Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes

[click image to enlarge]

This next recipe is admittedly sneaky. I don't like being a sneaky chef but the fruits and veggies just hide so well in these pancakes that it seems okay to sneak in some extra nutrition. This practice is occasionally necessary if you struggle to get your kids to eat good-for-you food. This is an alternative to the bleached white flour found in many pancake mixes. This recipe definitely takes some extra time and planning, but on the flip side, the batter can be made a day in advance, and the finished pancakes can be stored in the freezer for a “grab-and-go” breakfast after a nice toasting. With less sugar than most breakfast cereals, the benefits of antioxidant rich cocoa powder, spinach and blueberries, this is a healthy meal for any time of the day. And after an official tasting in my own home, the consensus of the judges was: “APPROVED!” The plates were empty that night. This recipe works well for a light dessert as well. It’s worth a try, as crazy as the ingredients sound!

Servings: makes 8 small pancakes, 2 each suggested


  • ¼ cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour*
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour*
  • ¼ cup wheat germ, unsweetened*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Purple Puree (2 cups boiled spinach + ¾ cup blueberries + 1 Tablespoon water)

* The healthy Flour Blend: 1 part white, 1 part wheat, 1 part wheat germ.


  1. You can make the Purple Puree ahead of time to protect the secret ingredients or the night before to make things easier in the morning. Bring a medium pot of water to boil, and boil spinach for 1-2 minutes, then drain under cold water, and squeeze out as much water as possible. In a blender or immersion blender, place the spinach, ¾ cup washed blueberries (fresh or frozen) and 1 Tablespoon water and blend until smooth. Measure out ¼ cup of this Purple Puree and save the rest for a smoothie or another batch of pancakes, cookies, or brownies.
  2. The puree will be a grayish color, don't be scared, the chocolate in these pancakes conceals the off-color!
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: white flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder and mix briefly with a whisk.
  4. In another bowl add the wet ingredients: vanilla extract, milk, egg, honey, and Purple Puree.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk briefly, just until all combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix lightly, or add them individually to each pancake to get them even.
  6. Heat a nonstick pan with a little frying spray or non-hydrogenated margarine or oil. When hot, add tablespoons or small ladles of pancake batter. Cook a couple minutes at a medium-high heat and check the bottoms to see when they are an even brown. Then, at a lower heat flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until done. Keep them on a plate covered with foil to keep warm.
  7. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, raspberries, vanilla yogurt, pure maple syrup, or just as is! Store in a ziploc bag for refrigerating or freezing and enjoy anytime after a good toasting.

nutrition facts label for Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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