Who doesn’t love pancakes? They are delicious and bring back memories from childhood. They can easily be made in advance for a quick breakfast or, may favorite, an easy breakfast for dinner night.
Pancakes can be made from a wide variety of ingredients to suit any dietary needs or restrictions. Flavor profiles can be whatever floats your boat too; sweet, savory, fruity, chocolate, etc. Don’t get me started on how happy your kids (if you have any) will be to hear “PANCAKES”.
But here’s my problem with traditional pancakes. First, they are typically made with processed white flour. This flour has been stripped of any good nutrients and it’s usually loaded with gluten, which for a lot of people can be a problem. Second, most recipes include processed white sugar as well. Not only is there no nutritional value to the sugar but it does things to your body that we’re not even gonna get into here. Sugar is the devil and you should avoid it as much as possible. Third, pancake recipes include milk and most of the time that’s conventionally raised cow’s milk which can be filled with hormones and other toxic chemicals you just don’t want to put in your body.
So what can you do? Taking control of what you eat is very important and making things yourself is the first step to taking control. Nowadays it’s not hard to find a pancake recipe that does not include white flour, white sugar or conventionally raised dairy. You can easily substitute almond milk, coconut milk, flaxseed milk, etc for cow’s milk. There’s plenty of flour options available as well, including gluten-free options like almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour and oat flour. As far as sugar goes, you have maple syrup, honey, stevia and monk fruit options.
Just changing those three ingredients in your standard pancake recipe already makes it much better for you and your family. But what if I told you I have a recipe that makes it even healthier (including some vegetables). That’s right I said vegetables and my kids request these pancakes all the time. In fact, these green pancakes are usually the special birthday breakfast or dinner that each one requests.
I saw this recipe on Food Network’s The Kitchen years ago. I have made many, many variations of it since then and below is the recipe that I have settled on and make regularly. The original recipe was two eggs, a cup of cottage cheese and a cup of oats. You blend it together and cook just like any other pancake recipe. Since finding this recipe I discovered that I could not have gluten or dairy but I didn’t want to abandon our favorite pancakes. So I made a few simple tweaks to make it fit our lifestyle.
Before I show you the recipe let’s talk real quick about the many variations. I mentioned the three basic ingredients already. That’s your base recipe. From there, the skies the limit. I have added kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, bananas, pears, apples, strawberries and even chocolate. And here’s a fun little anecdote, while pregnant with my third child I went to a taping of the kitchen. During the breaks the hosts came over and spoke with us. I told Katie Lee, who was the original recipe creator, some of the variations that I had made. She love the idea of adding spinach and even contemplated a savory version of it. So when I say the skies the limit, literally you can do anything you want with this recipe.
As you’ll see below, our favorite is green pancakes and I often add a few dairy/gluten free chocolate chips. I encourage you to experiment and find a version that you and your family like the best.
Check out my green pancakes video:
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup dairy free yogurt (I use homemade)
- 2 cups baby spinach (I just grab 2 big handfuls)
- 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cinnamon to taste
I like to blend the eggs and yogurt together first. Then add the rolled oats so they don’t stick to the bottom of the blender. Add remaining ingredients blend until smooth. Allow the batter to rest well you heat your pan. Add a little butter or spray of olive oil and cook pancakes as usual. Brown on both side and serve warm or refrigerate/freeze for later. If adding chocolate chips, you can stir them in to the batter or sprinkle on top before flipping.
Depending on the kind of yogurt or cottage cheese that you use your batter might be very thin. You can always add more oats and blend again. Or add a little coconut flour and allow the batter to sit it can absorb the extra liquid. If using coconut flour start with a tablespoon at a time and allow it to rest otherwise you might end up too thick.