Need a Valentine’s Day breakfast idea? Or just want to sneak some healthy vegetables into your unsuspecting child’s diet? Moist, fluffy, and bright pink-red, these little darlings are sure to please.
Personally, I love sneaking healthy ingredients into foods. My favorite meatloaf recipe is one that hides some carrot, celery, and ground chia or flaxseed. I’ve made spaghetti sauces with simmered and pureed carrots in addition to the usual tomato. I’m always a fan of tossing spinach in my smoothies (although most of the time, the green color doesn’t “hide” so well…) And I’ve hidden beets before in chocolate truffles. So why not hide beets in pancakes in plain sight?
These days, most red velvet cake recipes obtain their bright-red color from artificial food dye. I’m not a fan of artificial dyes, so I opted to go the old-fashioned way – get my red color from beets! As long as you take care to keep the batter as acidic as possible, the beets should retain their red color in the batter even after cooking. So rather than using lots of baking soda (too alkaline), I used baking powder and eggs for lift. I also only used a touch of cocoa powder (not dutched – again, dutched is too alkaline) to keep the pancakes bright. The result?
Beet-red pancakes – literally! Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet, barely chocolate-y pancakes that tasted marvelous. Of course, they were even more marvelous with a drizzle of homemade maple cashew cream sauce, and a little more maple syrup on top as well. While they’ll be sure to bring smiles to the faces of any little ones, I will admit they made excellent fuel for a good run in some cool, drizzly weather afterwards.
Red Velvet Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free)
1/2 c chopped roasted beets (I peeled and cut 2 large beets into 1-inch chunks and roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes)
3/4 c coconut milk
2 T water
1/4 c coconut palm sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 T cocoa powder (not dutched)
1/4 t guar gum
Place the chopped beets, and coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the water, eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla extract and puree until well-blended and smooth.
In a medium bowl, add the tapioca starch, brown rice flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and guar gum. Whisk together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and process again until smooth.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease with a little coconut oil if desired. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and spread out to about a 4-inch circle with the back of a spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges look like they’re starting to dry. Carefully flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream and maple syrup.
Makes about 8 pancakes.
Maple Cashew Cream (gluten-free, vegan)
1 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
1/3 c water
juice of 1 lemon
2 T maple syrup
about 1/2 t salt
2 T maple syrup
Drain the soaked cashews and place in a high-powered blender along with the water, the lemon juice, maple syrup, and the salt. Blend on a medium-low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides, until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thin the cream if needed. Store remainder, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.
This post has been linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.