Green Machine Pancakes
When my kids were babies, I would make them pancakes with rice cereal and a veggie/fruit puree. They would gobble them up like they were going out of style. As they got older, I finally decided that it seemed weird that I was still buying rice cereal to make these pancakes for my 3 year old. So, I created these Green Machine Pancakes!
I substituted oatmeal for the rice cereal and used spinach and applesauce for the veggie/fruit puree. My kids ask for these pancakes alllll the time (they even came up with the name “Green Machine Pancakes”)! They like to eat them for breakfast, or have them as a snack, or Jack will even request that I pack them for his lunch sometimes.
If you have a hard time getting your kids to eat vegetables (or YOU don’t eat enough vegetables), this is a great recipe for you!! These pancakes are packed with spinach but you can’t even tell. They are only sweetened by orange juice (no additional sugar is added besides what is found in the orange juice), so you won’t be giving them a sugar bomb for breakfast.
Every time I make these, I always double or triple the batch (I freeze what we don’t eat) because my kids SCARF them up. The last time I made these, Jack literally ate 20 in one sitting (no joke - I actually counted)! In addition, if you already have a ton of dirty dishes, you may as well fill them up with batter now so you don’t have to make more dishes later! Then, you can just pop them in the microwave when the kids are hungry or bring them on-the-go frozen and they will keep for several hours on their own. These Green Machine Pancakes will fill your kids up and you will feel happy knowing they already got veggies for breakfast!
GREEN MACHINE PANCAKES
About 2 dozen small pancakes
10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach
1 cup of applesauce
1½ cups of orange juice
1 cup flour (I use half white and half wheat)
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook the spinach according to the directions on the package.
While the spinach is cooking, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, old fashioned oats, baking powder and cinnamon).
Pour the cooked spinach into a blender, along with the water you used to cook it, and blend it into a purée.*
Pour the spinach into the bowl with the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients (applesauce, orange juice, eggs and vanilla) and mix until combined.**
Heat a non-stick pan or electric griddle to medium heat and scoop ¼ cup portions of batter onto the pan/griddle.
Once the pancakes start to bubble and the outer edges don’t look wet, flip them over and cook until both sides are golden brown. Enjoy!***
*This step is optional. If you really want to hide the spinach, I would recommend pureeing it. My kids don’t mind the chopped spinach as is - in fact they flex their muscles when they see spinach - so I don’t do this step if I want to save time.
**If the batter seems a bit dry, add orange juice to achieve the desired consistency. Alternatively, if it is too runny, you can add a little more flour.
***Whatever you or your kids don’t eat, place into freezer storage bags to save for later.
TIPS FOR INVOLVING KIDS
Let them pour all of the ingredients into the bowl and mix. Fair warning - your kitchen may become a disaster zone but embrace the mess!
Have them push the button on the blender to puree the spinach.
Let them gobble up the pancakes (mine have be known to eat 15 in one sitting)!