This next recipe is admittedly sneaky. I don’t like being a sneaky chef but the fruits and veggies just hide so well in these pancakes that its seems okay to sneak in some extra nutrition. This practice is occasionally necessary if you struggle to get your kids to eat good-for-you food. This is an alternative to bleached white flour, in ready-made pancake mixes. This recipe definitely takes some extra time and planning, but on the flip side, the batter can be made a day in advance, and ready to eat pancakes can be stored in the freezer for a “grab-and-go” breakfast after a nice toasting. With less sugar than most breakfast cereals, the benefits of antioxidant rich cocoa powder, spinach and blueberries, this is a healthy any time of day meal. And after an official tasting in my own home, the consensus of the judges was “APPROVED!” The plates were empty that night. This recipe works well for a light dessert as well! It’s worth a try, as crazy as the ingredients sound!
Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Makes 8 small pancakes, 2 each suggested)
1/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour*
1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
1/4 cup wheat germ, unsweetened*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Purple Puree (2 cups boiled spinach + 3/4 cup blueberries + 1 Tablespoon water)
* The healthy Flour Blend, 1 part white : 1 part wheat : 1 part wheat germ.
1. You can make the Purple Puree ahead of time to protect the secret ingredients or the night before to make things easier in the morning. Bring a medium pot of water to boil, and boil spinach for 1-2 minutes, then drain under cold water, and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a blender or immersion blender, place the spinach, 3/4 cup washed blueberries (fresh or frozen) and 1 Tablespoon water and blend until smooth. Measure out 1/4 cup of this Purple Puree and save the rest for a smoothie or another batch of pancakes, cookies, or brownies.
Boiling the spinach, 1-2 minutes
Squeezing out liquid in spinach
The puree will be a greyish color, don’t be scared, the chocolate in these pancakes conceals the off- color!
Making the Purple Puree: blending spinach, blueberries, and water
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: white flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder and mix briefly with a whisk.
Whisking together all the dry ingredients
3. In another bowl add the wet ingredients: vanilla extract, milk, egg, honey, and Purple puree.
4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk briefly, just until all combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix lightly, or add them individually to each pancake to get them even.
Adding the wet ingredients into the dry and whisking briefly
Pancake batter ready to cook!
5. Heat a nonstick pan with a little frying spray or non-hydrogenated margarine or oil. When hot, add tablespoons or small ladels of pancake batter. Cook a couple minutes at a medium-high heat and check the bottoms to see when they are an even brown. Then, at a lower heat flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until done. Keep them on a plate covered with foil to keep warm.
Let them puff up by not bothering them and keeping low-medium steady heat
6. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, raspberries, vanilla yogurt, pure maple syrup, or just as is! Store in a ziploc bag for refrigerating or freezing and enjoy anytime after a good toasting.