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  • Catherine Myburgh

Fluffy Vegan Protein Pancakes

When I think of the weekend, brunch, the park run (or solo run #socialdistancing) and pancakes instantly come to mind. This recipe is simple, delicious, healthy, plant based and high in protein, perfect for any day of the week but especially Saturdays & Sundays.

Pancakes are hands down one of my favourite breakfasts. As an active and health conscious individual I really wanted to create a wholesome, nourishing and delicious pancake recipe that would cater towards all dietary preferences/needs, whether that be gluten-free, low-sugar, vegan, higher in fibre or protein.

As mentioned, these pancakes are high in protein, thus ideal to consume after an intense workout. But, what else should you aim to consume after working out, in order to maximise recovery, muscle and protein synthesis?

i. Carbohydrate (glucose) is primarily stored as glycogen in muscles and utilised during activity (the extent of glycogen depletion will be dependent on the exercise duration and intensity). Therefore, it is essential to refuel with an adequate carbohydrate source post-workout.

ii. Protein: during extensive exercise tiny micro-tears form within your muscle fibres, these tears are responsible for inflammation, muscle tension and stiffness. In order to prevent injury and fatigue, as well as maximise the process of healing, repair and growth of muscle fibres and tissues, a high protein post-workout meal is essential.

The UK Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for protein intake is set at 0.75g protein/day (so in theory, the average individual doesn’t really need to be consuming excess amounts of protein and a regular balanced diet should provide more than enough). However, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) (2017) recommend 1.4-2.0g protein/day for most regular exercising individuals aiming to gain and maintain muscle mass/strength, whilst reducing overall fat mass. Hence, if your goals are to improve strength, muscular capacity and body composition, you may want to focus on increasing your overall dietary protein, and especially your post-workout protein intake.

iii. Hydrate! This is key both pre and post-workout, as fluid is lost through sweat whilst exercising.

So, what does 20g of protein (or more) look like and what would an adequate post workout meal/snack be?

This can virtually be any snack or meal that provides enough fuel (calories) for your tank and that replenishes both your carbohydrate and protein stores. A few simple snack suggestions include:

  • 2x rice cakes topped with smashed avocado and half a tin of tuna.

  • ½ cup of oats cooked in unsweetened soy milk, topped with sliced banana and 2 tbsp. of peanut butter.

  • A straight up serving of whey/plant-based protein powder shaken up with water/milk and paired with an apple/banana or alternatively, protein powder blended up with banana, almond butter, cocoa powder and ice for a refreshing post-workout smoothie.

  • 2x slices of wholemeal bread/toast topped with 2 tbsp. of natural peanut butter (for something sweet), or alternatively wholemeal bread topped with 100g of cottage cheese & fresh rocket (for something savoury).

  • 2x large boiled/scrambled eggs served with a high protein seeded bagel thin, avocado and fresh baby spinach/rocket.

  • My delicious fluffy vegan protein pancakes (recipe below) served with your choice of fresh toppings.

Fluffy Vegan Protein Pancakes | vegan | gluten-free

RECIPE | Yields: 5-6 small pancakes (serves: 1)

Dry Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour (I have used gluten-free buckwheat flour as it’s high in protein, but you can easily sub oat/wholemeal/regular white flour instead).

  • ½ tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp. (heaped) plant-based protein powder (I have used the Nutritech 100% Vegan Protein, but you can use any protein powder of choice)

  • Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup plant-based milk (I have used unsweetened almond milk, but soy/coconut work well too).

  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp. coconut oil (for frying)


  1. Start by sifting together the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

  2. Now add the milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to gently combine (try NOT to overmix the batter, a few lumps are okay).

  3. Melt the coconut oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.

  4. Pour the batter onto your lightly greased pan and cook for 2-3 minutes (or until bubbles form) before flipping. (I used a ¼ cup of batter per pancake).

  5. Serve with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Recommended toppings:

  • Tropical fruits, berries, Greek/coconut/soy yoghurt, shredded/flaked coconut and a drizzle of honey/agave/maple syrup.

  • Fresh banana, berries, cinnamon, choc/peanut sauce, crushed peanuts and cocao nibs.

  • A squeeze of fresh lemon, honey and cinnamon

Nutritional content (excludes coconut oil for frying and toppings of choice)

Total Energy 297 kcal

Protein 21.2g

Fat 4.5g

Net Carbohydrates 39.2g

Dietary Fibre 7.4g

Total Sugar 1.6g

*Disclaimer: this recipe calls for a whey or plant-based protein powder (likely to contain phenylalanine) and is therefore unsuitable for those with phenylketonuria (PKU).

Reference List

Jäger, R. Kerksick, C.M. Campbell, B.I. Cribb, P.J. Wells, S.D. Skwiat, T.M. Purpura, M. Ziegenfuss, T.N. Ferrando, A.A. Arent, S.M. Smith-Ryan, A.E. Stout, J.R. Arciero, P.J. Ormsbee, M.J. Taylor, L.W. Wilborn, C.D. Kalman, D.S. Richard B Kreider, R.B. Willoughby, D.S. Hoffman, J.R. Krzykowski, J.L. Antonio, J. (2017) ‘International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and Exercise’, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN), 14(20). Doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8.

Van Vliet, S. Beals, J.W. Martinez, I.G. Skinner, S.K. Burd, N.A. (2018) ‘Achieving Optimal Post-Exercise Muscle Protein Remodelling in Physically Active Adults through Whole Food Consumption’, Nutrients, 10(2). Doi: 10.3390/nu10020224.

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