Chocolate Protein Pancakes: Meet Kelly

Good morning! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Ours was extremely laid back in the best way possible and I’m feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead. I am really excited about today’s post as I am welcoming my very first guest blogger. I would like for you to meet Kelly the blogger over at Eat Real Live Well.  Kelly is rocking it in the health and nutrition industry and if there’s one thing I’ve learned recently this girl knows her stuff. I’m fascinated by her knowledge and the information she provides her readers on the affects different foods have on our bodies. I encourage you to check out her blog for more information as well as some of her other recipes. For now though I will let Kelly take it away.

Hello! I am so excited to be here at Key Ingredients sharing one of my favorite sports nutrition recipes that your whole family can enjoy. I am going to start by introducing my background and myself. I am a registered dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. I grew up as an athlete and drastically changed my eating habits as a young teen when my mom chose an elimination diet over surgery and medication to treat an illness – and it worked! I immediately saw how eating higher quality foods made me feel better and allowed me to perform better as a competitive swimmer and knew I wanted to help others feel that way, too. I maintain an active lifestyle competing in road races and the occasional triathlon but enjoy weight training and yoga, too. I am a bit of a travel addict but love a relaxing weekend at home with my husband as well. In my career, I am a professor, nutrition coach, speaker and consultant, and enjoy working in the media. I truly believe that eating real food and leading an active lifestyle are keys to not only physical health, but also mental health and happiness. My blog focuses on providing balanced and nourishing plant-based recipes to fuel everyone from athletes to those just beginning their journey to health.

You may be wondering after my introduction how chocolate pancakes are what I am sharing with you, but this recipe has no added sugars and is rich in protein and fiber, two things most breakfasts are deficient in. I also recommend that you swap your syrup for some nut butter or apple butter to keep the blood sugar spikes and crashes away!

Pancake Sunday’s are “a thing” in my house whenever we are home. As a part of our routine, we will get errands done after breakfast and then head to the gym or for a run once breakfast has been well digested and is able to energize our muscles. Some days though, this recipe is a perfect post-workout, breakfast, too! The best part of pancake Sunday is that my pancake recipes can be enjoyed throughout the week. This particular recipe, due to it’s protein content, is great on mornings that we get a workout in at 5 or 6 am and just have a tiny snack upon waking. Sometimes I make the whole batch at once and freeze for later, and other times, I cover the mixing bowl with press n’ seal and refrigerate until the next morning. I prefer the latter because it means that I can change my add-ins any day but the former is a bit more of a time saver, and you can always change the toppings – – as you can see in the photos, peanut butter, banana and hemp seeds are my favorite!

Athlete or not, we all need healthy carbohydrates to fuel a successful sweat session. Despite what you hear in the media, carbs are not the enemy and are actually the only energy nutrient that is used by all cells in the human body. When we eat carbohydrates, some are immediately used for energy to fuel our brain, blood cells and other functions, but the rest are stored in our liver and muscles. The carbs in our muscles are the quickest and most efficient source of fuel we have during exercise so that we can hit a high intensity instead of hitting a wall. “Healthy carbs” are those closest to nature and highest in quality. Fruits, whole grains, legumes, and veggies are all rich in carbs, but some aren’t the best right before exercise due to their high fiber, such as lentils and lettuce. Fruit and grains though? Those are great! This recipe is made with gluten-free buckwheat and oats and I highly recommend topping with a banana, cherries, or any fruit you love with chocolate!

Post-workout, I am sure you’re all well aware that protein is necessary for recovery, but do you always eat it? What about on a morning that you haven’t exercised – is protein always part of your breakfast? In addition to muscle recovery, protein also supports a healthy immune system, the other tissues in your body (organs, the framework of our bones, hair etc), and normal hormones and metabolism. We certainly want to include it not just when we are thinking about muscle recovery, but whenever we have a meal or snack! Research is showing that protein timing may be more important than protein quantity so, spread your intake out throughout the day at each meal and snack, rather than eating a lot at once.

I hope this recipe finds it’s way to your plate very soon and thanks for reading along!

Chocolate Protein Pancakes (Vegan, GF option)
Makes 10 medium pancakes


1.25 C (150g) buckwheat flour
1/2 Cup (40 g) quick oats
2 scoops garden of life chocolate raw protein*
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
*To make gluten free, choose one of their NSF gluten free certified products, or another NSF or Informed Choice certified brand.

2 flax eggs: 2 tbsp ground flax mixed w/ 5 tbsp warm water and left to sit 5 minutes
3/4 C applesauce
2.5 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract


Make your flax eggs in a small ramekin or bowl
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl
Whisk all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Slowly pour the dry into the wet as you gently whisk the ingredients together. Do not over-mix but be sure all dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Heat an eco-friendly non-stick pan over low-medium heat and lightly spray with a chemical-free cooking spray.
Once heated, pour 1/2 Cup of the batter into the pan.
Add the chocolate chips if desired and any other add-ins such as bananas, berries, or chopped nuts now or after the pancakes are done.
Flip the pancake when you can see bubbles on top, cover the pan and remove from heat about one minute later.



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By | 2018-06-01T09:37:12+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|Breakfast|5 Comments


  1. Christine | Mid-Life Croissant January 23, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Totally crazy about buckwheat and pancake sundays are about to become a thing in my house too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. AZ@...And a Dash of Cinnamon January 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Yum! I love adding protein powder to my pancakes.

  3. Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian January 24, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I love the idea of guests posts and being a fan of yours and Kelly’s means this post is a win-win for me! Great post.

  4. admin January 24, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Oh thanks so much!

  5. Christina Bauer January 24, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    These look fabulous! I’ve been looking for a good chocolate pancake recipe that’s not full of sugar. Totally saving this 🙂

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