Monday, July 18, 2011

Almond Flour Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

When I was first making changes to my "diet" after being diagnosed with Insulin Resistance, one of my saddest goodbyes was to pancakes.  While working to manage my IR, I am eating very few grains, so even the whole-wheat oatmeal pancakes I had been making were out.  Our family tradition had been to make a pancake breakfast after Church every Sunday.   Nixing the pancakes left me feeling like I was missing out on more than just a food that I liked.  I was missing out on ritual...and on watching my husband teach my toddler how to flip a flap jack!

Missing pancakes is what led me to the eventual discovery of almond flour, or almond meal.  It is essentially finely ground almonds.  Almonds (in healthy quantities) have tons of health benefits for people with Insulin Resistance.  (And people without IR!)  Almonds can actually help decrease rises in blood sugar (glucose) in addition to providing protein, monosaturated fats, Vitamins E and B2.  I feel no guilt about giving my toddler pancakes made with almond flour as part of her breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack on Sundays!

So, almonds, almond butter, and almond flour are now staple ingredients in my kitchen!  I have actually enjoyed many almond flour recipes much more than the "originals."  I have found a few great almond flour pancake recipes online, my favorites being at Heather Eats Almond Butter and Elana's Pantry. I also created one of my own, and after several batches of tinkering, I think I have a lemon ricotta pancake recipe that is pretty darn good.  Of course, if you have suggestions, comment away!

1 c. of ricotta cheese (I use whole fat organic)
Zest and Juice of 1 large lemon
3 Eggs
1 Tb. Coconut Oil
1 c. Almond flour
2 Tb. Coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. Stevia in the Raw
1 tsp. Lemon Twist Stevia
1/4 c. seltzer water

1. First, gently mix the ricotta cheese, egg yolks (set egg whites aside for later), lemon juice and zest, liquid lemon twist stevia, and coconut oil.  I put these ingredients in my stand mixer and turn it on low just until blended.
2. Next, in a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, stevia in the raw, salt, baking powder.  Gently stir into the wet mixture.
3. Whip up the egg whites until you have peaks forming.  Add the egg whites to the rest of the batter.
4. Finally, add the seltzer water.  I add this last so that the carbon dioxide bubbles are lost in the blending process.
5. I cook these pancakes around 300 degrees on my electric griddle.

I make 9 pancakes out of this batter, and I estimate that each one has about 5g carbs.  I serve them with a berry "syrup" that I make with fresh berries, water, stevia, and maybe a bit of xanthan gum.  I think they'd also be good with some greek yogurt.  If you make these, I would love to know what you put on them!


  1. Those look good! I don't have lemon, do you think this would work with orange juice and orange zest?

  2. These do sound great...for anybody! I love using almond flour in cakes and cookies, as well. Love the seltzer water, it must give a great lift.

  3. They look as good as the real thing! How strong is the almond taste?

  4. Oh my, I want these pancakes right now! I am loving all things lemon these days, and well, add almonds and ricotta cheese to the mix, and I think I'd be in heaven. Bookmarking these to make when I get back home from vacation. They sound amazing and thanks for the almond lovin' shout-out! Much appreciated. :)

  5. TeacherMama - I'm not sure about the guess is that the orange taste wouldn't be as strong as the lemon? Let me know how it is if you make them!

    Lisa - I don't notice the almond taste much at all, but I am getting pretty used to baking without flour. My two year old gobbles them up, and she tends to love carbs galore, so I think the almond flour fools her if that's any indication!

  6. Hi Nikki,
    I'm so happy i stumbled upon your blog.
    these gluten free pancakes must taste so good, love the lemon touch.
    thanks for sharing

  7. Hi there. I too am diabetic (after a round of GD with my third child). Great blog, I am happy to find it and explore. It's always great to find another person watching those carbs! I blog a lot of LC and GF baked goods, I hope you will check them out!

  8. These fell apart for me, but they tasted good. Next time I will bake this batter in my madeleine pan as cookies.