Marathoner's Healthy Whole-Wheat Pancakes

A big stack of pancakes is a delicious carb-fest for us runners.  After a long run of 8 or 10 or 12 miles, it's a tasty way to replenish those glycogen stores.  Unfortunately, traditional pancakes of white flour, sugar, and fake maple corn syrup aren't the most healthy option for energy replacement.  But you can have your pancakes and feel good about eating them too!

Marathoner's healthy pancakes reconstruct traditional pancakes into a healthy breakfast option.

Our recipe replenishes your carbs and adds important nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin C, and potassium. You need these vital nutrients to help meet the demands that running and training for a marathon places on your body. 

Healthy whole-wheat pancakes with fruit

Recipe: Marathoner's Healthy Whole-Wheat Pancakes

Total Time: 25 minutes (10 minutes preparation, 15 minutes to cook)

Servings: 4, three pancakes per serving

Ingredients - Batter

  • 1 1/4 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of white all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (use "lite" salt for extra potassium)
  • 1 teaspoon of one of these: apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
  • 2 cups of one of these: low-fat milk, almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of pure olive oil or canola oil

Ingredients - Fresh Fruit Topping

  • One or more of: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mangoes

Salt with Potassium for Electrolyte Replacement

It's a good idea for runners to replace potassium lost through sweating by simply changing regular table salt into one of these types of salt.  Insufficient potassium can cause muscle cramping during and after runs.

Preparation

If you have a stand mixer you can just add all the ingredients, turn on low speed, and mix until everything is combined.  If you're doing it by hand, take a large bowl and add all of the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and stir together until combined.  In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, vinegar/lemon juice, honey, oil) and add to the large bowl of dry ingredients.  Stir all ingredients in the large bowl until mixed.  The biggest mistake you can make in mixing pancakes is to stir too much, which will over-activate the glutens (wheat proteins) and cause the pancakes to be tough and chewy rather than light and fluffy.

For the fresh fruit topping, cut whatever fruit you've picked out into bite size toppings.  That's sufficient!  To up the tasty factor, you can macerate some of the berries to create a delicious syrup, but you'll need to do this at least 30 minutes before preparation (and a couple of hours or more for best results).  To macerate: slice 3/4 of the berries and sprinkle with sugar and a pinch of salt.  Mash the other 1/4 of berries with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Place everything in a covered bowl at room temperature.  When the berries are nice and juicy, they are ready to ride on the pancake express!

The fruit is an important component because it contains Vitamin C (strawberries have the highest amount) which helps you absorb the iron in the flour.  Iron is necessary for maintaining healthy red-blood cells, super important for runners!

Cooking

Use a non-stick pan or griddle and heat over a medium setting.  You'll need to play around a bit with how hot to make the pan, if the pancake cooks too slowly, turn up the heat.  If the pancake darkens too quickly on the first side, turn the heat down.  Depending on your pan surface, you may need to spray the pan with cooking spray before pouring in the batter.  However for esthetic purposes, cooking spray can cause a bit of uneven cooking on the surface of the pancake and cause spotting rather than a consistent golden brown color.

You'll need about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.  After you've measured it once, you'll have a good idea of how to pour by sight for the rest of your pancakes.  Cook on the first side for 1-2 minutes.  You'll see bubbles forming in the batter.  When you have several bubbles, it's time to flip the pancake.  The second side cooks a bit faster since the batter is already heated, figure about a minute before taking the pancake off the pan or griddle.

Eating

The best part!  Stack up some pancakes, top with fruit, add a bit of honey (if you want) and enjoy the healthy goodness.  Your body will be refueled for more running!