The Best Keto Friendly Waffles and Pancakes
One of the most daunting things about switching to a keto diet is the (mistaken) belief that you have to give up all of your favorite carbohydrate-laden foods. Diets such as keto and paleo get a bad rap from some for being restrictive of certain food groups. But the truth is, the food groups that are restrictive on these diets aren’t that great for you to begin with! A diet heavy in refined carbohydrates has been shown to increase inflammation in the body, and don’t even get us started on the drawbacks of processed sugars. But, that doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods! Especially when it comes to the best keto friendly waffles and pancakes.
A keto diet removes these inflammatory foods, and a few others, but once you get used to it a keto diet doesn’t seem restrictive at all. While it’s true that high carbohydrate foods are a "no no" on keto, there’s almost nothing that can’t be modified with a keto friendly substitute.
Some of our favorite non-keto foods are waffles and pancakes. Nothing says a leisurely weekend brunch like a big stack of delicious pancakes or waffles, and we would hate to give that up! That’s why when we started Grain4Grain, it was important to us to come up with a keto friendly spent grain pancake and waffle mix. Our Grain4Grain Original Pancake and Waffle Mix (it comes in chocolate flavor too!) is an awesome keto friendly substitute for your regular breakfast mix, so you don’t have to give up your favorite breakfast foods when you switch to keto. Another reason why these are the best keto friendly waffles and pancakes is because they're high in protein, even higher than if you made it with almond flour!
If you’re used to smothering your pancakes and waffles in maple syrup or other sweeteners, that’s where you’ll need to make some changes. Maple syrup has about 3 keto-days worth of carbs in one serving, most of which are made up of sugar. But even if you have to forgo maple syrup, there are plenty of keto friendly options for waffle and pancake toppings that are just as delicious.
The Difference Between Pancakes and Waffles
So, you may be wondering - if pancakes and waffles can both be made with the same mix, what is the difference? The truth is, pancakes and waffles are pretty similar in taste, but the texture is where you’ll notice a difference. The texture difference between pancakes and waffles comes from the consistency and method of cooking. Pancakes are more cake-like and fluffy, while waffles have a crispy exterior and are basically fried, except they’re fried in a waffle iron instead of in a pan filled with hot butter or oil.
Nutritionally, pancakes and waffles are very similar, especially if you use the same mix to make both. And they pair well with the same breakfast sides and toppings, which brings us to our favorite part of this post. If you can’t top keto friendly pancakes and waffles with sugary maple syrup, what should you use instead?
Keto Friendly Toppings for the BEST Keto Friendly Pancakes and Waffles
If you think pancakes and waffles have to be plain and boring because you’re on keto, think again! There are SO many delicious topping options that are keto friendly, you’ll be wondering why you ever stuck to plain old maple syrup for so long.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Melted butter or ghee topped with cinnamon - because, well, who doesn’t love BUTTER?!? Keto friendly pancakes or waffles drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon are simple but oh-so-delicious and absolutely satisfying. You can even throw some crushed walnuts on top for some extra crunch and a healthy omega-3 boost.
- Almond or peanut butter - simple, easy, delicious, and keto!
- Cream cheese and fresh berries - while most fruits are discouraged on a keto diet, small amounts of fresh berries are ok. Try topping your keto friendly pancakes or waffles with delicious cream cheese (make sure it’s full fat!) and sliced strawberries or a small handful of blueberries.
- Keto fried chicken and waffles - this one is more waffle-specific, but it’s SO good that we had to include it. If you’ve never tried chicken and waffles, do yourself a favor and make this dish the focus of your next weekend brunch. Chicken and waffles is completely keto as long as you’re using a keto friendly breading for your chicken (ahem…may we suggest our Chili Paprika Seasoned Coating??) and a keto friendly sugar free syrup. You can fry your chicken in an air fryer if you have one. Or there are lots of baked “fried” chicken recipes you can modify with a keto breading, even if you don’t have an air fryer.
Spent Grain Flour Makes the Best Keto Friendly Pancakes and Waffles
A lot of the recipes you find online for keto friendly pancakes and waffles focus on making them with an almond flour / coconut flour combination. If you read our blog regularly, you know that there are some drawbacks to both of these flours, including the massive water footprint of almond production. That’s why we try to shy away from these flour alternatives in favor of a more sustainably produced, efficiently made spent grain flour. We like to feel good about the food we eat, and when we use upcycled spent grain flour in place of other less sustainable alternative flour options we can rest easy knowing that the food we’re consuming is better for our bodies and for the environment.
Not only is spent grain flour an ethically produced alternative to many other alternative flours, but it’s natural nutty flavor lends itself perfectly for making breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles.
If you grew up eating your pancakes and waffles out of the freezer (hello, children of the ‘80’s!) and love that convenience, it’s easy to make keto friendly pancakes and waffles ahead of time and freeze them for later use. Then just grab a serving out of the freezer when you’re ready, and pop it in the toaster for a quick and easy breakfast. Keeping some of our keto friendly toppings on hand too means that you can have a weekend brunch-worthy breakfast even during a busy work week when you don’t have time to cook. While we think we have the best keto friendly waffle and pancake mix available, don't take our word for it. Give our keto friendly pancake and waffle mix a try and let us know what you think!