These seemingly decadent pancakes actually still live up to our usual anti-inflammatory, healthy eating standards. They are low in sugar and flavorific with anti-inflammatory spices, carrots and nuts. They are drizzled with a no-added-sugar vegan “icing” that tastes naughty but is actually nice, and then topped off with bromelain-rich fresh pineapple.
You can chop the nuts as finely or coarsely as you like. I’m not a huge fan of big chunks of nuts in my baked goods, so I actually grind the pecans fairly finely.
I don’t usually insist on specific equipment in a recipe, since I think there are many paths to the same final result. However, I highly recommend grating the carrots with a microplane grater for this recipe. The pancakes cook on the griddle for just a minute or two, which isn’t enough time to cook through and soften carrots grated with a traditional box grater. The microplane grater will grate the carrots so finely that the resulting texture is almost fluffy, and that works very well in a pancake. If you’ve got an alternative gadget that matches the results of the microplane grater, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!
While we’re on the topic of great kitchen equipment, I’d also like to give a shout-out to the Norwex vegetable scrubbing cloth. (And no, I’m not getting anything from Norwex for saying so. I bought my cloth myself. I just totally love it.) The cloth has a soft side for fruits and a coarse side for tougher veggies. It gets my root vegetables so clean I don’t ever have to peel them, so our recipes retain all the nutrition packed into the skins. Norwex makes all kinds of household cleaning products that are chemical-free, which supports my efforts to reduce my exposure to inflammation-promoting elements (whether food, stress, or household chemicals) in my daily life. My friend Mindy sells Norwex products, so get in touch with her if you’re interested in learning more.
And now, on to the good stuff!
Carrot Cake Pancakes
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp melted coconut oil, plus more for griddle
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 cup buttermilk
3 large carrots (about 1 1/2 cups finely grated)
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Finely grate the carrots using a microplane grater and set aside. Whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk together for a scant 15 seconds. The batter will still be lumpy, but do not overbeat it. Gently fold in the grated carrots.
The batter will be very thick. Set the batter aside to rest for about 5 minutes while you heat the griddle to medium-low.
Lightly grease the griddle with additional coconut oil. Scoop the batter onto the griddle and use the back of the spoon to gently spread it out in a circle. Cook for 2 or so minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and edges start to look dry. Flip pancake and cook the second side for another minute or so. Keep the cooked pancakes on a warm plate covered with a clean dishtowel until all the batter has been used. Makes about eight large (5 inch diameter) pancakes.
Vanilla Coconut Cream “Icing”
2 Tbsp coconut manna (a.k.a. coconut cream)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 Tbsp (or more) almond milk
Combine the coconut manna and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Heat the almond milk in a heatproof glass measuring pitcher in the microwave (about 30 seconds on HIGH should do the trick). Pour the hot almond milk slowly over the coconut manna and vanilla while whisking constantly with a small whisk or fork until smooth. Thin with more hot almond milk until you reach the desired consistency. Personally, I like the icing to be thick but pourable. Drizzle over warm pancakes and top with fresh fruit, if desired.