Whole wheat carrot raisin pancakes

It's almost Easter, and a perfect time for my new favorite pancake, whole wheat carrot raisin! If you know me, or have read my blog, I've probably already made it abundantly clear that I'm a big fan of pancakes. They're among the most forgiving meals to create; you can throw just about anything in for sweet or savory flavors, and best of all, they're easy to lighten up and/or make more nutritious. For me, Easter is all about brunch (OK, there's other fun stuff like fresh spring lilacs, Easter lilies, egg hunts, pastel cottons...as well as the fundamental basis for the actual day...but we're talking purely secular, I guess it goes without saying). In any case, these wholesome carrot pancakes are a little like cake for breakfast (lunch/dinner), but a kind you can feel good about. Not only that, while it may be a bit of a stretch, the carrot-bunny connection adds a certain sense of fun, at least for me. Coming up with this recipe was inspired by my friend Meghan, and her glowing review of Cooking Light's carrot cake pancakes, which were adapted from a popular offering at Denver's thriving eatery, Snooze. The Cooking Light version is absolutely meltingly delicious, and without doubt the original is positively, scrumptiously decadent. But I wanted to try another, whole wheat version. I love the hearty texture of pancakes made from 100% whole wheat flour; since discovering how great going whole grains can be, I sometimes find the fluffy white staples can be almost rubbery. Hope you like these--tell me your tweaks, if you make them! Whole Wheat Carrot Raisin Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or choose a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger)
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot (approximately 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (and/or chopped or ground walnut/pecans, or both)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
  • maple syrup to taste

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder,  baking soda and spices in a large bowl and stir with a whisk. Combine milk, oil, applesauce, egg and egg white, also stirring with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in carrot, raisins and/or nuts, and vanilla.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon batter (approximately 1/3 cup per pancake) onto skillet. Turn pancakes when tops begin to bubble and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup to taste.