A number of folks in the keto groups rave about Quest multi-purpose mix. It’s based on whey protein isolate, a product that is found in all kinds of whey protein shakes. In this post, I offer a simple pancake recipe, modified from one of the many versions on the Internet. In this recipe I use Torani sugar-free hazelnut syrup and five fresh raspberries for a single-serving recipe that yields 3 small pancakes. Lokanto maple syrup finishes it off nicely!
The origins of this recipe
As usual, Wikipedia provides everything you ever wanted to know about a topic, and whey protein isolate is no different. It’s basically protein extracted from dairy; it doesn’t tend to pose problems for the lactose intolerant (as lactose is extracted during the process).
In at least one recipe, someone used a Quest milkshake formula. Quest’s milkshakes AND the baking formula have xantham gum in their ingredients list–and that is the key thing, here. If you want to know if the protein shake whey formula you have in YOUR cupboard could be substituted here for Quest, I’d look for xantham gum in the ingredients list.
I used the Quest multi-purpose mix, which does not have any specific flavoring ingredients. This means I’ll have to add them. I have a number of Torani sugar-free syrups in the cupboard and raspberries in the fridge: hazelnut raspberry is a nice combination, so I started there. This is a good way to punch up my morning protein consumption–adding 24 grams of protein to my diet just from the Quest powder alone. As I also used 3 tablespoons of butter, which also upped my (good) fat — which have also been a bit low this week.
Keto baking requires flavor additions. While you can get away with fairly plain wheat-based recipes, taking away the wheat means taking away considerable (wheat) flavor. Keto baked goods are not going to taste exactly the same (no matter how many people swear to this). In addition, we also lose the dopamine smack to the brain that wheat provides. This is why so many find keto baking disappointing.
Plain keto pancakes are likely to taste strongly of egg without additional flavor components. In this recipe, my son (who has a very sensitive palate) remarked on the pronounced “eggy” flavor, even with the additions I made. (He tasted it without the Lokanto sugar-free maple syrup, which helps to minimize this flavor).
Cook’s Note: Here we are going to use the baker’s method of mixing the wet ingredients together first, then adding the dry ingredients, little by little, whisking them into the wet ingredients to incorporate them fully. This recipe creates a “pancake” batter consistency recipe — it’s good for the usual “thin” pancake. Since the only real dry ingredients are the Quest powder and a dash of salt, that’s added last.
- 1 scoop Quest protein multi-purpose mix
- 1 ounce of water (I used a jigger to measure)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar-free hazelnut syrup
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (or actual milk) — I used a coconut/almond milk blend from Califa
- 5 minced or chopped raspberries
- 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
- ghee or coconut oil (or other oil) for frying
Step 1: Put all the wet ingredients (water, almond milk or regular milk, sugar-free syrup, melted butter, large egg) into a bowl. Whisk to combine them.
Step 2. Heat a skillet or griddle to a medium heat. If you’re using a skillet, add a teaspoon or two of ghee or cooking oil to fry the pancakes. (Non-stick griddles often don’t need much more than a spray of coconut oil or butter flavored oil). I like ghee because it adds a buttery flavor. It has a high “smoke point” and so it doesn’t burn easily. (Ghee is just butter fat that has the milk solids removed).
Step 3. Add a good dash of salt and a tablespoon or so of the Quest multi-purpose mix (or protein shake) to the wet ingredients. Add the mix, little by little, stirring (whisking) rapidly until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. The mixture should have a pancake batter consistency.
Step 4. Add a spoonful of batter to the hot skillet or griddle. Place a few pieces of raspberry and walnut on the wet pancake surface, spacing them out. When the edges of the pancake are dry and the middle is beginning to look more solid, it’s ready to flip. Depending on how high your heat is
Cook’s Note: Protein pancakes are different. Wheat pancakes show that they are cooked through when bubbles open in the middle of the pancake, pop and stay open. This didn’t happen with these protein pancakes. I had to keep checking the underside to make sure it was nicely brown before flipping them. The flip was difficult as the pancake was still a bit runny on the top. Get a big, broad spatula to help with the flip.
Step 5. Flip the pancake. Cook for about another 2 minutes. Put on a plate. You may need to add a little more ghee or oil to the pan, heat that up and start the next pancake.
Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter. I made 3 small pancakes with this recipe, just enough for me. 🙂
I served this up with the two tablespoons of Lokanto sugar-free maple syrup. I ate the whole thing entirely and didn’t even take a picture! (Apologies, I’ll post one tomorrow). I agree with my son that I could taste the egg in it. It could use more flavoring ingredients: more sugar-free syrup, possible the addition of stevia or other sweetener. The raspberries and the walnuts were really nice, adding flavor and texture (as well as fiber!) at a very low level of additional carbs.
Overall : needs more sweet. I would in future increase the number of chopped raspberries. This also needs more hazelnut flavor. But this is definitely better than any of the other keto pancakes I’ve had over the years. Yes, it’s more like “real pancakes” — but don’t believe that it is “just like” actual pancakes.
The Carby Facts
I keyed all of this into CarbManager and got 2 net carbs for the entire recipe NOT including the Lokanto syrup, walnuts and raspberries. The Lokanto syrup added 1 carb. The walnuts and raspberries each added 1 carb. This brings this to a total of 4 carbs for all three pancakes, including the syrup, walnuts and raspberries.
At 562 calories, calorically, this recipe is not that cheap — it’s good to note that butter added 300 calories to this meal. In future, I plan to cut the fat back slightly in this recipe — and add more sweetener to try to get this recipe whittled down a bit in calories. But it is good fat and I’ve been lacking in the fat categories this week.
This is definitely a “first version” — with more versions to come! I am fond of the “Dutch baby” pancake and that will definitely be on the menu in this holiday baking week I have before me!
Best holiday wishes, ~ Lola