Blood Orange Whole-Wheat Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

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I grew up on pancake mix. And I must tell you my grandmother made some pretty darn delicious pancakes out of that mix. They were always fluffy, but brown and crispy on the edges. I never felt slighted in any way that we didn’t make homemade pancakes growing up, because … well, that was all I knew.

But once I started making pancakes from scratch, I quickly learned it was well worth the extra effort. Plus, it’s really not that hard and requires only a handful of ingredients: flour, eggs, milk, baking powder. The best part of making homemade pancakes, though, is that you can make a new recipe for every occasion. Peanut butter and banana pancakes? Sure! Gingerbread pancakes for the holidays? Why not! Lemon ricotta pancakes for springtime? Coming right up!

Another example: this recipe for Blood Orange Whole-Wheat Ricotta Pancakes. It’s perfect for the winter months when citrus is in season and you want to do nothing else on a Sunday morning but hunker down, sweatpants and all, with a plate of pancakes and a cup of joe.

Ricotta pancakes are deliciously fluffy and custardlike, rich and indulgent-tasting. The blood orange adds a hint of refreshing, sweet and tart citrus, and of course a beautiful, bold color. Make these pancakes for a loved one on a cold Sunday morning and you’ll be all set to hibernate for the rest of the day.

Blood Orange Whole-Wheat Ricotta Pancakes

Yield: 8 pancakes (4 servings)

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon blood orange zest

2 tablespoons blood orange juice

2 tablespoons butter

Optional for serving:

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon blood orange zest

Blood orange slices

Directions:

1: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

2: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg, almond milk, vanilla, blood orange juice and zest until combined.

3: Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine until ingredients are just moistened (be careful not to overmix).

4: In a large nonstick pan or griddle, heat butter over medium heat. For each pancake, add 1/4 cup of batter to the pan, spreading the batter out with the back of the measuring cup into a round shape.

5: Cook until the surface of the pancakes starts to bubble, about 3 minutes. Flip pancakes over, using a spatula, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until second side is lightly browned. Serve warm with optional garnishes.

Optional for serving:

6: Add blood orange zest to maple syrup and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds, or until warm. Drizzle blood orange maple syrup over pancakes and serve with additional blood orange slices.

Notes:

If thinner pancakes are desired, add more almond milk.

Replace whole-milk ricotta cheese with low-fat ricotta to lower calorie and fat intake.

Per serving: Calories 310; Fat 16 g (Saturated 9 g); Cholesterol 95 mg; Sodium 590 mg; Carbohydrate 29 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugars2 g; Protein 13 g; Vitamin A 15% DV; Vitamin C 6% DV; Calcium 20% DV; Iron 10% DV

*Nutrition facts are for pancakes only.

Kara Lydon, R.D., LDN, RYT, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, yoga teacher and self-proclaimed foodie. She is a recipe developer, food photographer, writer and spokesperson. Her food and healthy-living blog, The Foodie Dietitian, features seasonal vegetarian and vegan recipes and simple strategies to bring more mindfulness and yoga into your life.

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