Does anyone else think that beets are gorgeous? I made a natural rainbow cake awhile back, and the beet layer was totally my favorite. It's so red and vibrant - and totally natural. So, I've been trying beet colored recipes... like these beautiful pancakes. I've learned a bit about cooking for color along the way, too - you have to keep the acidity up to keep the gorgeous color. Beets can look purpley gray if you add things that neutralize the acids. And we want this lovely color, right?
But, in all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of how beets actually taste. I know they're good for me, and they're really pretty, so I eat them. So if you or your kids are like me, you'll like these pancakes because they don't really taste like beets, but they're fluffy, moist, and best of all, gorgeous. They're a great intro to a new flavor in a form that kids are comfortable with: pancakes! Talk about what gives the pancakes their beautiful hue so your kids know what they're eating and are willing to try beets when they show up on their plates later. How did they go over with my little kid? I lost count - seriously, I have no idea how many pancakes she ate. They just kept disappearing. We'll definitely be making these a lot while beets are in season. And feel free to decrease the sugar to 2 tablespoons and/or switch the whole wheat/white wheat flour ratios - I've tried it, and it works well. The color is just a smidge less vibrant.
These are just plain fun. Perfect for birthdays, Valentine's day, and a random Thursday morning at our house. So, let's make some red pancakes! printable version here! Makes 12-14 medium sized pancakes
Red Velvet Pancakes - with beets! 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder 1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cocoa (make sure it is NOT Dutch process - the beet color needs acid and won't be as vibrant with neutralized Dutch cocoa)
1 c. milk 2 T. butter, melted, plus more for cooking 1/4 c. sugar 2 eggs 1/2 c. beet (I roast my beets with the skin on at 425 and peel when cool; alternatively, you can steam/cook them in a covered pot with about 2 inches of water. Do this the night before)
In a blender or food processor, puree the beet with the milk. Stir the eggs, sugar, and butter into the beet mixture.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid beet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir gently.
In a heated skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium low heat. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet; flip when the pancakes get a few bubbles and some of those bubbles begin to pop. Top with syrup, butter, and enjoy!