Fluffy Whole Wheat Kefir Pancakes

Another great guest post from Nancy Cavillones on a dish loved by adults and kids alike: pancakes! Her recipe offers some smart twists on a classic breakfast. Cutting the flour a bit and adding extra fiber, good fats, and protein (in the form of kefir, eggs, and almonds) results in pancakes that are digested more slowly, causing a gentler and lower change in blood sugar -- and helping you feel fuller longer.

Pancakes freeze well and reheat easily; think about doubling the recipe and wrapping individual portions to keep in the freezer for whenever you want a hot breakfast (or don't have energy to make dinner).

As Nancy mentions in her post below, this recipe can be tailored to your tastes and dietary needs. I made mine with chopped walnuts; I added raspberries in one half of the batch and blueberries in the other; I swapped out the sugar in the dry ingredients for some maple syrup in the wet ingredients. The pancakes turned out just lovely! 

The kefir helps make these pancakes defy gravity - do you see how sky-high they get?

from Nancy:
My go-to cookbook these days is usually How To Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. The best feature of his cookbook is that he presents basic recipes for most foods, then offers variations on those basic recipes. I adapt his recipes -- with great results -- all the time when I'm missing an ingredient or prefer to use a different flavor. 

I am a big fan of his pancake recipe, and I use it often. The recipe is incredibly simple, tasty and easy to adapt. It comes together so quickly that I've been known to make them on a busy weekday morning. Here, I've used kefir but you can use any dairy that you have in your fridge; I've successfully made these pancakes with yogurt and sour cream. The original recipe calls for two cups of flour, which you can use if you don't have almond meal or whole wheat flour on hand. If you have special dietary needs, it's very easy to swap ingredients in and out according to your preferences; keep the basic proportion of dry ingredients to wet ingredients the same (not including your add-ins).

You can get creative with add-ins. Sometimes, I add chopped walnuts and bananas. Other times, I make classic blueberry pancakes. It's all good! 

Tangy Pancakes! (adapted from Mark Bittman's Basic Pancakes, in How to Cook Everything)

  • 1/2 c. almond flour (aka almond meal)
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. kefir, any flavor 
In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. 

In a smaller bowl, beat the egg(s) into the kefir. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just to combine and moisten the flour mixture. Don't overmix it; it will be thick. 

In a pan, melt some butter or heat up a little bit of oil. Spoon the batter into the pan. The pancakes are ready to flip when they give easily and no longer stick to the pan. 

We enjoy our pancakes with 100% pure maple syrup or, sometimes, jam or preserves. What will you add to these pancakes to make them your own?

Raspberry-walnut pancakes topped with more raspberries, more walnuts and real maple syrup. An embarrassment of delicious riches!


  1. yum! i should make these again this weekend... no maple syrup, though so jam will have to suffice. :) Thanks for posting my recipe!

  2. Nancy - Thanks for contributing it! Hope my pix did it justice :-)

    If you have some walnuts and frozen raspberries around, i def recommend that combo (with rasp jam sounds awesome).

  3. I just made these with peach goat yogurt and 2 cups of whole wheat flour, then added sliced almonds on top while they were cooking.  fluffy and delicious!!! :)

  4. mm, peach goat yogurt sounds amazing! Glad you liked the pancakes and thanks for taking the time to come back and post a review :-)

  5. I made your cranberry lassi yesterday! I had to add some sugar (I know, I know...) but it was SO good!! And I'm still having some kefir left for this recipe!!!! Sounds great!

  6. Thanks for trying the lassi and for reporting back. Oh, and I always add some honey or agave - cranberries are tart! Hope you liked the pancakes :-)

  7. I live in a small town an hour from a decent grocery store, but was able to make these with a few modifications. Instead of keifer, I used half a cup of plain yogurt mixed with one cup of milk. Instead of the almond flour I put whole almonds in the food processor with the flour until smooth. They came out great!!

  8. Great ways to work with what you've got! SO glad they turned out so well - thanks for reporting back with us :-)


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