Pumped Up Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes

Kcal 200 Fat 4g Fat (Sat) 2g Carb 25g (per serving)

With Shrove Tuesday one week away it seemed only right to look at this offering sent to me by American Soda. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of indulgence before Lent, so it is tradition to eat lots of pancakes. The idea is to use up the remaining rich ingredients like sugar and eggs before taking forty days of abstinence. When it comes to Pumped Up Pancakes, however, you can supposedly eat them without feeling guilty. The pancake mix is meant to be healthy as, unlike most mixes or the ones we make from scratch at home, Pumped Up’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes contain no added sugar, no eggs, and surprisingly no Peanut Butter. Despite the name, peanuts are not even an ingredient. The closest you get is an allergy warning saying the product is made in a facility where peanuts are handled. I can’t figure out the logic behind the name at all; it is very misleading because, as a customer, when peanut butter is part of the main title, you expect it to be there.

Now we know all the things these pancakes don’t have, let’s take a look at what they actually do have. Pumped up Chocolate ‘Peanut Butter’ Pancakes are made with oat flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum (to replace the eggs), buttermilk, and stevia sweetener. They also contain 20g protein and 5g fibre per serving (3 pancakes) to keep you feeling fuller for longer. When consumed plain, these are probably quite a healthy way to start the day, but how many of us eat our pancakes naked? A simple glance at the packaging shows a ‘healthy’ double portion of pancakes drizzled in chocolate sauce.

To make the pancakes all you have to do is stir in water to the lovely smelling mix and then heat on the griddle. Don’t get your hopes up that they will look as pretty as the picture. Because the mix contains cocoa powder, the pancakes easily catch even if they are on the griddle for only a few seconds. Unless you are a pancake master your results might end up looking a little scorched and unappetising.

My family trialled the pancakes with various toppings: lemon juice, sugar, honey, and plain. The plain pancakes have a slightly bitter note, but are mostly tasteless. Adding sugar brings out the cocoa flavour, but they are still quite dry. Lemon gives them juiciness, but the flavour combination is not quite right. We found that runny honey is the best choice as it made the pancakes moist and provided sweetness.

Pumped Up Pancakes have tried to make something we consider an indulgence into something that is good for you, but the result is a catch 22: in their basic form they are too dry, but if you drizzle syrup or sauce on top they are no longer healthy. I definitely felt satisfied after one helping, so if you are looking for something that will fill you up in the morning or a snack that will keep you going in the gym, then Pumped Up Pancakes are a good choice. If you are hoping to cheat the system by having something that tastes indulgent without the having to feel guilty, then they don’t quite hit the mark.

Presentation: 6
Aroma: 7
Taste: 6.5
Sustenance: 8
Texture: 7.5
Overall: 7