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2. 14. 11 / rosemarried

Beet & Quinoa Pancakes

Forgive me if I sound like a world-class drama queen for a moment…but if I see one more heart-shaped Valentine’s recipe I might claw my eyes out. Just saying.

Its not that I hate Valentine’s day or romance…I don’t. I have a Valentine (husband) whom I love very much, and I’m excited for our quiet night in together. I’m just not a fan of the hearts and the cupids, the pink and the red, the chocolates and the teddy bears. Its just not my thing.

So it is a complete coincidence that this recipe happens to be something that is in the Valentine’s color palette. Yes, the beet quinoa pancakes are a vibrant shade of pink/red. Yes, I am posting them on Valentines day. Did I make them for my Valentine? No. I made them for my friend Mari and then a week later, I made them for my family. So take that for what it is, and lets all put this heart-shaped madness behind us.

Now that I have that out of my system, I can tell you without any hesitation that these pancakes are my new favorite breakfast. I’d seen the recipe a while back and placed them on my list of “things to make” in 2011. I was immediately intrigued by their vibrant color, and when I saw that the recipe originate from Kim Boyce, I knew I had to make them. Kim just recently migrated to the Northwest and is the author of “Good to the Grain“, which is a cookbook I’ve been meaning to check out as I am trying incorporate more whole grains into my diet (and Kim is the queen of whole grains!)

There is only one potential problem with these pancakes: you have to get your hands on some quinoa flour. If you are lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon, you can get quinoa flour from Bob’s Red Mill (You can visit their store & buy their products in bulk or you can get many Bob’s Red Mill products at Portland area grocery stores). However you come by quinoa flour, I highly encourage that you do so. The quinoa adds a distinct (and wonderful) nutty flavor to the pancakes. In addition, quinoa contains no gluten and is a source of complete protein.

Since the pancakes are made up primarily of quinoa flour (and beets!), they are actually good for you. On top of that, they are really quite pretty. And they taste good! In case you need a little more convincing, I’ll mention that these pancakes contain no gluten and very little sugar. The texture is light and fluffy and the flavors are complex and nutty. The beets add a slight sweetness (and the gorgeous color) that pairs nicely with a touch of maple syrup. My family was slightly skeptical when I announced that I planned to make beet quinoa pancakes for a family brunch (they protested that the pancakes sounded too healthy), but I am happy to say that I made believers out of all of them (even my dad had seconds, which is saying a lot). The beet quinoa pancakes were a hit.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day (or Single Awareness Day or Hallmark Cheesy Holiday or whatever you want to call it…).Lets be done with all this heart-shaped madness, and eat some hot pink pancakes! 🙂

(Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen)

3 small to medium sized red beets

Dry Mix:

1 and 1/2 cups quinoa flour (available from Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup rice flour (*can use all-purpose flour, but I used rice flour in order to make the pancakes gluten-free)

3 tablespoons dark brown or muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet Mix:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup plain (non fat) yogurt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 egg


1. Roast the beets, Heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tops off the beets & wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil. Roast until very tender (prick with a fork or knife), about an hour. Cool, peel, and purée the beets in a food processor or blender until smooth. You will need 1/2 cup of beet purée for the pancakes (any remaining purée can be frozen for later use).

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, melted butter, egg, and 1/2 cup of beet purée until smooth. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. The batter should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream and crimson in color.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter. Working quickly, scoop/pour small, flat mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancakes, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown (about 5 minutes total). Keep cooking in batches (buttering the pan between each batch) and cook until the batter is gone. (If the pan is too hot or not hot enough, adjust the temp for consistent results).

Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter (if you so desire).


Leave a Comment
  1. Boulder Locavore / Feb 14 2011 5:04 am

    These look beautiful (I’m of the ‘if I’d wear it, I’d certainly eat it’ philosophy). I have a bit of an issue with beets. I’m a beet eater but not a beet lover. I WANT to be a beet lover but it’s a slow road. Maybe this would help; an alternative approach and I’m seduced totally by their color. I’m with you on the Valentine’s food, chocolate in particular. I’m beginning to have a Pavlovian reaction when I see it now….

    • rosemarried / Feb 14 2011 7:14 am

      Toni, I’m totally with you on the beet thing. I actually didn’t like them until this year! I do think this would be a good recipe to start with, as the pancakes arent super “beety”. The beets just give a subtle sweetness (and fun color).

  2. Mimi / Feb 14 2011 7:22 am

    These would also make a fantastic savory pancake.

  3. krispindanielle / Feb 14 2011 8:05 am

    yes, you made a believer out of me. both beets and quinoa were something i felt like i had to choke down for their healthful benefits–until these pancakes came along! and you know how i feel about bright pink/red anything. do you think we could come up with a healthier version of red velvet cake?

  4. Chef Dennis / Feb 15 2011 4:55 am

    hi Lindsay
    those certainly are beautiful pancakes, I would never have thought of using beets, I would love to try those! I do love quinoa, I will have to try the flour, thanks so much for the inspiration!

  5. lostartskitchen / Feb 15 2011 1:43 pm

    Oh, we’ve been having major pancake-angst around here since going GF. GF sourdough ‘cakes got the ix-nay, almond flour’s okay, but expensive…but hot pink pancakes may win out just on the color alone. Thanks, Lindsay.

    • rosemarried / Feb 15 2011 5:15 pm

      Thank you, Chris! I can tolerate gluten, but some of my closest friends (and my mother) cannot, so alas I’m constantly looking for good recipes. This one is a keeper.

  6. Sara Tetreault / Feb 15 2011 5:31 pm

    Aha, I see that you are a beet lover, also! I love this colorful breakfast dish. I picked up my prize today from The Oregonian/Leslie Cole. ATK Healthy Family Cookbook was my pick…what did you go with?

    • rosemarried / Feb 16 2011 6:58 am

      I am a beet lover, though admittedly I am new to the wonderful world of beets. Just discovered them this year. I went with ‘Harvest to Heat’ for my prize. I hadn’t heard of it before, but looked it up and the recipes looked amazing! I was torn between that or an ATK book!

  7. Sabrina Modelle / Feb 15 2011 5:37 pm

    Oh my goodness. Two of my favorite things… hot pink and pancakes. I am salivating and smiling. Which has lead me to coin a new term “smilavating”
    Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Thing!

  8. freshandfoodie / Feb 17 2011 8:16 am

    Wow! These are so cool! What an interesting recipe. Well don!

  9. Jill / Feb 18 2011 9:55 am

    First, thank you for the rant about the cutesty valentine’s food. Take your red velvet everything and sho…

    Second, I can’t wait to try these. I’m so bored with my current breakfast rotation and the pink color just might intrigue my kids.

  10. Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers / Feb 19 2011 11:46 am

    Lindsay, I’m sitting in the New Orleans airport getting caught up on some reading and see your 1st place Oregonian Foodday tweet! Congratulations! (You all can read all about it here…
    Your recipe is great, and will certainly be showing up on our entertaining appetizer menus.

    Also, thanks for reminding me to make these pancakes. I thought that they would have been great at New Year’s Eve dinner made in miniature with a spot of creme fraiche and a plop of caviar as a nibble with champagne. Would you say that might work?

    Enjoying your stuff more all the time! Thanks for sharing. My best, Pam

  11. loftyappetite / Mar 7 2011 10:57 am

    All your recipes are so unique, I cannot wait to try them! Thanks for sharing!


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