Pancakes are such a great vessel for getting nutrition into our kiddos, aren’t they? Making them from scratch with wholesome, real ingredients is super simple. Clearly I love a good pancake recipe (find two more of my recipes here and here)! This one checks all the boxes though: good source of protein, grain-free, naturally sweetened, AND they’re studded with fruits & veggies (yep, veggies – I’m a big proponent of eating vegetables at breakfast!).
Why veggies at breakfast? Did you know that a 2-3 year old child’s daily intake of vegetables should be one cup? A child aged 4-8 years should have 1.5 cups (source). Making the most out of every meal and snack is key to reaching these requirements … so veggies for breakfast it is!
If you think your child would reject these pancakes because of the flecks of grated green zucchini, you can certainly toss the batter into your blender or food processor before adding the berries so that the texture is relatively smooth. I haven’t tried that, but there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work.
I’ve included an option below for adding honey or maple syrup in the pancake batter so that there’s no need to top them with that sticky (and messy) goodness – unless you just want to!
Other delightful topping ideas include: hemp seeds, chopped nuts & seeds, bee pollen, ground flax, raisins, more berries, berry chia jam, and/or nut butter.
This recipe makes a fairly large batch; roughly 24 3″ pancakes (measuring the batter with a tablespoon and flattening it out slightly). We love to repurpose them as “sandwiches” with nut butter or just reheat them to enjoy as snacks or an easy out-the-door breakfast. Pro Tip: reheat the pancakes in the toaster! It warms them up nicely and the edges get kinda crispy. Yum!
Grain-free, naturally sweetened pancakes that are studded with berries & shredded zucchini!
Credit: Megan @ Mama Makes Food
- 2 large, really ripe (spotty) bananas
- 5 eggs
- 1 c. shredded zucchini (about half of one medium-sized zucchini)
- 1 tbs. chia seeds, optional
- 1-2 tsp. honey or pure maple syrup, optional
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla powder or extract
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 c. coconut flour
- 1 c. blueberries
- coconut oil, for greasing skillet/griddle
- Preheat large skillet or griddle over medium low.
- In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add eggs and whisk to combine.
- Add zucchini, chia seeds (if using), honey (this completely depends on your child(ren)’s taste – we find the pancakes sweet enough from the bananas and usually do not add additional sweetener), cinnamon, vanilla, & sea salt and whisk again.
- Add coconut flour, stirring until incorporated.
- Spread a small amount of coconut oil over preheated skillet or griddle (how much depends on the size of your cooking surface – just a thin layer is needed, so a teaspoon or two should do the trick).
- Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, dollop the pancake batter (it will be thick because of the coconut flour) onto the skillet/griddle. Using the back of your spoon, spread out the batter so that the pancake thickness is about 1/4″. Continue dolloping and spreading out batter until your cook surface is full, leaving about an inch in between each pancake (my griddle holds about 8 pancakes at a time).
- Place 5 berries onto the top of each pancake, pushing them down into the batter.
- Cook pancakes until golden on the underside, about 5-7 minutes. Carefully flip and flatten the pancake a little with your spatula. Cook until golden again, another 5 minutes or so.
- Place pancakes on cooling rack while you cook the next batch(es). A cooling rack keeps the pancakes from getting soggy on the underside.
- You can substitute other fruit in your pancakes – other berries or kiwi, thinly sliced, work well.
- If you would like to try these pancakes using a different flour, the recipe will likely need twice as much. I tested these with buckwheat flour and spelt flour, and each time, I needed 1 cup of flour instead of the 1/2 cup that is called for when using coconut flour. Coconut flour is unlike other kinds of flour because it absorbs a lot of moisture. We preferred the taste and texture of these when coconut flour was used, so that’s how I wrote the recipe. They were still good with the other flours too though.
- Instead of adding the blueberries to the top of each pancake, you can add them to your batter when you put in the coconut flour. I like to make sure that each pancake has plenty of berries though, so I prefer to add them later.
- If you think your child might be weary of zucchini in their pancakes, consider blending the batter so that the texture is relatively smooth.
Happy Food Making, Mamas! ❤