“Skinny” PB&J Pancakes

In American, Brunch, Fruit, Nuts, Oats on February 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Peanut butter and jelly.  A humble pair, yet pleasantly powerful.  We’ve all had it in our lunch box rotation (unless you have a peanut allergy).  Especially, if like me, you grew up vegetarian.  It was either PB, PB&J, or provolone cheese with lettuce and mustard.  Even as an adult I can appreciate a PB or AB and J sandwich.  It’s a quick sammie that can last in your purse for many hours without refrigeration.  The only other PB companion that blows J out of the water is chocolate.  Nothing beats chocolate and PB.  NOTHING.

Anyway, with all of our differences, my husband and I can both agree on our favorite jelly – Strawberry.  Most people prefer grape, but to me it reminds me of children’s tylenol and all the horrific tastes and feelings associated with being sick as a child.  Thus, strawberry is my go-to.  I also love blueberry, apricot, peach, you name it.  Just no grape.

A couple of years ago, I had been watching Food Network and came across Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real show.  This particular episode featured a recipe for PB&J pancakes.  Of course I made it that weekend and it was delicious.  Back then, I wasn’t as educated about swapping ingredients, especially in baking.  And yes, I consider pancakes baking because cake is the root of the word.  There is also baking powder.  Enough said.  This past weekend, I decided to treat my hubby to these pancakes, only I would be making some substitutions.

I don’t normally type out the recipes in my posts, but since I substituted most of the ingredients, I will spec everything out.

Skinny PB&J Pancakes Adapted from Sunny Anderson

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 egg whites
6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used Brad’s)
Cooking Spray

Strawberry Syrup

1 10 oz bag frozen strawberries (or 2 cups fresh)
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp Orange zest

The first thing I did was to mix up the peanut butter.  I keep it at room temperature, and since it’s natural there is settlement and separation of the paste and the oils.  I nuked it for 30 seconds while I prepared the dry ingredients.

I used my Vitamix for this recipe.  I thought it would work wonderfully in grinding and combining flours, as well as easily mixing the wet and dry.  However, next time I think I will use a hand mixer because the batter was really thick and I had to spoon it out instead of pouring.  I lined the bottom of the blender with the oats.

Then I measured out the whole wheat flour, using a knife to level off the cup.

I added the baking powder and salt, and blended for 10 seconds.

I layered in the rest of the ingredients (agave through the PB).

I let it all blend for about a minute or two while I prepped the strawberry syrup.  I emptied the bag of frozen berries in a saucepan.

Then I added the agave and the water.  I actually realized after the fact that I forgot the zest.  Oh, well!

Once the pan rose to a boil, I lowered to simmer for 10 minutes while I cooked the pancakes.  I used two nonstick pans and some cooking spray.  Measuring out about 1/4 cup per cake, I dropped the dough in the pans.  They were very hard to spread!  I got better gradually, and learned to drop, let it cook for 10 seconds, then flip over and press down with the back of the spatula.

After about 3ish minutes, I flipped them over.

A couple of them burned on one side because I let the pan get too hot!  It set my smoke alarm off and made my dog crazy.

This batch should have rendered 12 total, but due to my inexperience with this batter, and picking at the dough while cooking, it only made 11.  The syrup reduced down to a jelly like consistency.

Then I served myself 2 pancakes.  Had a been a good and patient girl I would have had 3 on my plate.

Here’s a close-up.  Doesn’t that look amazing?

Okay, so now on to my nutrition lesson.  This recipe is by no means a healthy or diet meal.  It is slimmed down to save some calories and fat, use whole ingredients, but still be a yummy treat for weekend brunch.  Just to give you an idea of how much was shaved off, I did a little nutritional calculating in Excel.  I used as my data source, since it’s a pretty consistent site.  Here are the stats for a serving of 3 pancakes with 1/4th of the syrup.

Original Recipe

Calories: 758
Fat: 39.3
Carbohydrates: 93.1
Fiber: 10.4
Sugar: 57.25
Protein: 17.25

“Skinny” Version

Calories: 445.25
Fat: 18.275
Carbohydrates: 52.175
Fiber: 6.7
Sugar: 25.775
Protein: 20.675

In Summary: Wow.  I didn’t realize how much I was saving.  More than half the fat and sugar, almost half of the carbohydrates, and more than 300 calories skimmed off.  The only category the original wins is fiber, and that’s only because blackberries have more fiber than strawberries.  Just looking at the pancake, there was double the fiber in the whole grain version than in the original.

I also didn’t realize still how indulgent it was. Maybe next time I will only eat one or two and share an egg white omelet.  Or not.

What are some of your favorite indulgent brunch treats?

  1. MMMM. I want some!

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