Healthy Firehouse Pancake Options

Typically they are known as a "butter" and "syrup" covered breakfast treat but, there are some healthy and tasty pancake options.

A recent discussion/ challenge from my crew resulted in the research and creation of this article.  It was a Sunday morning in the firehouse where we typically have a brunch- eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurt (low-sugar), and pancakes.  This particular Sunday our driver wanted to make his "special pancakes" for the crew.  Three sticks of butter, a pound of sugar, and a gallon of buttermilk (yes, I am exaggerating) later these pancakes were made.   Were they delicious, of course!  Were they healthy and did they provide us with good fuel for the day, not so much.

It spurred a day-long discussion and research.  Is there such a thing as a tasty and healthy pancake?  I decided to do some research and testing to find out.   Here is a summary of what I found.

First, you want a recipe that has fiber.  Fiber can help stave off hunger and help you reach the daily minimum recommendation of 25-38 grams.  Mixes with whole grains and/or added seeds like chia and flax tend to have the highest amounts.  If you need to choose a grain-free option, opt for blends with almond or coconut flour to get more fiber.    Look for a recipe or mix that has at least 3 or more grams per serving.

Next, find a recipe or mix that has 5 or fewer grams of added sugars per serving.  This will still allow for some room to add a drizzle of Maple syrup and help you stay under the overall daily intake goal of 25 grams of added sugar (or less) per day.

Lastly, a healthier pancake option needs to have a good source of protein.  Most mixes have between 2 and 4 grams per serving.  For a little extra oomph look for ingredients like buckwheat, chickpea flour, vital wheat gluten, seeds, and/or whey or pea protein.   Opt for a mix or recipe that has at least 5 grams of protein per serving of the dry mix.  You can get even more protein by adding eggs and/or milk to the mix.

Numbers to look for (recipe or dry, unprepared mix):

  • Fiber:  More than 3 grams
  • Added Sugars:  Less than 5 grams
  • Protein:  More than 5 grams

Here are some great mixes that meet the above requirements and are tasty enough for the crew to eat.   Please note that by preparing with eggs and/or milk you change the calorie and nutrient calculations.

Best Whole-Grain Option

Wheat Montana Farms 100% Whole Wheat with Flax Mix

-Made with mild whole-wheat flour and flax.

140 calories

5 grams fiber

2 grams added sugar

5 grams protein



Best Buttermilk Option

Kodiak Cakes Frontier Flapjack & Waffle Mix (Buttermilk and Honey)

-Made with whole wheat and oat flour.  Honey and buttermilk blend for a good taste.  Egg whites and wheat protein give this up to 8 grams of protein per serving.

180 calories

5 grams fiber

1 gram added sugar

8 grams protein



Best Protein Pancake Mix option

Krusteaz Protein Pancake Mix (Buttermilk)

-This is my crew's favorite and go-to mix.  It tastes great, add some low sugar yogurt and fruit and you have a high protein breakfast option.   Whey and wheat add to the protein and the higher sugar is added so you can eat without any syrup.

220 calories

4 grams fiber

7 gram added sugar (a little high but you do not need syrup they taste so good)

15 grams protein




Best Gluten-Free Pancake Mix option

Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake and Waffle Mix

-Almond and coconut flours puff the pancakes up and make them taste like the real thing.  Add some nut butter to the top and increase the protein.

180 calories

3 grams fiber

5 gram added sugar

5 grams protein


A great way to make pancakes even healthier and more filling is to jazz them up with some healthy toppings. I like to add a mixture of healthy fats, fruit, and something that's high in protein.

Here are the healthiest pancake toppings (in my opinion):

  • Coconut yogurt or coconut cream (healthy fat)
  • Nut butter (healthy fat + protein)
  • Fresh berries (fiber, antioxidants + natural sweetness)
  • Sliced banana (fiber, potassium + natural sweetness)
  • Chia seeds (healthy fat + protein)

And of course, you can never go wrong with a drizzle of pure maple syrup at the end! I hope you enjoy these fluffy protein pancakes and I can't wait to see them as part of your morning routine.

Now, if you are more of a "pancake purist" I have a from-scratch recipe (see below) that is easy to make and a sure crowd-pleaser.   No need for a premade package, this is a great Gluten-Free and high-protein option.   I would love to hear your feedback and vote for the best options.  Let me know what you think.

Stay safe and Healthy,


Click here for a PDF copy of this recipe.

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