Walnut Flax Pancakes – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

I’ve always thought of myself as a very well-adjusted person, but I am beginning to think that may not be so true.  I think I may actually have something of a compulsive disorder.  See, here’s my problem:  I can see a recipe that looks amazing and that I am wildly eager to make.  And I have every intention of following the recipe to the letter, so I can try it as it was intended to be.  But as I go along, getting out my ingredients and my utensils, I find myself changing the recipe.  I make additions or deletions, I vary the amounts of the ingredients, I might even change the way it’s cooked or baked.  I simply cannot leave well enough alone, I feel compelled to change the recipe.  As much as I cringe with shame to admit it, I have Compulsive Recipe Adaptation Disorder (aka CRAD, as it’s referred to in the medical field).  It’s a sickness with no known cure, I’m afraid.

Thankfully, however, I am in good company.  Many of my fellow food bloggers have the same compulsion to adapt recipes any chance they get.  CRAD is found to occur with very high frequency in the food blogging world and there is a direct causal relationship .  Our disease is the very thing that drove us to become food bloggers in the first place, as a way to document the changes to which we’ve subjected any and all recipes.  I don’t know why we feel compelled to document these alterations, since chances are we will never make the recipe the same way again.  We can’t help but adapt our own adaptations, eventually rendering them completely unrecognizable from the original recipe.  And I know there are more CRAD sufferers out there, among the general populace.  In fact, many of my readers have confessed to adapting MY recipes with their own little changes here and there (sacrilege!  Have you no shame???).

This recipe was one I’ve been intending to make ever since I came back from New Orleans.  I had every intention of making Maria’s Omega-3 Waffles exactly as she did for one of her segments of Get the Skinny with Molly Kimball, because they were fantastic just as they were.  But as I started to gather up my ingredients, I felt the sneaky first twinges of my compulsion kicking in.  First, I didn’t want to bother with my waffle iron, as it’s not a very good one and has a tendency to make very soggy waffles.  So I thought the batter might make great pancakes as well.  Okay, so that’s not too much of a change, surely that doesn’t really count as an adaptation.  Then I thought about how they were rich in Omega 3’s and that I could get even more into them by making them with walnut oil instead of butter.  Once I had walnuts on the brain, I found myself throwing in a handful of chopped walnuts to get a nice nutty crunch.  By that point, I figured I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and just go ahead and change the name to Walnut Flax Pancakes.  Oh, and I found the batter a bit too runny for pancakes, so I tossed in a tablespoon of coconut flour to thicken it.

See what I mean???  It’s a sickness, really.

Walnut Flax Pancakes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 pancakes


  • 1 cup golden flax seed meal**
  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Butter or oil for cooking the pancakes


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flax seed meal, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Stir in the eggs, walnut oil and almond milk until well combined. Stir in chopped walnuts.
  3. Heat a large skilled over medium heat. Add 2 tsp or so of butter or oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. Using a scant 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour batter on griddle and spread into approximately 4 inch circles.
  5. Cook until bottom is golden brown and top is set around the edges. Flip carefully and continue to cook until second side is golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm on plate or baking sheet in oven, while repeating with remaining batter.


**I prefer golden flax for this recipe, as the lighter colour looks more like traditional pancakes. But brown flax would work just as well. Serves 4 (2 pancakes per serving). Each serving has 13.5 g of carbs and 10.2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.3 g.


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  1. I’m glad you have CRAD ;) I do too…

    • I too Suffer from CRAD… In fact as I was reading your recipe I was mentally changing it. So glad to know there is finally a name for this disease…

  2. lol………so I wonder how often they get changed back to the original!! They look delicious Carolyn!

  3. Another recipe of yours in my queue! Look so good and I haven’t had breakfast yet. You know, I print so many of your recipes (and try them) that my binder looks like a Carolyn Cookbook. Thank you!

  4. CRAD – you’re too funny Carolyn. I too suffer from CRAD! These pancakes sound fantastic, great way to start the day with lots of omega-3.

  5. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    hahaha!I suffer from Crad also, Carolyn;)Funny post and lovely pancakes. I like how your disorder creates such lovely recipes:)xx

  6. My first thought was to add fresh blueberries! :-). I too suffer from CRAD!

  7. Oh my goodness, I do the same thing. I have 2 adapted recipes to post this week. I just can’t help myself! It’s funny how a recipe can so quickly change–from waffles to pancakes, from butter to walnut oil, etc. These sound (and look) fabulous!

  8. Thanks for the shout out!!!

    • anytime. You have a plethora of adaptable recipes on your blog. And I still need to do a guest post for you, don’t I??? Might be in the fall, once the kdis are all back in school, is that okay?

  9. CRAD. I love it! And these pancakes!

  10. I am all about some pancakes! These look amazing! Now if I could get my local breakfast spot to make them for me! :)

  11. Yum! I love walnuts and I put flax in almost everything!

  12. Oh CRAD, I have it too! :) Usually comes from not having a specific ingredient and it just snow balls from there. I started making Maria’s nutter butter cookies over the weekend and ended up with chocolate covered peanut butter balls….lol. Hey, they were really good :).

  13. Another CRAD afflicted gal here too. So glad to know the name of my affliction! :-)

    I also LOVE cookbooks, too, though I may never make a thing from them. And if I do, it’s likely an adaption will occur! Wonder what this is called?!

    I just love collecting recipes!

  14. these look amazing! I love the walnut/flax mix!

  15. Can i substitute anything for the walnut oil? I only have canola and grapeseed. Or for something else

  16. Love these! I have been on a mission to create the perfect quinoa pancake using just a hint of coconut flour and I think I’ve found the perfect inspiration. I’m definitely going to try a flax/toasted quinoa combo. But flax meal will be first :) Thanks for sharing!! xo

  17. These look delicious! I’ve never used that much flax in a recipe before….I will definitely have to give these a try. Maybe I’ll change them up and make them as waffles or add in some chocolate chips…..haha, I joke! Don’t feel bad; I have CRAD too!

  18. haha hi my name is Abby and I have CRAD. These pancakes sound amazing! Might even cure my crad…well temporarily :)

  19. Stacia Neale says:

    Hi, I don’t suffer from CRAD at all, you might be pleased to note. However, I cannot eat coconut or almonds. Is there something I can substitute for those items?

    Thanks heaps. New to your site and a no-gluten lifestyle, but I’m very excited to explore. CRAD away!


    • Hi Stacia, what recipe did you have in mind that takes almonds or coconut flour? It’s going to depend a lot on the recipe. I’ve started using some all purpose flour from Bob’s Red Mill for some recipes for my kids, and it’s definitely different than almond or coconut flour but maybe I can help guide you when you experiment. Are you allergic to all nuts?

  20. I could eat pancakes every day [with this pregnancy] – think I’ll give this one a try next time!

  21. I saw these this morning and made these this morning–not bad! I did make some substitutions of my own. Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me? /sarcasm/ I used melted butter instead of walnut oil, brown flax instead of golden flax and soy flour instead of coconut flour, and I added a little bit of maple flavoring. I had these right out of the pan drenched in sugar-free maple(-esque) syrup. The texture was of course different from traditional pancakes, but this is probably the best LC pancake recipe I’ve tried so far. Num, num!

  22. Oh, I’m so glad to know the name of my “disease” now, Carolyn. Thank you. Nice to finally have a diagnosis/label on it. I, too, suffer from this illness. :) My husband is always razzing me about “Why don’t you just make it by the recipe ONE time?” I just can’t seem to be able to do it either. :)

    Your pancakes look lovely. I’m off baked goods right now, but one day perhaps.

  23. Hey, think I could still make these into waffles?

  24. Lily Rose says:

    These pancakes! Deelish. I always have a super good ketosis after I eat these for brekkies. I love putting 1/2 a banana in and upping the cinnamon. Mmmm! Thank you!

  25. I am making traditional pancakes on friday,
    But not for me I am using your recipe.
    but dont have every thing in the house.
    So I am going to swap some stuff to.
    sunflowerseeds instead of the walnuts
    some shaved coconut instead of the flower (cant buy that here) and maybe coconut milk.
    Lets see how they taste

  26. For me, this was a very dense pancake – had a hard time getting them to cook all the way through without first burning them (my batch made 9 pancakes, not 8, so mine were a tiny bit smaller I guess). Part of my problem is that I didn’t use as much fat as the recipe called for. I’m doing Medi WOE (think: “Atkins on crack”) so they were a bit high on fat for me. Our emphasis is on controlled carbs, protein, and very high protein. I’m going to try the coconut flour ones you also posted and see if those cook a bit better for me but I think the high fat will still be problematic for my WOE.

  27. Thank god for these! Just finished a stack of two with butter and carb friendly syrup. Thank you so much for coming up with this recipe.

  28. I’m looking at Swerve online and noticed that in this recipe you call for powdered Swerve. Is that the same as the Confectioners Swerve on the website?

  29. Common Sense says:

    I woke up not feeling like my usual breakfast so I browsed through my list of To Try recipes and hit on this one. REALLY good!

    Note: The batter is very thick and stuck to my silicone spoon as I tried to spread the pancakes, but it worked OK. I cooked them on low so that I was sure the middle was done. Oh, and like most low-carb pancakes, they’re a bit tricky to flip. I use a second spatula to scoot the pancake all the way onto the other one before I flip, otherwise part of the pancake will break off because they’re heavy.

    Oh, but they are so good and very filling! And I get the leftovers all to myself since my husband hates walnuts ;) Next time I will be nice and make them with hazelnut.

    Thanks Carolyn, for another fabulous recipe!

  30. Did I do something wrong? I followed the recipe but my batter was super thick. I noticed it says pour batter. I also had a hard time cooking these all the way through. The flavor is good but do you have any suggestions to change how thick the batter is?

    • Carolyn says:

      Something must have gone wrong but I am not sure what. Your batter shouldn’t quite pour like conventional pancake batter, but you should be able to scoop it and spread it into a circle and it should cook through. Could be the brand of flax. I would add some more liquid, 1 tbsp at a time, until it’s thinner next time.


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