One of my favourite family traditions is Pancake Tuesday. I always looked forward to it because it was the one day of the year when we would get to eat pancakes for dinner. My parents would cook up a big platter with three or four different kinds of pancakes, and I would try them all!
Blueberry was always my favourite, but we also had chocolate chip, plain, and sometimes an apple-cinnamon or banana version. Those traditional flavours will always be special to me, but now I like to come up with new kinds of pancakes to try.
My latest favourite is carrot pancakes, because they're just sweet enough for breakfast and I figure since they have a vegetable, they're also appropriate for dinner! So to celebrate Pancake Day this year, I made these vegan carrot cake pancakes topped with an orange-cashew cream.
The pancakes themselves turned out nice and thick and fluffy, and to get the carrot cake flavor, I added some warm spices, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and dates to the batter. I also used coconut milk in both the batter and the cashew topping, and topped them with some orange zest.
I also used this opportunity to try my new NuNaturals stevia products. Instead of adding sugar and vanilla extract to the batter, I used their alcohol-free vanilla stevia drops. The amount I used added just the right amount of sweetness for my tastes, but my sister thought the pancakes weren't sweet enough, so you might want to use more drops or add 1-2 tsp of sugar or sweetener to the batter if you prefer a sweeter pancake.
These pancakes would taste great on their own or drizzled with maple syrup, but I really liked eating them with the cashew cream that I made by blending a small amount of soaked raw cashews with a bit of orange juice, coconut milk and stevia drops.
Since I was only making a small amount of cashew cream for a single serving, I had a hard time getting the cashews to blend properly so my "cream" was still a bit chunky. But I still loved the taste and it made a nice topping for the pancakes as a substitute for cream cheese frosting that is usually found on carrot cake.
So if you're looking for new inspiration for Pancake Tuesday, try these carrot cake pancakes or check out the Pinterest Board I created full of more creative pancake ideas!
Single-Serving Vegan Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange-Cashew Cream
2.5 tbsp raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4-5 hours
1-2 tbsp coconut milk beverage
1 tbsp orange juice
5-10 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia liquid
1 tsp flax mixed with 2 tsp water
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp each nutmeg and ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (or another non-dairy milk)
10 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia liquid (or 2 tsp sugar)
3-4 dates, soaked in hot water for a few minutes then drained and finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
For the cashew cream:
Drain the cashews and place in a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth (I would recommend starting with 1 tbsp of coconut milk and add more to thin out the cream if necessary). Set aside or refrigerate if you are making it ahead of time.
For the pancakes:
First, mix the flax with the water and let sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour through to salt). Add the grated carrot, coconut milk and stevia and stir gently to combine. Fold in the chopped dates and walnuts.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high and spray with low-fat cooking spray. Add the pancake batter to the pan in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup measures (I divided the batter into two large pancakes, but you could easily get three pancakes).
Cook on one side undisturbed for a few minutes, until the bottoms are set and browned. Carefully flip pancakes with a spatula and cook 2-3 more minutes on the other side.
Serve with cashew cream on top and maple syrup if desired.
Makes 1 serving (2 pancakes)