Runner Recipes – UCAN Pancakes from Heidi Greenwood

from Running Joyfully

Runner Recipes is back, and this time we have a tasty breakfast recipe from my friend and elite marathoner Heidi Greenwood. Heidi and I met in 2013 when we were both living in Cleveland, where our husbands were in med school/residency. How serendipitous that we both lived in CLE at the same time, less than a mile away from each other? During our brief stints in Ohio, Heidi and I shared many miles (and glasses of wine!), running together around Shaker Lakes and doing long runs on the Towpath in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I was lucky to have this gal share her marathon wisdom with me ahead of my 26.2 debut 🙂

A bit about Heidi – she is from Minnesota and went to college at the University of North Dakota, where she played volleyball (yes you read that right!) and also ran track. At UND, Heidi killed it on the track, winning multiple conference titles and ultimately the NCAA Division 2 National Championship in the 1500 meters! But after college, she went from being a miler to a marathoner. In 2013, Heidi joined Oiselle’s elite team and also ran an Olympic Trials qualifier at the Columbus Marathon, running 2:42:08. Heidi is now based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and is gearing up for the 2016 Olympic Trials in February.

Heidi was kind enough to share her favorite brunch recipe with us – read on below to hear from her!

On Sundays in our house my husband and I have a tradition… post-long run for me and post-rec hockey league for him, we eat PANCAKES. Me, as the best house wife ever (LOL), always asks him what he wants for brunch… and with a smirk on his face will always ask if I want to make pancakes again… and of course I always do! Sometimes the recipe I used will be slightly different from week to week, but I’m going to share with you the basic recipe and give you a few suggestions for how to vary it.


Makes: 8 pancakes (4-5” in diameter)

  • 1 cup Oats (Grind into flour)
  • 2 Packets Vanilla UCAN*
  • 2 TBSP. Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas
  • ½ cup So-Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk (or any milk substitute)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Optional Sweeteners: stevia, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup

*Chocolate UCAN is also great. (Heidi advises that protein powders like UCAN and JUICEPLUS Complete (which contain both protein & carbohydrates) work better than a protein isolate (straight-up protein).


Place oats in food processor. Grind to flour (this takes about 20 seconds).

Oats in processor

Oats in flour form in processor

Next, place the rest of the ingredients into the food processor. Process until batter forms (this will take about 20 seconds again; note that the processing time may take longer if you have a lower grade food processor). You could also use a good blender too.

All ingredients in the food processor

Heat pan (Heidi uses a regular non-stick pan on a gas stove top). Keep heat about medium to low/medium. Spray pan with PAM or use coconut oil to avoid any sticking. Use a ¼ cup measure cup as a scoop to make pancakes. Heat, flip, continue cooking, then you’re done!

Finished product – yum!

Heidi shared some of her favorite toppings below:

Yummy toppings – berries and cream

Berries and peanut butter – extra yum!

See the nutrition information per pancake below; Heidi says to note the magic 4:1 carb-protein ratio 🙂

Thanks Heidi for sharing your favorite post-run breakfast recovery food with us! To follow Heidi’s Olympic Trials journey, visit her website:

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