If I am going to have a section of my blog for food, I have to start with the perfect recipe. Let’s see… it should be healthy! It should be delicious! It should be fun! I got it! Pancakes!! (note: yes, that is far too many exclamation points in one paragraph, but I’m just imaging the dramatic crescendo) Now I do realize for a blog that is focusing on healthy meals for our family that pancakes may be an unconventional way to start. We do love us some good pancakes, though, and ours are very… unconventional so why not!
We’ve made a pancake or two in our time so we are getting really good with recipes. We do everything from modifying your basic store-bought pancake mix to making them from scratch. Besides, not all pancakes are created equal and these suckers are (gasp!) healthy. Since deciding to tighten up on our healthy eating habits and eliminate the bad stuff, we have gotten increasingly creative in our pancake ventures.
A few weeks ago our son Alex made amazing chocolate pancakes with the kids. He used cocoa powder, protein powder and flax seeds to help turn a normal batch of from-scratch pancakes into something healthier. Kids were grabbing them as they were coming off the pan so they were nearly gone before I could get any pictures. I kid you not, this was the best I could manage:
Needless to say they were not at all disgusting.
This week’s pancakes were roughly inspired by that batch from a couple of weeks ago, but this time we decided to take our pancake skills to the next level. We had family over for a few days and with a house full of kids, we needed a large batch. Far too lazy to triple or quadruple the recipe I decided to make them without a recipe. I just started grabbing ingredients.
I dumped flour into my over-sized measuring cup (courtesy of my foray into Tupperware). I follow it up with a couple scoops of protein powder, and cocoa powder. Then I got a bright idea: Mexican Hot Chocolate! Since I was trying new things, i.e. not measuring, I may as well go all out and play with some new flavors as well! I didn’t want to add chili pepper or cayan, so I used quiet a bit of regular cinnamon then added in a bit of Saigon cinnamon to give it that little bit of heat without making it too spicy for the kids.
Dry ingredients now chilling together in their giant measuring cup, I got to work on the wet. I used flax seed meal instead of eggs, plenty of almond milk, some vanilla and a glob of plain yogurt to give these cakes a bit of moisture. I threw in a few tablespoons of sugar to make sure it wasn’t to bitter for the 10 kids who would be munching on them (I’m telling ya, it was a busy week)!
Now comes the most important part. I don’t add a lot of sweetness to my pancakes; sometimes I don’t add any. But in addition to the bit of sugar, I added what was quite possibly the most important ingredient: mini chocolate chips! Not too many, just enough to add a touch of sweetness. And thus my magic concoction was complete!
I got to pouring batter, flipping cakes, and passing hot ones off to the kids who would grab and go from all angles. How did I do for just throwing ingredients together? Purdy dang good! The moisture added by the yogurt gave them a consistency I would compare to a souffle, although they were also comparable to crepes. Either way, super yummy!
And… that’s it! Wow! I think I have just officially written my first food blog. That was fun! But now, the moment I am sure you scrolled down for 😉
1 1/4 c Flour
1/4 c Cocoa Powder
1/4 c Protein Powder (we used cookies ‘n cream)
1 tsp Cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
Dash of Salt
4 tbs Raw sugar (or sugar to taste)
1 1/2 c Almond milk
2 tbs flax seeds (+ 6 tbs water)
1 tbs oil (coconut, vegetable, whatever you fancy)
2 tbs Plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla almond milk)
Mini chocolate chips- just dump some in until you feel satisfied!
Mix dry ingredients: flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix wet ingredients: Flax seeds and water (makes a thick, slimy concoction), almond milk, oil, yogurt, and extract. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add the best part: CHOCOLATE CHIPS!
Cook on med-low heat on an oiled skillet, griddle, or other pancake making apparatus. ENJOY!