Smart Breakfast of the Week: Whole-Wheat Carrot Pancake Recipe (Kids Cook Monday)
|September 17, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Breakfast|
My six-year-old son is allergic to vegetables. O.K., not really, but that’s what he likes to say. (And sadly, I think he’s actually starting to believe it!). It’s not an ideal situation for a mom whose heart skips a beat when passing a farmer’s market stand full of fresh-picked beets and ruffled kale.
Then these Whole Wheat Carrot Pancakes entered our life. I decided to make them one morning and asked my wee veggie hater if he wanted to help. “Yes!” he cried enthusiastically, and ran to fetch a small chair to stand on. We worked seamlessly together. I filled the measuring cups and spoons and he poured them in the bowl. He cracked the egg; I tossed the shells and mopped up the string of egg whites left dangling from the edge of the bowl like a cobweb. He put his hand over mine as I grated the carrots. Not once did I hear that dreaded word, “Yuck!”
When the pancakes were ready, we dusted them with powdered sugar, drizzled on just a little maple syrup, and placed a perfectly ripe strawberry (“for color”, I explained) onto his plate. Then, he carried it to the table, sat down and ate every last bite, as did his little brother and sister.
I love the idea of adding vegetables to my kids’ morning meal. Getting in a serving right off the bat helps start us off on the right foot. And the more kids are exposed to veggies throughout the day, the more they end up eating (or so researchers say!). But these pancakes don’t have to be limited to breakfast. You also could pack one in your child’s lunchbox or heat one up for an after-school snack.
This pancake recipe was adapted from The Realistic Nutritionist, a beautiful, healthy-everything blog that I have grown to love. I made a few changes to the original recipe, substituting white whole-wheat flour for regular whole wheat, using cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice and omitting walnuts. They came out great!
This is my first post for The Kids Cook Monday, a national initiative encouraging parents to set aside the first day of every week for cooking and eating together as a family. I personally believe that spending time in the kitchen and at the dinner table with your children is incredibly important. When kids participate in making meals, they feel more vested in them. They learn about what’s in their food. It’s a great way for younger kids to learn how to follow directions and improve their fine-motor skills. And if you can relax and enjoy the opportunity to teach your child about food, it can be a wonderful bonding time.
I’ll admit that cooking with young kids can require a special kind of patience. I think this pancake experiment with my 6-year-old worked out so well because his 4-year-old twin brother and sister were busy playing puppy dogs in another room. Having two or (help me!) all three little ones in the kitchen together can be stressful. Even with one kid, things can get pretty messy and aren’t always orderly. And when there’s an open flame involved–a little nerve-wracking! My son wanted to help flip the pancakes, but I sent him to fetch the maple syrup and set the table instead.
Once I saw how he loved those pancakes–and realized that part of that love stemmed from the fact that he helped create them–I couldn’t care less about the extra effort and clean up.
Whole Wheat Carrot Pancakes
Yields about 7 – 8 pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 – 5 minutes
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Dash of salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, mix egg, carrots, brown sugar, milk, cream and vanilla with a whisk until mixture is fully combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
- In a large pan sprayed with butter or nonstick cooking spray, add about 1/4 cup mixture to the pan. Once the top of the batter starts bubbling, flip using a wide spatula and cook until both sides are golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3 more yummy recipe ideas: