Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a Healthier Chocolate Chip Pancake!)

As a first-time parent, I am learning all about slippery slopes. Slippery slope #1, in our house, has been paved with chocolate chips. We went through a phase awhile back when our little one wasn’t eating enough to keep her pediatrician happy. So I added a few mini chocolate chips to otherwise relatively healthy things here and there just to sweeten the pot.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

Um, it worked. Basically, our child now needs to be weaned from chocolate chips. “What do you want for breakfast?” I ask. “Chocolate!” she says. Note: I will not feed my child straight-up chocolate for breakfast. However. I will feed her chocolate chips in things, because we slid a long time ago down that slope, and I’ll be honest: I’m not exactly sure how to climb back up to the top.

So I wave to you from the bottom of this hole I’ve dug, where I have created an alternative to your standard chocolate chip pancakes – a healthier version in disguise. The kid sees something to dip into maple syrup; I see whole wheat flour and yogurt. She sees chocolate; I see nutrient-packed chia seeds.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

If you’re craving chocolate chip pancakes but don’t want the carb-and-sugar crash a hour later, consider these Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes.

We find them to be super-hearty and satisfying, yet plenty chocolaty – but not so chocolaty that a post-breakfast stomachache is inevitable. Mini chocolate chips – only 1/3 cup in the entire batch – lend just enough chocolate to each bite to make these pancakes special but not sickly sweet. I love how the chia seeds help thicken up the batter a bit, too, making the pancakes a tad fluffier. The seeds just sort of blend into the pancakes – they’re not overt at all. They’re just a hidden nutritious part of the sweet deal.

Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes (a healthier chocolate chip pancake!)

Sneaking nutrients into my toddler’s diet, Trojan horse style. Yeah, it’s not ideal, and if we were to have any more kids, I’d know better.

But it also resulted in these delicious pancakes. So there is that.

Totally freeze these bad boys!

These pancakes are so great for freezing. I make a double batch and just pile them in a zippered freezer bag, then pull a couple out at a time when breakfast time gets crazy. I let them thaw at room temperature or, if I’m really in a hurry, I just pop them in the toaster. Because super busy mornings need chocolate and chia seeds, darnit!

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Chocolate Chip Chia Pancakes

Chia seeds, whole wheat flour, and yogurt healthify your typical chocolate chip pancakes. They’re tender, slightly sweet, and just plain irresistible. Kid-tested, parent approved. (Okay, we like to “test” them a lot, too).

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt*
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Butter, maple syrup,and or fruit (strawberries are excellent!) for topping

 

Directions:

  1. To a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chia seeds. Mix together with a whisk.
  2. To a medium bowl, add the egg. Beat with a whisk. Add the milk, yogurt, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk together just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Heat a non-stick griddle to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit, or set a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Using a one-third cup measure or a large trigger-handled ice cream scoop (I love ice cream scoops for pancake batter!), pour the batter onto the griddle or pan. Pancakes are ready to flip when they begin to look dry, form bubbles around the edges, and turn golden brown on the bottom, about 1 minute. Carefully flip and cook on the other side until golden brown and pancake is cooked through, about 1 – 2 more minutes.
  5. Serve with butter, maple syrup, and/or fruit if desired.

*Dairy-free option:

Use coconut oil instead of butter and replace the dairy milk and yogurt with a non-dairy buttermilk. To make, stir together 1 1/2 cups almond milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes, then add instead of milk and yogurt as directed.

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.