sweet cream protein pancakes

by Kristina Sloggett

in Breakfast, Gluten Free, recipes, Vegan

I have a bone to pick. (guh, I had a boyfriend’s father say that to me in high school… I think of that every time I hear this phrase…)

It’s about Groupon.

I like the idea of Groupon, so no, it’s not about them exactly. My complaint is about the business owners who complain, declaring Groupon was the reason for lost revenues and increased costs, not making payroll, losing customers.

I’m sorry, if you cannot calculate simple forecasting, cannot come up with a successful offering, Don’t Offer A Groupon. It really is that simple.

Isn’t it?

A couple years ago, I tried (for quite a while) to come up with a spa Groupon that my clients AND staff would like, that might bring in new clients, that might make us some money. I even tried to create one where I was able to cover payroll and supplies, and just break even (knowing that my staff was highly skilled and new clients would stay). I was not able to come up with anything agreeable, so we never offered one.

In this process, however, I learned of the many aspects I could incorporate into my deal: I could limit the amount sold. I could structure it for specific times of day, and even specific days. I was in complete control of the price, offer, everything.

So I have to give a side eye to those who complain Groupon ruined their business. This may sound harsh, but I have to disagree. It was more likely someone too quick to commit to contract without educating themselves on the details. Groupon was not responsible for the inability to make payroll, to provide good customer service to those customers with a groupon (and lets face it, most likely all customers).

The Groupon plan is a detailed one, and it’s not the best for every business. The (quarter?) amount of money these businesses see up front is undoubtedly enticing – enough that all the other details may not even be considered. I don’t mean to sound offensive – I feel for some of these businesses, I really do! I have run a couple myself, and definitely know what lean feels like on a balance sheet.

I am selective when I buy Groupons, for this reason. I have been refunded more than once on a groupon because the establishment could not handle the business – this has happened with restaurants, spas, boot camps. A year ago we walked into a restaurant and in lieu of a greeting we were asked “do you have a groupon, it does not cover the specials menu”. With such a warm reception, we happily left (this was to be a new restaurant to us – we have never returned and do not plan to).

Hmm. I think I have a new bone to pick. It’s about people not being accountable.

Groupons can and do work, for some. We have a favorite restaurant in Portland that offers them every quarter or so. We always purchase them and we are always happy we did. I buy Groupons offered by businesses I already patronize and for services I would be using anyway.

I have no complaint about these pancakes, not at all. I am fully accountable for how awesome these are, how they make a filling breakfast (I rarely eat breakfast pancakes because I’m hungry an hour later…), how easy they are to make. Sweet cream, for real.

I would totally buy a Groupon for these pancakes.

sweet cream cashew cakes

egg, soy, dairy and gluten free, vegan

makes 8 regular size pancakes

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 (less than 1/4 cup) scoop vanilla protein powder (Sunwarrior Classic vanilla)
sweetener (as needed)

Combine cashews and milk in high speed blender, blend on highest speed to a smooth liquid. In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum and protein powder. Pour cashew milk into dry ingredients, whisk until just combined. Using 1/4 cup scoop, form pancakes onto prepared (buttered, sprayed) griddle over medium heat. Pancakes will not bubble, will easily come up to turn after less than one minute. Flip and cook another half minute or so, until cooked through.

I am not affiliated with Groupon in any way – just an occasional customer.

*Jumps down off rant box* go about your business now – make some pancakes ;)

Are you a Groupon fan? Have you been on the other end of the Groupon, from a business point of view?

 

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jobo August 23, 2012 at 5:43 am

I TOTALLY agree re: Groupon. Either think it through and make it a reasonable offer at attracting new customers or don’t do it at all. There are a lot of caveats to doing them, but done right, they are usually worth it for companies! (I agree re: pancakes too but protein variety ALWAYS fill me! These look awesome!)

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2 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I cannot stop with these pancakes, they are on the menu for dinner tonight (a savory version!) :)

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3 Beth @ Tasty Yummies August 23, 2012 at 5:44 am

I am with you on the Groupon thing. When we had a store we considered it, but it just wasn’t feasible once we worked out all of the numbers. So we didn’t offer it. Part of being a great business owner is thinking about ALL of those things upfront. That whole world of discounts and coupons, where the seller/business owner is getting the worst of it, while a third party company is getting RICH, is just plain infuriating to me. And the coupon and discount companies just keep coming, too.
Anywho – these pancakes look absolutely incredible. So fluffy. I think I need to make pancakes this weekend!

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4 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

ahh, a smart business owner – GOOD to meet you! ;) yeah, groupon really does make a huge pile of money… but if you understand that AND can come up with a good deal, it does work… it’s like an advertising fee, a much smaller one if you can turn that business into repeat customers! :)

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5 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 23, 2012 at 6:02 am

I completely agree with the Groupon rant! I have used it twice and it has worked for me, but I have heard of others’ experiences with the negative and it does make me very cautious when I make that purchase!

Now those pancakes…YES! Now I’m just bummed I already had oats for breakfast. Brenner is now on the menu!

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6 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Mmm, brenner. we are having a variation of these cashew cakes for dinner too… savory! ;)

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7 purelymichelle August 23, 2012 at 6:57 am

now that is a pretty plate of pancakes!

and agree with Groupon rant! Lori and I have never used it but have friends that have.

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8 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

thank you! these are my new favorite pancakes, we are having a variation for dinner, in fact… :)

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9 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

Ok, I don’t like the word drool, but that’s what I want to do over those pancakes. And I don’t even care for pancakes LOL. Simply amazing! Now as for Groupon, I guess I’ve not paid attention. I really only buy those types of deals for places I want to try OR already visit regularly anyway.

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10 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

it’s mostly in business trade journals where I read these kind of things about groupon – probably not the most mainstream :) my experience as a consumer has had some bad deals, but most have been awesome… I still like the idea of groupon :)

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11 Allie August 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

I approve of these pancakes!! And oh my gosh, my office smells like maple syrup for some reason and of course now I want pancakes SO BADLY. This was both terrible/great timing to come across one good-looking pancake recipe. Question: Are xantham gum/guar gum at all interchangeable? I happen to have one and not the other ;)

And I agree–Accountability, people! I hear those same stories, where companies say they were driven under due to the huge numbers of Groupons purchased. Well then, duh, why didn’t you do a little research/a little math and see how many you could offer and then…set a limit? You took the smart approach–thought about what you could offer and if it would be worth it! That’s just plain ol’ smart business.

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12 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I have not used guar gum, but yes I have heard that they do similar things. Guar is cheaper, I believe… when I am out of my current xanthan I might try guar, if I can find a small amount. I have been having such great results with xanthan that I would hate for that to change… so… try this recipe with guar and let me know??? :D

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13 Allie August 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

Yeah, I got a good amount of guar gum for just $6, which is why I went for it over xantham. I’ll give it a go this weekend if I get my hands on some cashews, and let you know–although I’ll probably sub oat flour for regular flour, which may not make my trial a particularly accurate one.

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14 spabettie August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I have heard they have a similar outcome… I do look forward to hearing what you think of the pancakes! :)

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15 Abby August 23, 2012 at 7:21 am

I’m a coupon clipper at times, but I’ve never Grouponed (yes, I made that word up.) While I’ve heard the complaints from businesses, I’ve often had the same thought as your rant up above. If it had worked out better for them or they had been better prepared, would we have heard the same praises as we did with their complaints? Personal accountability is a HUGE thing for me, so I feel you 100 percent. ;)

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16 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

it just really makes me eye roll. accountability is big for me too… and it is just so glaring when it is not happening.

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17 Jess August 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

Um yup, totally agree about Groupon!! I rarely buy them these days, only if its a really good and doable deal for me and an establishment I’ve been wanting to try, for example.

And now I really really really wish you could beam me over some pancakes, the cashews make it for me, truly. I LOVE those things!!

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18 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm

now THESE I probably COULD send to you?? :)

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19 Averie @ Averie Cooks August 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

Ive never groupon’ed, ever! Just not something I ever got into – but boy, I could get into a stack of these. The ‘sweet cream’ factor is just oozing off the screen!

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20 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Mmm, talking about them again makes me want to have them for dinner. Sweet cream for the win. I should have made extra to POUR ON TOP!

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21 christina August 23, 2012 at 7:49 am

I totally agree with you on the Groupon thing. Well said, sister! I love how fluffy these pancakes are with such few ingredients! So wholesome! MMM!

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22 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

THANK YOU! pretty silly, some of the gripes I’ve heard from businesses. ah well. and YES! these pancakes are my new favorite!! :)

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23 Laurel August 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

Such gorgeous pancakes and no leavener anywhere. How do you do these magical things? And why don’t my pancakes ever look like this? Purdy.
That whole Groupon thing seems like one of the maladies of today’s society which drives me insane – the inability to take responsibility for your own actions. Really, as you say, do the research before you jump in and don’t blame others for what is manifestly your own poor judgment. OK, off MY rant box now.

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24 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

hi Laurel! it is the *sigh* perfectionist in me that cooks pancakes at a very low temperature, always. it started with my spinach pancakes, because I wanted to keep them VIBRANT green… :) these pancakes are foolproof, really! I have made them several times now, and while some batches are thicker than others, they all cook up the same – YUM :)

I am happy to see most people feel the same about Groupon (I thought MY ranting would turn some off…). It really is just about accountability, right?

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25 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy August 23, 2012 at 8:52 am

oh those look just divine! how’d you know I was craving pancakes ;)

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26 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm

just a guess… ;)

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27 janetha August 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

wowza.

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28 Geanna August 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I am with you on the Groupon issue. I’m sure it looks great up front, but if more businesses just thought it through, they could avoid all the hassle and enjoy instead all the extra and new business! Argh.

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29 Cara August 24, 2012 at 5:32 am

Ironically I bought three groupons this week which is 2.9999 more than I buy in an average week! But they all seemed too good to pass up, and were things I would *actually* use. Let’s hope I’m actually able to put them to use!

These pancakes sound totally fab. Loving the use of cashews!

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30 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

funny! we still do buy them, mostly for businesses we already patronize, but they ARE good at working with you and refunding for problems, so every now and then I still take a chance ;)

I am so excited about these pancakes, you know cashews are my favorite…

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31 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) August 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

It’s so reassuring that my future bakery business partner has such a real, down-to-earth stance on issues like these. :) In all seriousness though, I completely agree with your thoughts. I’ve used Groupons at places before where the owners/employees treat you worse because you’re there with a Groupon. Hello! You’re the one who offered it! And if you’re not nice, us Grouponers obviously won’t return! Silly people. :)

That’s it — I was already thinking about pancakes for breakfast tomorrow, but now it’s a done deal!

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32 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm

yes, if we can come up with a great bakery groupon, I am all for it! we will be too busy without it, though… :D

we had a groupon at (another NEW to us!) restaurant recently… the dining room was not even half full, there were many employees, and we were told it would be an hour wait “because the groupons made them so busy”. we were already sitting down… in honestly, a 1/4 full dining room… *sigh*

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33 Toby @ Plate Fodder August 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The general rule of thumb for me and Groupon – if the offer looks to good to be true – it most definitely is… so I tend to stay with the businesses I know that have offers.
That being said –

I do a lot of allergy – sensitive work for clients, and I’m always in a bind when it comes to breakfast / brunch items (I have a few, but no where near enough to handle variety on a long term gig) I’m loving the whirred cashew and milk addition to the cakes! This is one that may get into my “personal, at home ” rotation!

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34 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

hi Toby – I hope you do try these, I was really happy with the flavor. aside from those with cashew sensitivity, these should be friendly to most! :)

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35 Barbara Jenkins August 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

I can’t have cashews. I made this without and they were so runny they didn’t work. Not impressed.

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36 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

sorry Barbara, the cashews are an integral ingredient to the recipe, I have not tried or suggested making these pancakes without. if you cannot substitute another nut (or nut butter), I would suggest a different recipe altogether.

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37 dorry August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I have been dreaming about these pancakes since I scrolled through the posts in my Google Reader days ago! The texture – I can taste and feel the texture of these just by looking at the photos, and I WANT THEM.

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38 spabettie August 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I wish I could have you over for tea and cakes… and a nice long visit :)

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39 Eva @ Committed2Nutrition August 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

holy moly these look amaaaazing!! I am obsessed with home-made pancakes and try every recipe I can get my hands on. I can’t wait to make this one!

and good post about Groupon.. I honestly don’t buy them for reasons you mentioned above, too.

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40 spabettie August 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

hi Eva! I hope you love these as much as I do – the flavor is amaaaaazing! :) Cheers!

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41 debra August 30, 2012 at 5:23 am

I have purchased several Groupon deals, one for a now defunct vegan restaurant. I went to another restaurant for which I had purchased a Groupon, only to find out that they had gone out of business. So I was “out” my money.
We have never considered offering Groupns for our business. The numbers just don’t add up for us. And we know, that after 23 years, things take time and that there are cycles.

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42 spabettie August 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

you are a smart business person, then! I know Groupons can work, but it is a very select arena where they do. As far as the places that went out of business, if it was while your Groupon was still valid, you should ask for your money back. They purposely delay payment on half the revenue collected just for refunds and cases like this.

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43 Lauren August 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

Even though I can’t eat cashews, these look amazing! I spotted them on Healthy Aperture and had to come check them out. Beautiful pictures! …and I know nothing of Groupon… ;-)

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44 spabettie August 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

hi Lauren, good to see your smiling face here! can you eat other nuts, like an almond, maybe? the taste would be different, but texture should be similar. I’m sorry you cannot have cashews, they are my favorite.

“I know nothing of Groupon…” < -- probably wise! ;)

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45 Crae October 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

we made these for breakfast today, so good!! I love your pancakes spabettie!

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46 spabettie October 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

thank you, Crae – so happy you like them!

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