10 Amazing & Healthy Recipes to Celebrate Pancake Tuesday

Pancakes are a favourite in my house. The kids are strangely subdued when I bust out a new Green Smoothie recipe (some might say grim actually) but they are guaranteed to jump for joy when pancakes are on the menu. And really – what’s not to love? Hot fluffy buttery cakes piled high on a plate drowning in sweet maple syrup…..heavenly!

pancakes 3

But if you know me you also know that I am always trying to revamp recipes to make them healthier. And to be honest – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have made my fair share of lumpy, sticky and tasteless pancakes in an attempt to eschew the traditional boxed pancake mixes.

In honour of “Pancake Tuesday” I thought I’d spare you one of my so-so recipes and instead share 10 sure-fire recipes that were developed by other very talented health-conscious bloggers. I have made and devoured a batch of each of these recipes and I can personally vouch for their amazingness so pick the one that appeals to your taste buds and get flipping:

1. Hormonal Balance Blueberry Pancakes by Meghan Telpner

2.  Gluten-Free Whole Grain Chia Pancakes by Dreena Burton of Plant-Powered Kitchen

3. Strawberry Shortcake Stacked Pancakes by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

4. Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Pancakes by Sondi Bruner

pancake 4

*Photo Credit: Sondi Bruner

5. My Favourite Vegan Pancakes by Amanda Maguire of Pickles & Honey

6. Loveliest Lemon Vegan Pancakes by Kathy Patalsky of Healthy Happy Life

lemon pancakes

*Photo Credit: Kathy Patalsky, Healthy Happy Life

7. Peach Pancakes by Thug Kitchen

8. 7-Ingredient Vegan Gluten-Free Waffles by John and Dana at Minimalist Baker

9. Even Better Potato Pancakes by Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen

10. Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes by Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health

So get out the maple syrup and whip up a stack of delicious and healthy pancakes. And for inspiration check out my latest batch – not half bad tasting and as my daughter pointed out “look mom – this one is pooping a heart!” I took that as a good sign ; ) Happy Pancake Tuesday everyone!

pancake heart

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Ruby Red Smoothie

I make a smoothie pretty much every single morning. Greens, banana, pineapple, superfood add-ins, frozen berries- blend and repeat. And although I know the ingredients are colourful and healthy – more often than not the resulting drink has more of a greeny-brownish hue. Not the most visually appealing (in fact the other day my youngest told me that his smoothie looked like diarrhea…..sigh)

My friend Lisa always says that the experience of eating (or drinking) begins with your eyes. And if that’s the case then perhaps a cup of poop coloured smoothie isn’t how my family wants to start their day. Fair enough. So I started tinkering with my smoothies to make them more eye catching.

I recently enjoyed a weekend away with a good pal and she gave me an awesome suggestion for a wonderful bright red vegetable that I’ve been overlooking in my smoothie recipes. This particular veggie has been proven to lower blood pressure, alleviate depression, boost stamina, fight inflammation, detox the body and is rich in vitamins and minerals. What magical ingredient did I find that not only makes my smoothie look beautifully ruby-red but also ups the health factor? Beets! These gorgeous and often unappreciated gems of the vegetable kingdom add brilliant redness and a subtle sweetness to a smoothie that is not at all overpowering.

beets

So kick those brown drinks to the curb and add a burst of colour to your next smoothie! And if you want to get extra fancy – try slicing a strawberry to pop on the side of the glass. Voila – beautiful and nutritious.

Ruby Red Smoothie

beet smoothie

4-6 cups packed spinach
1 banana
1 small beet (or 1/2 a medium beet)
1 2-inch ring of pineapple
1 -2 cups frozen strawberries (or raspberries)
Superfood add-ins (optional)

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and whir for 1 minute. Drink up the goodness!

Oh and one thing to keep in mind if you decide to add beets – you need to brace yourself because they will actually turn your poop just as red as your smoothie (believe it or not – this is actually a pretty effective selling feature for kids ; )

Protein Packed Hash Browns

I almost called this post “Holy Crap She Is Actually Posting a Recipe!” because it’s been so freakin’ long since I shared a food idea on my blog. Yes I am still cooking- although perhaps thawing and reheating would better describe my time in the kitchen of late. And I must give credit where credit is due and mention my sweet hubby who has also been doing a lot of the cooking (ahem…ordering in) as we’ve been adjusting to a busier schedule.

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favourite magazines Vegetarian Times. Anyone who has ever said that a plant-based diet is boring should pick up a copy of this mag and browse through the pages. Beautiful, delicious and creative dishes fill every issue and I always attempt to make at least one recipe from my monthly edition.

These hash browns are savoury and a bit spicy so feel free to omit the cayenne if you are making them for the kids. I served them with pancakes for a “breakfast for dinner” kind of night and they were a huge hit. You could also serve them alongside a big salad and a hunk of baguette for a hearty lunch or dinner. Oh and a tip from my family – a shot of ketchup takes these babies to the next level!

Protein Packed Hash Browns (adapted from Vegetarian Times, Sept 2013)

hash browns

1 package of extra-firm tofu (organic and non GMO), rinsed, patted dry and cubed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
5-6 yellow fleshed potatoes, cubed
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 pinch cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the cubed tofu and sauté for 5 minutes, flipping a few times until the chunks are lightly browned. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl.

Add the other 1 tbsp. of oil to the same pan and sauté the garlic, onion, yellow pepper and potatoes for approximately 10 minutes or until potatoes are starting to brown. Toss in the tofu and add the spices. Saute for 7-8 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender and browned. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

My Kitchen Helper and Oat Flour Pancakes

I have a “helper” in the kitchen when I am whipping up most of my culinary masterpieces. He is about 2 feet tall, has blue eyes, blond hair, a killer smile and he’s been known to throw a measuring cup full of almond milk across the kitchen in a fit of rage. No I am not talking about a mini-Gordon Ramsey – it’s my feisty and adorable 2 year old son.

kitchen helper 1

Most of the time I enjoy his “help” and the way he loves to stir every batter, pour every ingredient and lick every spoon (not so keen to try my muffins now are you?) but sometimes he truly drives me nuts. Like the time he dumped an entire bowl of flour all over the floor. Or the time he spilled beet juice on my marble island. Or the aforementioned “almond milk incident”.

But I know all too soon he will be skipping off to school with his brother and sister and I will be alone in my kitchen missing his company and longing for the days when he was so eager to pull up his chair and assist me in any foodie endeavor.

kitchen helper 2

My little helper definitely has some strong opinions about my cooking and baking (beet salad = “that tastes terrible mommy”) but his very favourite thing of all to make has gotta be pancakes. Since I am on Day 19 of my Kathy Freston cleanse, I decided to enlist the help of my assistant in whipping up a batch of pancakes that would be tasty and still adhere to my requirements of no gluten, sugar or animal products.

I started by making a fruit puree to use as a topping on my pancakes (the kids and my hubby just stuck to maple syrup). Then my helper and I ground up our own GF oats to make the flour, stirred in some milk and coconut oil and in no time at all we had whipped up a delicious meal. These pancakes are yummy but they are actually more like a big oatmeal cookie when you cook them – crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

These giant cookie/pancakes make a delicious breakfast and a fun dinner that the whole family will love. And if you are interested giving them a try and you’d like to enlist the help of an eager toddler smack dab in the middle of his terrible twos- give me a call ; )

Oat Flour Pancakes with Fruit Puree

oat pancake 2

1 1/2 cups oat flour (I ground my own GF oats in a food processor but you could simply buy oat flour)
1/2 cup barley flour
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. of flax meal mixed with 1/2 cup of water – let stand to get goopy)
2 cups of almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and grease with earth balance or organic butter. Pour 1/2 cup circles of batter on the frying pan and cook until bubbles form. Flip cakes and press down with the spatula to flatten slightly. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with fruit puree and/or syrup, fresh fruit and chopped pecans.

oat pancake 1

Fruit Puree

2 cups pitted medjool dates
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, place in a high-powered blender or food processor and puree.

Enjoy!