Whole Grain Oatmeal Pancakes

oatmeal pancakes squareSo January, which has traditionally been a month full of healthy recipes here at Our Best Bites, is over and we now have a little bit more flexibility. But…Sara and I are still working hard at our health and fitness goals. And so, of course, I’m posting pancakes. Because that’s what you eat when you’re trying to shed to pounds.

But really, it’s all about balance. I’m Kate. I love food. I love to eat. I would never, ever be a happy, whole human being if I couldn’t ever eat pancakes again. Like, real pancakes made with flour and gluten and dairy. I remember walking into Subway to get a salad years ago when I had lost a bunch of weight and feeling this profound sense of sadness because the bread smelled so good and, at that point, I literally thought I would never eat bread again.

So, barring allergies and intolerances and all that jazz, there is no reason why you can’t eat things like pancakes when you’re trying to be healthy. You can’t eat, like, 10 pancakes (like I have pictured here, because 10 pancakes is way prettier than 1 or 2), but you can still eat pancakes. Go easy on the syrup. Eat them with some protein and fat to help balance out any blood sugar spikes. Be mindful of what you’re eating the rest of the day. But balance is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health and sometimes, especially on dreary winter days, pancakes are just what you need.

Just because this recipe uses whole wheat flour and oats and coconut oil (and kefir in my case, because the grocery store was out of buttermilk but not out of kefir and it turns out they taste exactly the same) doesn’t mean it is not delicious. The oats have a natural sweetness and both the oats and whole wheat flour have a fantastic nutty, rich flavor. Using virgin coconut oil (this is my favorite brand–the price is for a two-pack, which ends up being a really great price) adds a mild coconut flavor to the pancakes and all sorts of good-for-you fatty acids. Plus, you can whip them up in just a few minutes with minimal dirty dish damage and my entire family loves them–in fact, these are the pancakes they always ask for, for all three meals!

You’re going to need quick-cooking oats, coconut oil, whole wheat flour, baking soda, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, all-purpose flour, an egg, and buttermilk or plain kefir.

oatmeal pancakes ingredients

Preheat a griddle to medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flours, salt, and cinnamon.

oatmeal pancakes dry ingredients

Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Brown sugar that’s holding its shape from its measuring container is one of my favorite things in the world (along with a never-been-touched jar of peanut butter).

oatmeal pancakes dry ingredients brown sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and buttermilk. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

oatmeal pancakes batter

Drop by 1/4 cup onto the hot griddle (if you want silver dollar pancakes, use 1-2 tablespoons). When the edges are firm and the bubbles start popping and forming holes, flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side.

Oatmeal Pancakes from Our Best Bites

Serve immediately with your favorite pancake toppings like berries, apples, bananas, yogurt, buttermilk syrup, agave, maple syrup, peanut butter, Nutella, etc.

Oatmeal Pancakes from Our Best Bites

Makes 8 pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes from Our Best Bites


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    1. This is my favorite pancake recipe! Is there a bulk version? I’d love to keep a bunch of the dry ingredients mixed & on hand for quick & delicious dinners.

  1. I will try these- they look great. I am always looking for ways to sneak more whole grains into the family’s food, and am a big fan of coconut oil!

  2. These are a lot like my go-to pancake recipe. I like to use whole white wheat flour to keep them lighter. I also toss my oats in the blender to make oat flour rather than leaving them whole. It has a more traditional pancake texture. I also add cornmeal, which might sound strange, but it’s so yummy! Here are the flour measurements I use:

    1/2 C oat flour
    1/2 C whole white wheat flour
    1/4 C all-purpose flour
    1/4 C cornmeal

  3. Hi, Kate: I make pancakes with a very similar recipe, but instead of oatmeal I use oat bran. If I don’t have buttermilk. I use plain greek yogurt mixed with milk.

  4. These sound delicious. I sometimes put 1-2 cups of oats in my whole wheat bread and we love the way it tastes. I’ll definitely try it with pancakes.

  5. We often make “Chef Michael Smith’s” pancakes which are very similar to these, I sometimes sweeten them with honey. With some blueberries and real maple syrup they are a hearty weeknight supper!

  6. I’m not a true pancake fan, not basic white ones, but I’ve always liked the wheaty oaty ones. Thank you! Oh, and I’ll see your molded brown sugar and new jar of peanut butter, and raise you stirring flour with a whisk. = )

  7. Did you mean to leave the leavener out? I just made these for dinner and they were really heavy (but tasted super good!). I added a bit of baking powder to the last bit of batter that I had, and I thought they were much better. But maybe you were going for a different texture? (Sorry, not trying to be rude, but just trying to help if it was an actual mistake!)

      1. Haha, no problem. They were still actually really good, so you didn’t ruin dinner or anything. I’m excited to try them again with the baking soda. I loved the sweetness of the brown sugar. They seriously didn’t need syrup (but of course I still slathered them in buttermilk syrup).

  8. I just made these for dinner tonight. I used canola oil because I don’t have coconut oil. I felt that they maybe needed a leavening agent like baking soda, as they were a bit dense. However, the flavor was really yummy! They were also very filling. My 3 year old devoured two of them! This was a very handy recipe to have since I needed a quick dinner.

  9. I made these last night. After cooking the first batch, I knew something wasn’t right. So I grabbed my box of baking soda and sprinkled some in the remaining batter. VOILA! Awesome pancakes! My kids LOVED these. My husband said “These are even better than your regular pancakes!” Delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I love the texture of the oats, and the coconut oil is awesome. It’s my first time using it. Now I don’t think I’ll ever use any other oil! 🙂

  10. I’ve been looking for a good whole wheat pancake recipe & have failed. Made these this morning and my family wasn’t thrilled as they saw the ingredients- but they ended up being a huge hit! We topped them with maple syrup & fresh strawberries… Yum!

  11. I only have old fashioned oats. Do you think those would work or should I wait and add quick cooking to my grocery list? These look so good and I can’t wait to try them! 🙂

    1. I would maybe let the batter sit for about 10 minutes or so OR grind the oats in your blender, just to make sure they’re able to soak up the liquid. 🙂 But really, you should be fine!

  12. It is all about balance—-to underscore your comment. I love pancakes.
    I can tell by reading the recipe that this would make some awesome cakes.
    In fact it sounds like a great dinner for tonight.

  13. These look wonderful!

    At the gym the other day I overheard a guy saying, “I don’t have to worry about calories anymore, because I use coconut oil for all my cooking.” So I compared labels at the grocery store and saw that coconut oil has exactly the same amout of calories per tablespoon as olive oil and canola oil, more than vegetable shortening, and even more than butter. Unless coconut oil cancels out other food’s calories, his claim seems pretty unreasonable.

    What are some valid reasons for using coconut oil? I thought you’d done a big post on it, but Google is letting me down and I can’t find it.

    1. There are a lot of rumors and pseudo science going on with coconut oil, and I’m not a scientist, so what I really know is that a) they DO have exactly the same number of fat grams and calories as regular oil b) they contain medium-chain fatty acids, which are good for us for a lot of reasons, and c) coconut oil tastes AMAZING (for some stuff…you’re never going to find me frying eggs in it, hahaha!)

      Here’s a blurb about it from a medical site:

      And another from Wikipedia, which I realize is hardly the end-all, be-all of reliable sources, but it breaks the information down in a way that’s easy to understand:

      I know people who take it in supplements, add it to smoothies, eat it by the spoonful (all to lose weight) and swear it cures all sorts of ailments. I haven’t hopped onto that train, but I DO know that it’s a delicious, good-for-you fat! 🙂

  14. I am so relieved to hear you left the baking soda off the recipe, I made these last night and just about cried – I’ve never made an OBB recipe I didn’t love so I couldn’t figure out what was wrong – yay! I will add baking soda next time! 🙂

  15. These are so great. Thanks for an awesome recipe. My family gobbled them up. I’m a “coconut oil virgin” (haha) and would love a primer on how to incorporate it into more recipes. Sometimes cooking “healthy” can be overwhelming because I don’t really understand how to use new ingredients. Just a little request :). Thanks again!

  16. I too love the way a packed cup of brown sugar looks as well as a newly opened peanut butter! I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂 I also love the way ganache comes together after you add the hot cream to chocolate chips haha!

  17. These look fantastic! I’ll have to try them! But I just bought Trader Joe’s coconut pancake mix, so these ones might be put on hold for a while. Anyway, I wanted to let you know my go-to pancake topping because it will be so good on these. Peanut butter is great, but peanut butter with applesauce is really, really good. I know it sounds weird and I didn’t want to try it at first, but I’m hooked! It’s even better with homemade peanut butter.

  18. These were fantastic! They don’t need any syrup or topping at all, just perfect! I used regular oats–we ground 1/2 c. and put the rest in whole. I also let the batter sit for 10 minutes before cooking, but I always do that as I’ve found it produces lighter, fluffier pancakes.

  19. These pancakes alone, with no toppings were delicious. To some of the pancake batter I added fresh blueberries and it made them super delish. Thank you for sharing!!! This will become a regular go to recipe for me and my family.

  20. These were a huge hit with my family tonight! My kids seriously inhaled them! Will definitely make them lots more!

  21. I totally adjusted one of your other pancake recipes to make them oatmeal pancakes – I’ll have to try these out now! I’ve taken to adding 1/2 cup or so of mashed sweet potatoes to the mixture as well, and it’s fabulous!

  22. These were delicious! A little sweeter than I am used to, so for the second pancake I just ate it with butter, alone. Yummy! Just like eating a muffin. I had to do a few things differently…..didn’t have buttermilk or kefir so I used reduced fat sour cream with milk. I also used canola oil as I didn’t have coconut oil. Pancakes are very forgiving, so there was no problem. Next time I think I will use all whole wheat flour instead of half regular flour. It will require more moisture, but I’m used to adjusting for that. Thanks!

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