Here’s the thing…. For the longest time, I’ve thought I suck at making pancakes. I experiment with different versions for myself and the kids and they’re usually always delicious, but not always pretty. I have one recipe I make for the hubby(since he doesn’t like anything “weird” in his pancakes) and they turn out amazing 99% of the time, but they’re hardly ever pretty. I look at these and they’re not the prettiest pancakes either. Delicious, incredibly fluffy and thick, but not the prettiest. Oh well.
I think why they aren’t so pretty is because they aren’t perfectly round, but the batter is fairly thick which is why they’re pretty impossible to get perfectly round. You can thin it out a little bit – but not too much! That’s why these pancakes are so fluffy and nice
To be totally honest, I kind of get a thrill out of hiding vegetables where they aren’t expected. Of course we snack on fresh foods all the time. I’d say most of our snacks are just fresh fruits and veggies straight out of the fridge or off the counter, but I still get a thrill out of putting veggies into foods they don’t belong. Is that kind of sick? Maybe, but I love it
Zucchini is one of the easiest veggies to do this with since it isn’t the strongest flavored veggie. It is quite watery though, so you have to be careful where you use it. Here are my top ideas for using up zucchini while it’s fresh:
- grated or pureed and mixed into sweet quick breads and muffins(like my chocolate zucchini bread this week)
- grated and stirred into pancake batter(like these pancakes, the recipe is below!)
- grated and cooked with tomato sauce
- thinly sliced or julianned, cooked or left raw and used as noodles, or mixed in with noodles(like my zucchini alfredo)
- thinly sliced or grated and layered in lasagna or mixed into noodle casseroles
- thinly sliced and baked into “chips” with your favorite seasonings and some salt at 200 degrees for about 2 hours depending on how thick they are
- thinly sliced on pizza
We also like zucchini roasted in the oven, grilled, or even raw in some recipes, like this marinated salad.
Of course it’s pretty much impossible to use as much zucchini as a couple plants can grow in a summer so it’s important to have some tricks for preserving it too so you can enjoy “fresh” zucchini all year round. Of course zucchini usually last in the fridge for at least a week but to extend their freshness longer:
- Grate zucchini for freezing to use in quick breads, muffins or even recipes like these pancakes. If you have a food processor with a grating attachment it makes the job way easier. Grate it then measure it out into the right sized portions for your favorite recipes, place them in a well labelled bag and freeze until you want it later in the year Be sure to include the date you frozen, the amount in the bag and of course what it is!
- Puree zucchini to be frozen and used in place of applesauce in baking – just remember that applesauce adds a little sweetness to baked goods where zucchini will not. It is great for replacing up to half he oil in a recipe though.
- Make your favorite zucchini recipes and freeze them to enjoy later instead of just freezing the zucchini- this works well with breads and muffins as well as these pancakes. It would also work well with tomato sauces, zucchini soup or any other recipes that freeze well.
As for these pancakes, I’m planning on making a few batches and freezing them to reheat in the toaster for when we don’t have zucchini anymore. You really can’t beat having your kids ask for zucchini for breakfast! That being said – if your child objects to the green flecks in their pancakes, just peel the zucchini and you shouldn’t even notice them!
Sorry to say, this is my last post for Zucchini Week. I wanted to extend it another day, but we’re going camping this weekend and still need to get everything all organized. Leave me your comments with what things you sneak zucchini into, or maybe what other fresh veggies you sneak into recipes and I’ll love to read them when I get back! Have a great weekend everyone!
Makes 8-10 3″ pancakes
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 C – 1/2 C buttermilk(or milk with a dash of vinegar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C shredded zucchini, squeezed
- 1 C white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- butter or oil for greasing the pan
In a bowl combine the oil, eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, vanilla and shredded zucchini.
In another bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir together until just barely combined – do not over mix.
Heat a pan over medium heat and add a little butter or oil to coat the pan. Once the pan is hot, scoop the batter onto the pan and spread out with the back of the scoop as desired not spreading it too thin. Turn the heat on the pan down slightly. Cook until golden brown on the bottom then flip over and cook until golden on the other side and cooked in the middle. Keep warm in the oven, place on a cooling rack or serve immediately.
The batter is very thick. You can add a little more buttermilk(or just regular milk) but don’t thin it down too much – that’s what makes these so thick and fluffy!
Any kind of milk will work – I used almond milk mixed with a little apple cider vinegar in place of buttermilk to make these dairy free!
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by GE via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of GE.