I don't know about you, but when I think about pancakes, the first image that comes to mind is a tall stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes covered in maple syrup. But that's only beginning for pancakes — they're the perfect vehicle for getting more veggies into your meals.
Keep in mind that some veggies will work better than others. Ultimately, it all depends on the kind of veggie pancake you want to create. While some softer vegetables will work, medium to hard vegetables will stand up best.
When using vegetables with a high water content, like squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms, it's especially helpful to remove some of the excess moisture first. This is your key to avoiding soggy pancakes — because no one likes soggy pancakes, ever.
Read More: The One Thing to Do with Vegetables and Fruit Before Baking
1. Load up your buttermilk pancakes.
On their own, buttermilk pancakes aren't actually very sweet, which makes them an ideal blank canvas! Save your bananas and blueberries for another time and fill your buttermilk pancakes with shredded veggies, fresh herbs, or something from the spice cabinet to keep the savory vibe going. Vegetables and herbs that are easily shredded or finely cut — like carrots, zucchini, broccoli stems, scallions, parsley, cilantro, and basil — all make great choices.
Get a Recipe: Savory Carrot & Zucchini Pancakes
2. Form your veggies into fritters.
Think of fritters as ultra-crispy mounds of an ingredient dipped in batter. When it comes to choosing the veggies for fritters, the possibilities are pretty open. In addition to having the option to use a wide variety of vegetables, you also have the option — depending on their size — to shred them, cut them into small pieces, or in some cases (like with peas and corn), leave them whole. Make sure you're adding the fritters to hot oil for crispy, lacey ends.
Get a Recipe: Cauliflower Fritters with Mint & Pea Spread
3. Shred potatoes to make latkes.
Perhaps the best example of vegetable pancakes, latkes (aka potato pancakes) are a mixture of shredded potato, egg, and spices fried to delicious perfection. Latkes are a blank canvas, so feel free to add other ingredients like onions, fennel, or even cheese for a flavor boost.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster; Andrea Bemis)