A delicious, healthy and gluten free recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes. Made with no artificial colourings, just beetroot!
Beetroot…. it isn’t exactly the sexiest of vegetables is it. We’re probably more used to seeing it in jars, languishing at the back of the fridge so I thought it was time the poor old beetroot got a bit of a makeover. And with such an incredible vibrant colour then there’s no better time than just before Valentine’s Day!
“Why the heck are you adding beetroot to pancakes” you may be asking. Well firstly pureed beetroot makes a incredible all-natural food colouring. No artifical dyes or chemicals needed. And secondly it’s a great way to sneak some extra veg into you and your family’s diet. Beetroot is high in fibre, is a good source of iron and folic acid and is also anti-oxidant rich. Recent studies have even shown that regular consumption of beetroot can also help lower blood pressure. So this is one vegetable that we definitely should be eating more of.
With both Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday coming up this month there’s never been a better time to get creative with the kids in the kitchen. The bright vibrant colour of these pancakes are sure to spark their imagination and get them excited about cooking.
This recipe does require a little bit of prep as the fresh beets do need to be roasted and then pureed. I haven’t tried the recipe with pre-cooked beetroot, but I imagine it would work just as well. Just be sure to get the plain pre-cooked beetroot (usually in a packet) and not the pickled kind in a jar.
This recipe isn’t completely set in stone. I used gluten free flour but normal flour would work perfectly too. If you find the batter a little too thick then feel free to add another splash of milk. You could also customize it to your liking, maybe adding some raisins or chocolate chips. I made thick American style pancakes with my batter but you could also make thin crepe style ones too.
One tip I would urge you to follow is to keep the heat quite low on the pan. If the heat is too high the pancakes will burn and turn a charred black colour on the outside. They may take a little longer to cook on a low heat but the pancakes will keep that lovely vibrant red colour.
- For the pancakes:
- 2 small beets
- 200g / 1.5 cups plain flour (gluten free or regular)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml / 1 cup milk
- For the drizzle:
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tbsp plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200c / 400f. Peel two small beets and chop each one into 4 or 6 pieces. Place the chopped beetroot in a baking dish, together with a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through. Check the beetroot a couple of times, adding more water so that they don't dry out.
- Meanwhile measure out the other ingredients. Add the flour and baking powder to a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug mix together the eggs, honey and vanilla extract.
- Once the beetroot are cooked through, transfer them to a blender. Add the milk and blitz until the beets are completely blended with the milk and you have a puree consistency. Add this puree to the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
- Finally, add this mixture to the flour and baking powder. Mix with a hand whisk until you have a classic pancake batter consistency.
- Melt some butter or oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add some of the batter (the amount will depend on how thick or thin you want your pancakes to be) and cook for 2-3 minutes either side for thick pancakes or 1-2 minutes either side for crepes.
- To make the drizzle simply mix together the cream cheese, plain yogurt, milk and vanilla extract. You can either drizzle this on top of the pancakes or serve as a scoop on the side.
It is important to cook the pancakes over a low heat. On a high heat the outside of the pancakes will burn and char, making them black.