We’ve been eating this Birch Benders Keto pancake mix we found at Costco for our weekend breakfasts. I’ve missed pancakes since following a low carb diet and I don’t much care for many of the recipes out there as they are either too complicated, are mostly just made from eggs, use obscure ingredients or any combination of those reasons.
Birch Benders is a company that makes many different kinds of pancake mixes. They have conventional pancake mixes in a number of flavors as well as paleo, plant-based, high protein and keto versions along with frozen waffles. Their product line has grown quite a bit over the past few years.
One of the appeals of their product line is that the mixes just require you to add water. This is super convenient when preparing breakfast – it means you don’t have to dig out a bunch of ingredients when you’re groggy in the morning and trying to start making breakfast. The simplicity of the prep is a real bonus.
But what is it made of and how/why is it keto?
Let’s start with the ingredient line:
Ingredients: Almond Flour, Eggs, Tigernut Flour, Organic Coconut Flour, Cassava Starch, Buttermilk, Leavening (Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Spice.
It’s pretty short and clean. The most unusual ingredient is the tigernut flour. Tigernuts are not nuts, but actually small tubers that have been grown and eaten since paleolithic times and are now cultivated in North Africa and Europe. They are loaded with resistant starch that acts as a prebiotic fiber (good for digestion, but could also produce gas). Since they are the third ingredient on the ingredient line, there’s likely a significant amount in this product, but not enough to contribute too many carbs. Just be careful – resistant starch is supposed to be good for our GI tract and help feed our microbiome, but any time you have carbohydrates that are digested by microorganisms in your large intestine, it could mean a lot of gas. For the record, these haven’t made me too gassy.
The rest of the ingredients in the product are pretty straightforward and well-known keto-friendly ones. Cassava starch is probably adding some carbohydrate, but since it’s the fourth ingredient on the ingredient line, there’s not much in there.
Here are the nutrition facts:
Total Fat: 11g
Total Carbs: 10g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Total Sugars: 3g
If you’re on a restrictive ketogenic diet (targeting 20g of net carbs per day or less) then you might want to skip out on these pancakes. The product has 5g net carbs per serving, which would be 1/4 of your carbs for the day. Plus, 3g of those carbs are from sugar. Otherwise, these pancakes fit pretty well into the macros for the typical keto-er. It’s good that the protein is higher (9g, mostly from egg probably, so it’s high quality) than typical conventional pancake mixes and the fat (from almond flour) is substantial, too. Overall, I think this nutrition profile is pretty good for your typical keto or low carb eater.
The serving size is two pancakes or about 35 grams. This is pretty accurate and in my experience, I’ve only eaten about two of them in a typical breakfast. It’s a good idea to not overdo how much of these you eat as the carbs could add up pretty quickly if you don’t watch it.
Taste and Texture
I should have taken some pics of the pancakes I made this morning when I decided to write this review. But I didn’t, so you’ll have to trust that I did actually make them and that they look like normal pancakes. They look much more like regular, real pancakes than many of the other keto pancake recipes I’ve made in the past, like coconut flour pancakes and some of those that are just made from eggs.
They taste pretty good, too. The pancakes don’t have any weird off-tastes as you would get if it were made with alternative sweeteners or some sugar alcohols. They are slightly dry, but not so much so that they are really unusual or different from other pancake recipes, except that you probably want to make sure that you add butter to them and some kind of low-carb syrup to them to offset some of the dryness. They are much better than any coconut flour recipes I’ve tried in the past.
Overall, I think that this is a good product and worth picking up at Costco. It’s very convenient and easily fits into most keto, low carb, or paleo diets. If I were to make some improvements to it, I would like to see an organic version made with pasture-raised eggs, but that may be a stretch as it would increase the price significantly. This product is more expensive than conventional pancake mixes, but this shouldn’t be a problem since if you’re keto-er or normal busy person, you’re only eating pancakes on the weekend. Also, they are filling enough that you won’t want to eat that many anyway.