Recipe: Climber-Friendly Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes

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Photo: Liz Haas

Photo: Liz Haas

Photo: Liz Haas

Photo: Liz Haas

While it's tempting to break out a box of Hungry Jack for pre-climbing Saturday morning pancakes, the sugar crash two hours later makes this high-carb, low-fiber breakfast staple inadequate sending fuel. Instead, try these high-protein, chocolate “pancakes” for a tasty, stick-to-your-ribs alternative. Eggs and banana, two nutrient-dense climber superfoods, make up the base of these easy-to-digest, gluten-free, paleo-friendly cakes. They’re light and fluffy, so you won’t feel stuffed or heavy for redpointing, while being packed with fiber and protein to keep you full long after your warm-ups. They don’t taste like traditional, enriched-flour flapjacks, but the chocolate-banana flavor pairs deliciously with a variety of toppings, from fresh fruit and maple syrup to nut butters. The best part: You can eat the entire batch in one sitting!


  • 1 large, ripe banana, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Separate egg whites and yokes into two separate bowls. Beat whites on high for 2 minutes until they form soft peaks. 
  2. Add banana, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder to yokes and beat until smooth. Fold in egg whites, half of mixture at a time, until combined. 
  3. Warm skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil to prevent sticking. Drop mixture 3 tablespoons at a time onto skillet and cook for one minute or until the bottom is brown and set but the top remains uncooked. 
  4. Gently flip pancake by sliding a spatula halfway underneath, lifting just off the skillet and slowly lying the pancake on its other side and on top of any spilled batter. Cook for another minute or until both sides are browned. 
  5. Top with fresh fruit, maple syrup, jam, nut butters and/or yogurt and enjoy immediately—they’re tastiest while still warm.

Nutrition Facts (per batch):

Energy: 312 cal • Carbs: 35 grams • Fat: 15g • Protein: 14g • Fiber: 5.5g • Sodium: 490mg