Apple Pancakes

This is the time of year for treats (... or tricks).

We cut loose a bit, have some fun, and just enjoy. But often our treats make us feel terrible. Energy spikes from candy, sluggish from drinking while watching the game, or just moody from feeling a little out of control.

How do we balance this divide - treats and celebrating with food on one hand, with feeling bad on the other? In fact, when Natalie started nutrition school, I immediately wondered, what will happen to the treats? I love treats! Are we going to kill the fun of eating? (We did kill the fun once with exploding homemade sauerkraut).

We all enjoy foods beyond what they give us in terms of nutrients. Food is linked to emotion, too. One of our upcoming recipes I like mostly for nostalgia - it makes me think of my family.

Often, though, we're torn between "eating for health" and "eating for fun." 

Why do these ideas feel contradictory? Here's one of our recipes that tries to bridge the gap.

Apple Pancakes

These pancakes walk that tightrope between treating ourselves, but not giving up on health. Cinnamon in the topping and batter helps balance blood sugar and cholesterol (Murray, 2005). We use pecans and eggs as binder, both of which provide way more protein and nutrients than a flour base.

Besides that, they're just fun to make. It doesn't take too long to prep the recipe, and it's a great way to use up leftover bounty from an apple-picking adventure. I like plopping an apple slice on each cake just before the first flip to give a nice look.

Serves 4



  • 2 medium apples, quartered, seeds removed. We've used Mutsu, Pippin, and Gold Rush
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 oz. (about 1 cup) pecans
  • 6 eggs
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • 2 medium apples, cored, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon, juiced)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 150ºF, and place baking tray on middle rack.
  • In a food processor with blade, blend pecans into a flour, about 30 seconds.
  • Switch to shredding attachment on food processor, and shred the apples into the pecan mixture.
  • Transfer apples and pecan to a large bowl, and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat, and add 2 tsp coconut oil.
  • Cook pancakes in batches, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer finished cakes to the tray in the oven, and continue cooking the rest of the batter.
  • While cooking the pancakes, add topping ingredients to a saucepan. Cover with a lid, and turn heat to medium-low. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the apples soften, but still retaining their shape.
  • Serve pancakes, topped with apples. Obviously, maple syrup works, too :)

Not into apples? Check out our other pancake recipe: Banana Plantain Pancakes

References: Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

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