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Protein Pancakes & The Power of Whole Grains

Kodiak Cakes: Power Cakes

These are my all-time favorite pancakes. The macronutrients are exactly what I want to eat. I could give you a complicated recipe for protein pancakes, but take a run to Costco and pick up a huge box of this amazing pancake mix.

These protein pancakes are whole grain (which isn't the same as multi-grain), incredibly easy, healthy, and an inexpensive option (approximately $11 for a big box.)



1. Preheat griddle or pan to medium heat.

2. Whisk ½ cup of power cakes mix, ½ cup of water, and 1 egg together.

3. Using 1/4 cup, pour pancake batter onto pan.

4. Once small bubbles form on top of batter, flip.

5. Should make 4 pancakes.

Optional Pumpkin Topping:

6. Mix ½ cup of pumpkin puree with ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt.

7. Stir

8. Pour over pancakes

9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg

Serve and enjoy!


Do you want to know the reason I love that this mix is "whole grain"? I used to think that multi-grain and whole grain were interchangeable terms, or at least comparable to each other. Nope. I was TOTALLY wrong. I also thought that wheat flour was the same as whole wheat flour. I was wrong again. Does it really matter? BIG TIME.

Do you know which type significantly lowers our risk for heart disease? Whole grain. Only whole grain, not wheat, not multigrain, not "enriched grains".... whole grain. Look for it on purpose when you buy food!

A whole grain has three distinct original parts that make it whole: 1) the bran, 2) the germ, and 3) the endosperm. These 3 parts have to be in the grain with the same proportions as when the grain was growing in the fields.

The Bran

The bran is the outer skin of the edible kernel. It contains important antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber, and moisture.

The Germ

The germ is the embryo which has the potential to sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

The Endosperm

The endosperm is by far the largest portion of the kernel. It's the portion that makes up white flour. It contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.


This whole wheat pastry flour from Bob's Red Mill is outstanding. Our registered dietitian, Melissa got me hooked on it. It is smooth, it bakes fantastically, and I really can't tell the difference from regular white flour. Tip: Store whole grain flour in the fridge or freezer to prevent premature spoiling!

Real question: Why aren't all grains whole grains? Why remove anything at all?

Whole grains spoils faster! Taking away the bran and the germ means that you can keep a product on the shelf for a longer period of time.

There are many types of processing that still keep the grain "whole" because all 3 parts are still a part of the grain.

Rolled (The grain is steamed and squashed between two giant rolling pins)

Ground (This creates a finer texture- oatmeal and cornmeal are good examples)

Cracked (This method cracks the grain into larger pieces)

Steel-cut (This method uses a machine to cut the grain into pieces)

Puffed (This process uses steam and a high pressure environment to puff the grain)

The type of processing doesn't matter as much as double checking that the words "whole grains" are listed in the ingredient list.

What if I am sensitive to gluten or have Celiac disease?

You are not left out! Brown rice, oats, corn, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat are just a few whole grains that do not contain gluten. Look on the label for the gluten-free designation because some of these grains are processed on the same machines that process wheat and can contaminate the grain.

Why whole grains?

They provide an excellent source of fiber, in addition to nutrients like thiamin (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), folate (Vitamin B9), iron, magnesium, and selenium.

What do these nutrients help us do?

Fiber helps us improve our blood cholesterol levels, specifically helps us lower our LDL cholesterol (side note here: exercise largely helps us improve our HDL cholesterol) and this can drastically lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes type II, and can help us lose weight because we feel fuller during mealtime. These nutrients help our immune system, they aid in new cell formation, they improve our ability to carry oxygen in the blood, and help us with hormone function.

When you are deciding what to order off the menu or take home from the grocery store, this is super important to check!


My love to you!


About the Author

Dr. Monique Middlekauff is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and a Certified

Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

She has been a certified personal trainer with the NSCA, ACSM, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) for over 10 years.

She is a certified Higher Education Teaching Specialist (HETs) and has instructed courses ranging from introductory to graduate level including Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Physiology Lab, Resistance Training, Fitness Foundations, Aging and Exercise, and Skeletal Mechanics.

She is a former NCAA DI volleyball athlete and loves to exercise outdoors. Monique is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and is an Exercise is Medicine Level 3 credentialed provider. Monique works for a major health system in Idaho.

Her goal is to pursue health and overall wellbeing through evidence-based practice. Physical wellness comes in many forms, and she seeks to celebrate where you are, and challenge you to be better.

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