Just in time for the Easter Bunny, here is a good carrot recipe you can whip up in no time! I adapted the recipe based on what I had on hand, and to make it a little healthier. For example, instead of 3 tablespoons of butter, I used one tablespoon of butter + 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt. I also swapped out one of the eggs for egg white. I frequently make a blend of regular AP flour and whole-wheat flour. The original recipe calls for a decadent-sounding maple cream cheese topping that includes full-fat cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of butter. I just spread a dab of low-fat cream cheese right on top of the warm pancakes and drizzled a little maple syrup (the real stuff, of course). A few simple changes and you have a fairly healthy breakfast-for-dinner meal. As you can tell by my previous biscuit sandwich post, I adore breakfast for dinner. The toddler especially likes it because she winds up with fun shaped pancakes. Last night she had a man-shaped pancake. Is it bad of me to giggle a little as she bites the syrup-soaked head off of the little guy? Bobby Flay would appreciate my serving suggestion, surely.
For the pancakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk* (I was feeling inventive and used 1 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup of a carrot/mango/ginger juice I had)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed finely grated peeled carrots, patted dry on paper towels (about 3 medium carrots)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, optional
- 1 tablespoon finely diced candied ginger (I didn’t have this on hand, so I used some regular minced ginger from the fridge)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, optional (plus more for garnish if you wish)
- Cooking spray or melted butter
*Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, try putting one tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar into one cup milk. It will “curdle” the milk and is a good replacement for buttermilk. It is the secret to keeping the pancakes light and fluffy!
- Reduced fat cream cheese (I used a tiny bit of the spreadable kind, as you would use butter on pancakes)
- Maple syrup (go for the good stuff)
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spices, baking soda, and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg/egg white, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the carrots and orange zest (if using), and mix until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold in the ginger and pecans (if using), and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat (I love our electric griddle, a winn. Coat the skillet with cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Spoon 1/4 cup mounds of the batter onto the skillet, spreading with a spatula (or the back of a big spoon). Cook until the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining batter. Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven on a baking sheet, if desired.
3. Top with a dab of reduced fat cream cheese, maple syrup, and chopped nuts (if using). Or, go all out and make the topping the original recipe calls for.
Perfect for Easter brunch. Or Monday night dinner!