in people who are at risk for diabetes, and eating cranberries with breakfast may help to reduce blood sugar afterward.

And they just taste great with the dark chocolate in these pancakes.

I do love a bit of maple syrup on my pancakes, but I also used my extra cranberries to whip up a batch of fresh cranberry relish. A spoonful on top adds some extra sweetness to this stack of pancakes, so I only needed a bit of syrup.


Dark Chocolate Cranberry Protein Pancakes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 12 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14 cup milk any kind
  • 12 cup frozen cranberries slightly thawed
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest or 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds until smooth.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. When the pan gets hot, test the heat by placing a drop of water on the pan. If it sizzles, the pan is ready.
  3. Pour enough batter in the hot pan to make a 5-6 inch pancake. Let it cook until the batter bubbles, and then flip the pancake. Cook for about 20 seconds on the second side, and then remove it from the heat. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. One batch of batter should make about 6 pancakes.
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Anne Danahy
Anne Danahy, MS, RDN, is a wellness dietitian and nutrition communications consultant who specializes in women's health and healthy aging. She blogs at Craving Something Healthy. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.