Pancakes, and Waffles! A childhood favorite and a nostalgic classic for adults, Sunday morning pancakes are one of life’s great treats. It’s unfortunate then that pancakes are so unhealthy for you. Being comprised of mostly wheat flour with ample sugar, and then another dose of sugar via maple sugar on top, you’re sure to experience an insulin spike followed by a sugar crash after eating a pancake only breakfast. What’s the solution to still being able to occasionally enjoy pancakes and waffles without feeling awful and harming your gut afterwards?
Enter the “paleo” pancake. Paleo pancake recipes are becoming all the rage, and for good reason as they can be just as good as regular pancakes! Paleo pancakes swap out the wheat flour for a blend of paleo friendly nut and root flours (almond flour, cassava flour, etc), and they typically contain much less added sugars.
Two of the more well known prepackaged paleo pancake offerings come from Birch Benders and Simple Mills, two great companies offering healthier packaged foods and snacks. My go to for a long time, Birch Benders Paleo Pancake & Waffle mix is light, fluffy, and delicious. Recently I picked up a free box of Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle mix from a promotion Thrive Market (an online organic food retailer) was running. With both paleo pancake mixes at my disposal, I put the two head to head to see which mix was better. I heated up a skillet, grabbed some maple syrup, and sat down hungry. Read below to find out which mix is best; the true winner will be a complete surprise!
Birch Benders Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix
Containing 8 simple ingredients, Birch Benders Paleo Pancake & Waffle mix is a delicious gluten free pancake mix. This mix already contains egg, so you only need to add water. I prefer to use coconut milk instead of water for a more fat dominant pancake that has a richer flavor. As prepared (four 4” pancakes) nutritional information below:
Calories - 280 grams
Fat - 14 grams
Carbs - 32 grams (10 grams fiber)
Protein - 12 grams
Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix
Containing 7 simple ingredients, Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle mix is also gluten free. This mix requires the addition of water, an egg, and some oil. Coconut or avocado oil are good choices to use here. As prepared (four 4” pancakes) nutritional information below:
Calories - 425 cals
Fat - 25.5 grams
Carbs - 37 grams (4 grams fiber)
Protein - 12 grams
Paleo Pancake Showdown
While whisking the two mixes, the differences between them started to become apparent. One minute after mixing with water, the Birch Benders pancake mix becomes extremely fluffy as the leavening activates. The Simple Mills pancake mix also contains two rising agents (cream of tartar and baking soda), but doesn’t rise up nearly as much, and is decidedly flatter. As a result, the Simple Mills mix is much easier to pour onto the skillet, while the Birch Benders mix instead needs to be scooped out and flattened on the skillet. If the two mixes were combined then the resulting pancake batter would have the ideal texture…
Cooking times were similar for both mixes, though the Simple Mills pancakes were much easier to flip, not being as fluffy. Now let’s talk about taste:
Birch Benders Pancake Mix
Light and fluffy
Has a nice buttery taste
Monk fruit keeps the pancakes sweet without the addition of extra sugar
Absorbs syrup well
Slightly grainy compared to wheat pancakes
Monk fruit sweetener aftertaste is very subtle, but might be noticeable to some.
Simple Mills Pancake Mix
Has a nice, more natural almond flour flavor. Tastes healthier, in a good way
Not obviously grainy
Absorbs syrup well
Denser, not fluffy
Has a semi-flat flavor profile
Requires more prep work
The Ultimate Paleo Pancake Mix?
Between the two mixes, the Birch Benders Paleo pancake mix is the clear winner. It requires less prep work, is much fluffier, and has a richer flavor profile. While preparing these two pancake mixes though, I also decided to combine equal parts of the Birch Benders and Simple Mills pancake mixes and see how those resulting pancakes would turn out. I speculated that the strengths of the different pancakes mixes would fill in each others respective weaknesses. How did these 50/50 pancakes turn out?
They turned out AMAZING! Great flavor, perfectly fluffy, not grainy, super syrup absorbent, and no sugar crash afterwards! Score: 9.5/10
There you have it! If you’re looking for the ultimate boxed paleo pancake mix, buy both the Birch Benders and Simple Mills pancake mix offerings and combine them in equal parts. Be sure to add the egg and oil required for the Simple Mills recipe. Add coconut milk instead of water for an especially rich and flavorful pancake that I prefer to standard wheat and sugar based pancakes.