Cream Cheese Pancakes ~ a sweet low carb alternative!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! We sure did…a perfect mix of “couple time” and “family time.” It’s been so nice now that the older girls are 8 & 12, hubby and I are starting to carve out some “couple time” here and there together. Last week we took our first walk in the neighborhood ALONE. It’s amazing how much we can discuss without all the interruptions. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you know what I mean. 🙂

I can’t believe I’m already on day 10 of my low carb experiment! I will admit the craving for sugar was hard the first couple days, but seriously…after that, it got REALLY easy! I am THRILLED with how I feel!! I have SO much energy, and I feel light. I feel more clear-headed. I’ve also lost inches in addition to pounds. That’s always exciting!

I do see though how the Atkins 2 week induction plan would be much harder for someone used to eating a lot of processed foods and things with white flour, sugar, pasta, bread etc. Since those things aren’t part of my normal diet, and I only drink water and hot tea…it really hasn’t been much of a change for me. But the benefits (as you can see) have been huge!!

If you have some weight to lose, or just want to clean up your eating or feel better, I encourage you to join me! As June progresses I will be adding in more carbs, and eating more “carb controlled” rather than “low carb.” I know being “carb-aware” will be incorporated into my lifestyle, but don’t worry….there will still be occasional treats, and chocolate. I’m so thankful for the antioxidants in dark chocolate!! 🙂 Life is meant to be lived…it’s summer after all, there will be more time spent with friends and vacations, too.

I am grateful to my hubby for starting this up! He and I both feel so much better, and it’s been neat having our way of eating (a huge part of daily living) line up on a similar path. I achieve great joy experimenting in the kitchen now that I am aware of how carbs can negatively affect the body. Hubby loves tasting my experiments. 🙂 Did I mention it’s been fun? Especially to see hubby take an interest in nutrition…we’ve had so many things to talk about.

Speaking of experiments….last Saturday morning I was in the mood for a “weekend” type breakfast. You know it’s when you make up a batch of pancakes or french toast. Oh those are the BEST! Yeah…I don’t miss bread, but breakfasty bread is where I’m really gonna hurt. And since I’m not willing to give those up, I will need to find alternatives.

I found something that really hit the spot. It was good. It really fooled me into thinking I was eating pancakes! And since I used frozen berries for the top, I didn’t even miss the maple syrup. The texture is different, so it’s better to think of these as a different recipe altogether…say, light cream cheese pancakes. But if you are trying to eat low carb, then you will love these!

They are also perfect for those who can’t eat gluten or grain. Of course I’ll keep experimenting to get something closer to a “true” pancake, but don’t those pancakes up there fool you just by looks alone? Those ones up there are the ones I made Saturday! Yeah…the grain-free, low carb ones. Can you believe it?

And here’s what they look like all dressed up with organic berries. Couldn’t you just dig right in?


Low Carb Cream Cheese Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Low Carb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A satisfying alternative to pancakes when you're following a low carb eating plan. These are also grain-free and gluten-free, and very tasty!
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 packet SweetLeaf 100% Natural Stevia Sweetener*, optional
  • Frozen berries to top
Instructions
  1. Set cream cheese out to soften an hour or more before you make.
  2. Separate eggs, and beat egg whites till peaks form in your mixer.
  3. In large bowl add cinnamon, sea salt, ground flax and stevia to egg yolks and mix well.
  4. Mix cream cheese into egg yolk mixture, blending well. I did this part in my mixer by transferring the egg white out while being careful not to deflate.
  5. Fold in egg whites.
  6. On hot, buttered skillet pour by ¼ cup portions as you would regular pancakes. Make sure to flatten a bit to shape them into pancake size.
  7. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side on medium low temperature.
  8. Top with frozen berries or thaw berries first. Can also make a homemade whipped topping with stevia powder instead of sugar.
  9. Makes 5 pancakes.
Notes
*Pancakes can be made without stevia.

*A note about Stevia~ The original recipe called for splenda. I’m not comfortable using splenda or artificial sugar substitutes. I love sweetening with natural sugars honey, honey granules, maple syrup, molasses and dried fruit. But none of those are low in carbs, so I decided to finally experiment with stevia. Stevia is a natural growing herb in South and Central America. It’s been used for centuries by those indigenous to that area, as well as other cultures.

I found the SweetLeaf 100% Natural Sweetener packets in my Publix grocery store. It’s finally hit mainstream shelves instead of just health food stores. I’ve been hearing of stevia my entire life…not like the other artificial sweeteners that come and go. That being said…I’m still not 100% sure of how I feel using it for my body. It did not have a bitter after taste as so many have mentioned, but there was still “a taste.”

The pancakes were sweet definitely sweet. Stevia is 150 – 300 times sweeter than sugar. You can purchase stevia in liquid form also. If you are buying the packets and want “pure” stevia, be sure and read the boxes carefully. Some stevia products sold in powdered form are also mixed with other sweeteners. {Disclaimer – this post is purely my own opinion, and I bought, used and reviewed SweetLeaf stevia of my own accord and was not sponsored by Sweetleaf stevia products.}

But what was interesting to me was the effect after I ate 2.5 pancakes. Within a half hour (though the pancakes were very filling), my body felt like it was getting hungry. Sometimes sweeteners (even natural ones) can set you up for a craving. I felt like that’s what was going on. The next morning I ate 1 berry topped pancake as a side dish along with 1 slice of bacon and 1 egg. When eaten with protein I stayed satisfied for hours. I really loved these low carb, gluten-free pancakes. They were a sweet treat without the sluggish feeling I normally get from eating pancakes.

I used 2 packets of stevia, but next time I’m going to try them without any stevia. I think the berries will give sufficient sweetness. If not, then I’ll try using 1 packet. *I linked to the original recipe above in case you want the nurtional information.

* Do any of you have experience with stevia? If you’re used to using alternative natural sweeteners instead of sugar (not artificial ones), what are your thoughts on stevia? My research so far is that it is safe to use, and doesn’t affect sugar levels for diabetics. But like I said…I’m not sure if I’m feeling effects in my body. Have you noticed any side effects from stevia?

This Thursday night I’m attending a “foodie event” with Michelle that I’m super-excited about!! It’s our first one together since the Food Blog Forum in April. We’ve done plenty of “mommy” playdates with our little ones, but this will be our first “food blogger” one since then. I’ll be sharing with you all of course, and I’ll give you all the details later in the week…but for now I’m keeping you hanging. 🙂 It’s most definitely a blog-worthy event!!

This recipe linked up with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Hearth and Soul Hop, Works for Me Wednesday, What’s on Your Plate, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, What’s on the Menu Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Food Friday, Friday Potluck, Finer Things Friday, Foodtrip Friday, Friday Favorites, Fun with Food Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food Fight, Fight Back Friday, Mouthwatering Monday, Mangia Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Homemaker Monday, Made by You Monday, My Meatless Monday & Monday Mania.

**Updated to add that I’m now almost 4 weeks into the low carb experiment and still feeling great! The weight is really coming off & I’ll be doing another update in the next week. Please comment below if you are going to join in…the more the merrier!! And stay tuned as I attempt to stay low/controlled carb on my upcoming vacation ~ 16 days, 2,000 miles, 3 kids and ONE mama!! This should make for some interesting blog material 🙂

Also, don’t forget the new “subscribe by EMAIL” option in the sidebar. You’ll always get a FREE email reminder of any post or recipe right to your inbox! Or “LIKE” Creative Kitchen on Facebook to get them through your newsfeed. It’s an easy way to share recipes with your friends.

* Low Carb Experiment one month UPDATE HERE.

** Sharing or “Facebook recommending” below is MUCH appreciated. Thanks!!

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45 Responses to Cream Cheese Pancakes ~ a sweet low carb alternative!

  1. Awesome! I can’t wait to try these! I love pancakes, but only eat them once or twice a year because they’re so heavy. I have yet to find a GF flour or alternative that I like. I’m going to make these for dinner this week! 🙂

    • Denise says:

      Jessica,

      So glad you stopped by!! Let me know what you think. May not be everyone’s cup of tea since they are so airy & light, but they definitely hit the pancake craving for me!! What is it about pancakes…they are so insanely delicious! 🙂

    • cheryl says:

      Awesome!! One trick that I have used with other low carb, GF pancakes worked wonders here – a tablespoon or 2 of pure whey protein – curbed my appetite longer, added subsinance and flavor – No stevia. I did sprinkle stevia on my blueberries before nuking. YUM!!

  2. Amy says:

    I have been using stevia for the past 2 months,while on a low carb diet,also. So far I haven’t noticed any adverse effects,but I do try to use it sparingly because I agree with you,that it can trigger sugar cravings. Thanks for posting the recipe,I have to try this one!

  3. OOOO! I’m going to steal this and make it! 🙂 I will give you credit, of course! I still wanna do guest posts, too! 🙂 Lol I will do something carby here. Tee hee!
    michelle@the domestic mama and the viillage cook recently posted..on top of spaghetti…

  4. I really like this idea. I would never have guessed that these are low carb just looking at them. Doesn’t sound like you compromised on flavor one bit. 🙂
    Lemons and Anchovies recently posted..Cucumber Cups with Caramelized Onion and Bacon

  5. Carolyn says:

    Wonderful! I haven’t tried these yet, but I do love that pancakes can be made with no flour at all. And I am with you, I don’t like splenda, I use stevia and erythritol (a sugar alcohol that is naturally occuring in fruits and fermented foods).
    Carolyn recently posted..Flourless Chocolate Torte with Mascarpone and Raspberries Low Carb and Gluten Free

  6. Irena says:

    What a lovely post….pancakes look fantastic. I love your approach with low carbs. I am trying to do the same thing, very nice blog:)
    https://mywanderingspoon.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-with-tahini-beef-protein-power/

  7. Great idea!! So pretty with the fruit as well.
    I am not a huge fan of Splenda either. I have used stevia a couple times, but not enough to give you much of an opinion on it. I have a friend who swears by it though. And she is kind of over the top with Organic, and dyes, and preservatives and everything else.
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Grilled Potato Packs

  8. Parsley Sage says:

    Oooh! Those are so yummy looking. I can’t believe those are low-carb. Well done! Buzzed 🙂

  9. Apron Appeal says:

    I am a huge fan of low carb although currently I’m on a no dairy/eggs/nuts/soy diet due to allergies…flour is one of the few foods I can eat right now, so I do. But, when diary can come back into my life, these pancakes are coming with it.
    Apron Appeal recently posted..Whole Wheat Pitas &amp Tzatziki

  10. I think my kids would like these as an alternative to our traditional pancakes. I wonder if they would freeze well? Maybe not.

    I don’t know anything about stevia. However, I found a stevia plant this spring at Home Depot and I put it in my herb garden. I thought I’d try drying the leaves and see how it goes. Since it’s supposed to be so sweet, it does seem like it could be a frugal natural sweetener.
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted..how does your garden grow june 21- 2011

    • Denise says:

      Hi Barb! Though I don’t mind the aftertaste of stevia (not bitter), I think I’ll be concentrating on using lesser amounts of natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, etc when I do need a bit of sweetener. The GREAT news is that now for my tastebuds a little goes a LONG way!! 🙂 I’m excited to expand my horizons in learning how to bake with reduced amounts of natural sugar over this next year.

  11. Your pancakes look SO delicious, and kudos to you on completing your first few weeks successfully! The beginning is always the hardest, it seems. Your low-carb post reminds me of a post over at Real Food Forager that I just read about the additional benefits of a low carb diet (in addition to a reduced waistline!). I don’t know if you already read her blog, but I think you’d enjoy it. I look forward to poking around your blog some more! If you’re interested, stop by and visit at http://mindofthemother.blogspot.com/

    Here’s that link:
    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/06/low-carb-diet-decreases-cancer-risk/

    • Denise says:

      Thanks for the link Danielle…I checked it out. It’s amazing how much better I feel being aware of all the hidden sugars in things and even natural sugars in fruit and milk….it seems it’s SO much easier to lose weight this way. I’m NEVER hungry, and it’s so nice not getting all “fluffy” after certain meals. Water retention is NOT fun!! 🙂

  12. Run DMT says:

    Congrats on your success! Those pancakes look fabulous!

    I co-host a weekly foodie meme, Friday Food Fight. I would love for you to link up and share your pancakes. Hope to see you in the ring!

    http://deniseisrundmt.com/2011/06/24/another-simple-pasta-sauce/

  13. My husband is diabetic and follows a very strict low carb diet (to stay diet controlled and not have to go on medication). I’ll have to make these for him soon, he used to love pancakes! I’ve been using Stevia for quite a while – I try to use the ones without all the extra additives (starches, fillers, etc). Like you said, it’s much sweeter than sugar, so in pure form it only takes a teeny, tiny amnt!

    I’ve used a similar recipe to this (cream cheese and eggs) to make pizza “crust” too!
    Kim of Mo’Betta recently posted..Color me orange

    • Denise says:

      Kim,
      That pizza crust sounds good! Is the recipe on your site? So glad you’ve been able to control his diabetes with low carb…it’s GREAT to hear success stories!! 🙂

  14. These look delicious! I posted a grain-free blueberry pancake recipe that you might like, too. I’m doing the low-carb thing lately as well, and I feel fantastic!
    Garden Variety Mama recently posted..Grain-free blueberry pancakes

  15. Gone Bananas says:

    Those look yummy! Congratulations on losing the inches! :0)
    Gone Bananas recently posted..Vanilla Latte in the (Bolt) House y’all!

  16. Sarah Smith says:

    Mmmm, these look fabulous!
    Sarah Smith recently posted..Raw Liver Breakfast Shake – Mango Liver Lassi!

  17. I am still experimenting with Stevia in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing your experiments. I found you from Ekat’s kitchen, and would love for you to link up to my Friday Food Linky. Have a great weekend!

    http://www.momtrends.com/2011/06/friday-food-farmers-classic-pickle-event/
    Nicole Feliciano recently posted..Pier 1 Brooklyn

  18. Kim says:

    MMMMmmm I am going to try these. I am avoiding refined sugars as much as possible so this will be a fun one to try out. Thanks for the post!

  19. cheerful says:

    wow, this pancakes looks so delicious and thanks for sharing your recipe! visiting you from FTF and wishing you a great weekend! 🙂
    cheerful recently posted..Birthday Party at Le Jardin

  20. Alea Milham says:

    What a delicious combination of flavors! I love the idea of using cream cheese. Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  21. Vhen says:

    the pancakes looks delicious… good for those figure-conscious 😉

    visiting from FTF!

    here’s mine:

    http://vhen.blogspot.com/2011/06/ftf-beef-broccoli.html

    hope to see you, thanks!
    Vhen recently posted..YS: Kare-Kare

  22. I’m not sure if we have Stevia here in the Philippines. Thanks for sharing this! I would love to try a cream cheese pancake! Thanks for the Atkins Diet Program link as well. Hoping I could start it for myself as well. 😛

    Doing my hop from this week’s FTF! Here’s mine:

    Breakfast for Dinner at The Food Encounters.

    • Denise says:

      I just made them this past week using 1 tsp organic cane sugar instead of the stevia. Only 1 tsp. It was perfect topped with the berries. You could also omit the sweetener especially if you are topping with berries. I found I didn’t care for the wierd stevia taste in these pancakes. I’ve heard the stevia is perfect for beverages and dressings though. I encourage you to try them even if you can’t find the stevia. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!

  23. Okay… did these tonight, without the stevia or any sweetener, and they. were. fantastic. I don’t think they need sweetener at all. I’m thinking of putting blueberries in them for the kiddos. Thanks so much for sharing this!
    Garden Variety Mama recently posted..Grain-free blueberry pancakes

  24. Chaya says:

    I would love to make these, this week, if I can fit them in. The problem with planning a menu is, I try to stick to it. Recipes like this goody mess me up but I do eat better. Thanks for sharing this at the linkys, particularly My Meatless Mondays.
    Chaya recently posted..My Meatless Mondays – June 26, 2011

  25. I can’t wait to give these a try. I am also working on lowering my carb intake. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I did a post on Stevia a while back – can do a search on my blog. 🙂

  27. Aggie says:

    I couldn’t get into stevia, it tasted very metallic to me. I found agave to be a great sweetener and I honestly hardly use it as it is. Thankfully I don’t have a super sweet tooth so I don’t crave sugar too much.

    These pancakes are so interesting! I’ve made ricotta pancakes before when I was on South Beach, have you tried them?
    Aggie recently posted..#EvoConf11

  28. My kids love pancakes, but my husband and I are trying to be healthy- might have to try these soon!

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  30. Carlene Lindsay says:

    I’ve heard the stevia is perfect for beverages and dressings though. were. What a delicious combination of flavors! Thanks for posting the recipe,I have to try this one!
    Carlene Lindsay recently posted..Cancer Tattoos Tumblr

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  32. lizkaye says:

    These sound really good. Do you have any idea how many carbs are in the recipe?

  33. Alexa says:

    Thank you for posting this delicious recipe! I made a few changes, substituting chia seeds for flax and using half cottage cheese/ half cream cheese and halving the Stevia (I just find it sooo sweet!). I served them with whipped cream made with heavy whipping cream & lightly sweetened with Stevia. Both my 5-year-old daughter and I loved them and my daughter is a very picky eater. I can’t wait to try this out on my older kids.

    Next I’m going to try substituting the cinnamon for a little finely grated lemon rind which I think will go very well with the blueberry topping you suggested! Thanks again.

  34. Elizabeth K says:

    I do not use stevia. It gives me the same effect as maltitol! Not good! LOL

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  37. Fernando says:

    My food woe is my older daughter will ask what is for dneinr. Usually I try to make stuff that we have already tried before and they have eaten without threats to their life. Whatever food I tell her is immediately poo-pooed or a grumble starts. Unless of course it is frozen pizza, but even my middle daughter will poo-poo this, so I try to be vague when I explain what is for dneinr. This buys me time to finish it and place it on the table before I get the grumbles of complaints!

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