What better way to celebrate a new day than with pancakes? These healthyish apple pancakes taste bright in your mouth, pulling delicate spices across your palette, and nourishing your body with the perfect blend of apple sweetness, orange zest, aromatic spices, and surprisingly healthy wheat flour.
Kids and adults alike will love these apple pancakes, and you can enjoy them regularly without guilt, because of the many healthy ingredients.
My two objectives in making this recipe were:
- Make delicious pancakes.
- Make healthy pancakes, so you can eat several pancakes with no regret.
Finding a balance of mouth-watering, return-for-more flavor with healthy ingredients can create a challenge in the kitchen, but adding a perfect balance of citrus, sweetness, spices and wheat flour establishes that balance beautifully.
Let’s talk about the ingredients…
- Melted Butter
- Almond Milk
- Shredded Apple
- Fresh Ginger
- Orange Zest
- Orange Juice
- Baking Powder
- Ground Cinnamon
- A Pinch Of Salt
- Maple Syrup
- A Dollop of butter
- Candied nuts
- Baked Apples
- Whipped Cream
While butter contributes to the richness of this dish, if needed, substitutes can be made to accommodate your diet, but before throwing all your butter down the drain, try not to downplay the health benefits of butter. While it adds a little bit of fat into our diets, butter is low in carbohydrates and contains calcium which strengthens your bones.
Healthy living involves making decisions about which ingredients to limit and which ones to embrace. If butter does not fit into your diet plans, coconut oil or olive oil. 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil will work great in this recipe, or a 1/4 cup filled about 75% with olive oil will also work for this recipe.
The nuttiness of almond milk teams with the wheat flour, adding warmth to the earthy, natural flour taste. Nut and oat milk enhances the flavor of wheat flour, but regular milk can also be used as a replacement and may even give the pancakes a creamier interior.
Shredded apples add a more pillowy texture and a subtle inherent sweetness to the pancakes. That delicate sweetness brings unexpected flavor to the apple pancakes. If you are looking for a similar texture, mashed bananas give your pancake fluffiness, but with a more obvious sweetness.
To find out which apples taste best in these pancakes, check out some of these articles about apple varieties.
Brighten your apple pancakes with healthy, fresh ginger. You will not regret adding this element as it elevates the deliciousness of this dish. Many people use ginger to boost their immunity. When grated from raw, ginger brings forth the most flavor, opening your nasal passages and cleansing your palette. It prepares the taste buds to enjoy each bite in an individual and new way.
If you do not have fresh ginger, ginger in a squeeze pouch or ginger powder may be used in its place. Follow the directions on the pouch or powder package to use the proper amount in your apple pancakes.
Orange Zest and Orange Juice
If you fear the dish will become sour with both the zest and juice of an orange, don’t worry at all. Zest actually has an almost candy-like flavor that seasons the apple pancakes with a little more sweetness, and oranges often have less biting sourness than other citruses.
You can replace orange zest and/or juice with lime, lemon, grapefruit, or other citruses, but to avoid creating too much pungent flavor, be sure to balance the amount of sour and sweet that you add to the apple pancakes.
Honey, especially local honey, helps fight off pollen allergies, making this a great ingredient for reinforcing your immune system. If you have no honey, liquid agave, maple syrup, brown sugar, or other sweeteners can be used in its place.
Cinnamon and apples deliciously pair together. Adding cinnamon to your apple pancakes pays homage to traditions of baked apples throughout generations; it’s a combination that cannot be argued with for its legacy of deliciousness.
A slightly less traditional spice in pancakes, cardamom, plays delicately with the other spices. Cardamom’s liveliness dances across the tongue, marrying the other spices together with excitement.
Kitchen Prep Tools
2 large bowls and a spoon or whisk for mixing as well as a 1/4 cup measuring device will be helpful for making and pouring these pancakes.
2 Pancakes At A Time…
Making pancakes can be frustrating, especially when pouring the batter into the pan. Be sure to use lots of butter, coconut oil, or canola oil between pancakes, and try cooking the pancakes just 2 at a time, so you can keep them from burning.
The best advice I can give you with apple pancakes is to embrace their rustic, wholesome look rather than being too precious about perfection in shape. You’ll notice the batter will appear lumpier and thicker than most other pancake batters, but sacrificing the perfect shape of your pancakes, will be rewarded by the tase of your apple pancakes.
Keep Your Pancakes Warm
When you add that dollop of butter (see extra toppings) to your prepared stack of heavenly apple pancakes, you want to watch it melt and drizzle over the edges. To ensure you get that quality sensation, you’ll need to have a lightly buttered pan in the oven. Set the oven to warm, and as you cook your pancakes and remove them from the stove, place them in the oven to keep them warm until serving.
Warm Maple Syrup
If you enjoy maple syrup on your pancakes, try warming the syrup in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. The warmth of each element marries their flavors together, reinforcing that feeling of comfort that you want when you bite into delicious apple pancakes. While cold maple syrup still tastes delicious, it feels a bit like the forgotten element that you added to your dish last minute.
Candied nuts pair beautifully with warm spices and apple pancakes. They add a crunchy, satisfying texture to the pancakes and a bit more sugar. Try out this recipe for candied pecans, and you will not be disappointed. Consider switching pecans for almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, or pretty much any other nut.
If you add baked apples to the top of your pancakes, their juices will drip over the pancakes, and you may not even need syrup to add sweetness as the apples bring that extra syrupy goodness.
Warm baked apples on top of pancakes could possibly make the pancakes a little more soggy in texture if you don’t plan to eat them immediately. If this is the case, serve the apples on the side, so each bite can be individually constructed without risking any textural sloppiness.
For over the top indulgence, add caramel to your apple pancakes. Caramel coats every ingredient it touches in rich, satisfying sweetness. Call it, “paying homage” to the caramel apple common to fall fairs and festivals if you need a good reason to turn a healthyish apple pancake into a sweet tooth celebration.
Making a caramel frightens many people, but the process can be quite simple. You only need sugar, salt, butter, and cream, often staple ingredients commonly found in a baker’s kitchen. Try following this recipe.
Whipped cream at breakfast? Yes.
Homemade whipped cream adds a creamy, cool softness to this dish, and zesting some extra orange or considering adding spices, vanilla beans, almond extract, etc…, gives the whipped cream personality. The flavors add to the impact of your apple pancakes, allowing them to linger in your thoughts long after comsumption.
Making whipped cream involves adding cream, sweetener of some sort, and any extra spices, zest, spirits, or extracts into a bowl and beating them until stiff peaks form. The process couldn’t be easier, but if you’re feeling lazy, pull out the pre-made stuff and slather it on your apple pancakes. You could toss some of those spices on top if you want a little extra kick.
Obviously, your typical breakfast foods will pair nicely with pancakes. Anything from grits and eggs to bacon and sausage would satisfy, but what if you want to eat pancakes for brunch, lunch, or dinner?
Over the years, chicken and waffles have become a trend in restaurants, being served at every meal. The addition of a protein, turns a once breakfast option into an entree in a restaurant or the main meal in your home. Chicken would pair beautifully with these pancakes, and so would pork chops.
In most southern kitchens, you will find a recipe for pork and apples, served with corn bread or some other starch. In this case, your starch is pancakes, and the apples in the pancakes will intensify that delicious apple flavor of the pork.
A mimosa, a bloody mary, an Irish coffee, regular coffee, orange or apple juice all team well with apple pancakes.
Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!
Still hungry for more? Then discover our other fruit recipes to stock up your kitchen with nature’s healthy and tasty goodies!
- 1/4 Cup of Melted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup of Almond Milk
- 1 Shredded Apple
- 1 Nob of Grated Fresh Ginger
- Zest of 1 Orange
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 1 TBSP Honey
- 1 1/4 Cup of Wheat Flour
- 1 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
- Ground Cinnamon (to taste)
- Cardamom (to taste)
- A Pinch Of Salt
- Set oven to warm setting or lowest setting. In a large bowl mix together melted butter, egg, almond milk, shredded apple, shredded ginger, orange zest, orange juice and honey until well blended.
- In a separate bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients until well blended.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well blended. (There will still be lumps from the apples, so just make sure the ingredients combine well before pouring into hot pan.)
- Butter a large pan on the stove and set temperature to medium low or medium.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to pour one pancake at a time into the pan. (I usually do two at a time.)
- When Pancake starts to bubble on top flip and allow pancake to cook on the other side. Check bottoms for doneness by gently lifting with a spatula. (If pancakes still look doughy, and have not become a darker brown, let them cook a little longer.)
- Remove cooked pancakes and put them on a buttered pan in the oven to warm while cooking the other pancakes.
- Continue until you have used all your batter. Add toppings, and enjoy!