The Best Healthy Pancake Mixes to Buy

By: Julia Westbrook, Associate Nutrition Editor  |  EatingWell Magazine January 2018

We love homemade pancakes, but when you're in a rush, these store-bought mixes are a great healthy back-up option—and they taste great too.

Healthy pancake mix that tastes great too? What a way to start your morning! We analyzed 72 nutrition labels and tasted 24 of them in the EatingWell Test Kitchen to find flapjacks you'll flip for.

Related: How to Make Healthy Pancakes

Our Top 5 Picks: Pancake Mixes

Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle Whole Grain Mix

 

pancakes

The fluffy flapjacks that result from this mix wow our Editor-in-Chief. "They taste better than any other whole-grain mix out there," she says.

Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Whole Wheat Blend

 

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If you enjoy a hearty grain taste, this one's for you. We love that the whole-wheat flavor is well balanced with just the right amount of sweetness.

Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Buttermilk

 

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This mix is made with whole-grain cornmeal, making it reminiscent of a johnnycake or corn muffin, both in its nutty taste and toothsome texture.

Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes (Protein Packed Buttermilk)

 

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Whole grains and protein for breakfast? Talk about a meal that'll stick with you. This mix has a pillowy rise and classic flavor—no weird added-protein aftertaste here!

Pamela's Protein Pancake Mix (Gluten-free, Sprouted)

 

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Finding a gluten-free pancake that's whole-grain is hard enough. But this one is delicious too. It has impressive height without being dense or gummy.

How to Shop for a Healthy Pancake Mix

1. Go for Whole Grains

Protect yourself against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and weight gain—all before lunch? Yes, please! Opt for a whole-grain mix over refined. But don't just pick up any box claiming whole grains on the front. Look for the word "whole" in the ingredient list and make sure it's listed first. Another clue: if fiber is very low (0-1 gram), the product is probably not whole-grain.

2. Added Sugar Is OK (within Reason)

A little bit of sugar can help balance out the natural bitterness of whole grains. But if you're also adding syrup to your stack, finding the line between lightly sweetened and dessert is tricky. Considering the American Heart Association caps added sugars at 25 grams for women a day (36 grams for men), limiting your pancakes to 5 grams per serving lets you have your syrup too. Just keep in mind: 1 tablespoon of maple syrup adds 12 grams of sugar.

Taming your sweet tooth? How to Cut Back on Sneaky Added Sugars

3. Forgo the Flavored Mixes

Blueberry, chocolate chip, pumpkin spice—as tempting as these flavors sound, they aren't usually the healthiest options. They're rarely made with whole grains and can be seriously higher in sugar—we found several with 11 grams of sugar per serving. A better bet is to pick a standard mix and add your own mix-ins or toppings, like our recipe for Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes.

4. Numbers to Look For:

1 serving, about three 4-inch pancakes

Calories: ≤350

Sodium: ≤480 mg

Fiber: ≥3 g

Sugar: ≤5 g

Watch: Tricks to Make Healthy Blueberry Pancakes

More Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

Healthy Pancake Recipes
5 Healthy Breakfast Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Healthy Breakfast and Brunch Recipes