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The Ultimate Fall Breakfast: Sweet Potato Spice Protein Pancakes

Laura Lea Bryant
By Laura Lea Bryant
mbg Contributor
Laura Lea Bryant is a certified health-supportive chef and cookbook author living in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Laura Lea Goldberg

My heart is skipping a beat with hints that autumn is around the corner!

Cooler mornings and a dotting of golden leaves on the ground have me dreaming up all the warm-'n'-spiced recipes these days. Fall-inspired pancakes have been sorely lacking from my repertoire, so I had the pleasure of tackling them for my first seasonal recipe.

Like any maple-syrup-blooded American, I absolutely adore a hot stack of pancakes, but most leave me scrounging the pantry for something substantial an hour later. Not so with these beauties!

These Sweet Potato Pancakes contain an entire half-cup of red lentils, which provides an extra 9 grams of plant protein (plus ample fiber). Lentils in pancakes might sound off-putting, but you cannot taste them in the slightest.

What you can taste are tender, lightly spiced, and sweetened pillowy 'cakes that perfectly herald the fall season. I feel incredibly satisfied for several hours after enjoying this dish, and it's already become a staple in our home.

Sweet Potato Spice Protein Pancakes

Serves 4 to 5 (approximately 20 pancakes)


  • ½ cup red lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato*
  • ⅔ cup almond flour
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

*To make mashed sweet potato: peel 1 small sweet potato and chop into 2-inch pieces. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add sweet potato chunks and boil 8 to 10 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and rinse with cold water, then add to a bowl and mash with a fork. Don't want to bother with this process? Substitute canned pumpkin puree.


1. Combine lentils and water in a bowl and place on the counter away from the sunlight. Allow lentils to soak overnight or 8 hours. In the morning or after soaking, drain and rinse lentils (there will only be a little excess water). Place coconut milk, then lentils, and all remaining ingredients in a blender, in the order listed. Puree until smooth.

2. Heat a seasoned cast-iron or other nonstick skillet to medium heat. Holding your batter close to the pan, pour approximately 3 tablespoons batter per pancake. Start testing pancakes to flip when they are dotted with air bubbles and the edges have begun to turn golden-brown. You can use your flat spatula to gently peek underneath. Flip pancakes and cook approximately 1 to 2 minutes on remaining side.

3. Continue with remaining batter. Note that you might need to lower the heat as you continue to cook, as the pan will get hotter. Also note that you might have to add 1 tablespoon or 2 of butter or coconut oil to the pan, if you're not using a nonstick or cast-iron skillet.

4. Serve pancakes immediately. We love them with maple syrup, coconut cream or butter, extra cinnamon, toasted coconut flakes, or sliced banana.

Tip: I often double this recipe and freeze leftover pancakes (don't top them with anything). Take a few servings out the night before you want to enjoy them, and then just lightly reheat in a pan the next morning.

Reprinted from Pure Delicious by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Heather Christo LLC.

Laura Lea Bryant author page.
Laura Lea Bryant

Laura Lea Bryant is a Certified Health-Supportive Chef in Nashville, TN. She graduated from The Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) in 2013. Laura Lea published her first & best-selling cookbook in 2017, The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook. Her second book, Simply Laura Lea, came out in 2020. Laura Lea based her business, Laura Lea Balanced, in her hometown to Nashville. The goal of LL Balanced is to dispel common misconceptions of healthy eating with her simple, comfort-food inspired and family-friendly recipes. In addition, she hopes to increase awareness about the relationship between food and mental, emotional and physical health.