These Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Pancakes are going to be your family’s new favorite breakfast! Mixed entirely in your blender, they are naturally sweetened & gluten free, and pack a punch of veggies that kids will get excited about eating!

A stack of veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes with syrup being poured over it

Chocolate Pancakes

Veggies + breakfast can be a tricky matter when it comes to kids.

I speak from experience, friends. My 8-year-old does not mince words when it comes to breakfast foods. Especially veggie-loaded ones. She lets me know, bluntly, what she will simply not eat. What she loves. What she likes well enough. And when she thinks I have totally missed the veggie-loading mark on at breakfast.

But, I also know my girl and if there are two things that are her (and many other kids’) love language, it is chocolate + pancakes.

So I have just combined them into one awesome sauce recipe and (of course) thrown veggies into the mix! These Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Pancakes are not only super easy to make in your blender, but they have spinach pureed into the batter. So not only are they delicious, chocolately little flapjacks, but these pancakes are also rocking some of Mother Nature’s best vitamins and minerals in a fun breakfast that I feel pretty stoked to serve my kiddo.

Why spinach is so awesome and worth making room for at breakfast

Spinach is one of those staple veggies in my book. I always have a bag of it in my fridge and it is one of the first veggies I reach for at meal times. Not only is it easy to find year round in most parts of the country, but spinach is a little plant powerhouse. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Such as

  • Vitamins A, C, K1
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6, B9
  • Vitamin E

Oh yeah! After reading that, I bet you are add spinach to your shopping list now

If you have some spinach leftover after making these pancakes and don’t want it to go to waste, check out How to Store Spinach (and keep it fresh all week long).

How these veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes can help your kids love spinach

Now, just because these pancakes are veggie-loaded doesn’t mean that kiddos can’t know that they rocking some green goodness! 💡 In fact, please tell them! The whole point of veggie-loading is to make veggies exciting and for littles (and bigs) to see that there are SO MANY ways to get your veggies in!

Plus, if your child decides they love spinach in THIS recipe…well, maybe spinach won’t be so intimidating the next time you serve it up in a different way. 🤔 Here are some ways to help your kiddo get cool with spinach in their pancakes:

  • Let him/her put the greens into the blender. Sometimes just being involved in the veggie-loading is all it takes for kiddos to be open to trying s new recipe!
  • Let him/her decide how much to put in. Even if it’s just one leaf of spinach, even they know that there is spinach in the mix and they love it…its a positive experience with veggies and that is the goal!
  • Let him/her decide on a different veggie to put in the pancakes. If spinach is just not going to happen, try adding some grated carrots or some grated zucchini with the moisture squeezed out! Giving the kiddos the veggie power can help them feel more open minded about vegetables all together.
A step-by-step of how to make veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes made of two separate images with numbers overlay

Serving ideas

There are so many ways to enjoy pancakes! Here are a few ways we like to jazz them up in our house…

  • spread with nut butter (or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option) and make into pancake sandwiches
  • drizzle with honey
  • a little cup of maple syrup for dipping
  • with a little yogurt! We like plain yogurt that we sweeten ourselves with a little honey or maple syrup.
  • topped with a little homemade whipped cream (we love this because we can control how much sugar we add and it makes the pancakes feel like dessert! Plus you can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for days) or use whipped coconut cream  for a dairy-free alternative to whipped cream.
  • covered in chia jam. We love drizzle this warm over our pancakes but cold is good too!
  • a bowl of applesauce for dipping
  • as is! These are delicious enough on their own that they don’t need any toppings or dips!
Top view of veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes with yogurt and berries on top and a fork in one of the white plates

Tips for making veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes

  • No high-speed blender? Blend in stages to prevent over-taxing your blender and so that you have a smooth batter. Blend the oats alone first until they have a flour-like texture. Then add the wet ingredients and spinach. Blend again. Then the dry. Blend until everything is smooth and then cook as normal.
  • Make your chocolate pancakes ahead of time. If you are not a morning person or simply don’t have the time to be flipping pancakes while trying to get your family out the door on a busy Monday morning, these pancakes make for a great freezer stash. Make them ahead of time, let them cool before freezing and then warm them up in the microwave, toaster oven or on the stove top when you are ready to chow down on them.

Suggested Adaptations

  • Make these chocolate pancakes egg free! Replace the eggs in this recipe with 3 “flax eggs”.
  • Make them Paleo. Replace the oats in this recipe with 1 1/2 cups almond meal. Since almond meal is moister than oats, I also suggest removing an egg from the recipe to prevent them from being too wet. I would not suggest, however, making these both Paleo and egg-free.
  • Make them as muffins. Pour the batter into a lined muffin pan and bake them at 350℉ for about 20 minutes.

Other delicious veggie-loaded pancake recipes you need in your life…

A stack of veggie-loaded chocolate pancakes with berries and yogurt and once piece already cut out and missing
Veggie-packed chocolate pancakes served in a tower with many different berries on top and honey being poured from the top
5 from 11 votes

Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Pancakes (gluten free)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast
These Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Pancakes are going to be your family's new favorite breakfast! Mixed entirely in your blender, they are naturally sweetened & gluten free, and pack a punch of veggies that kids will get excited about eating!

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups rolled oats, if gluten free is important, make sure the oats are certified gluten free
  • 1-2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, or mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup honey* or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, + extra for cooking
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup  cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Pour oats into your blender. Pulse until very finely ground and the oats resemble flour.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and continuing to blend as needed.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little oil. Once the oil is warm, portion the batter out into pancakes.
  • Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Place cooked pancakes onto a plate and continue with the remaining batter.
  • Enjoy warm with toppings of choice. Let cool completely before storing leftovers in an air-tight container in fridge for 4-5 days or in freezer

Notes

  • If making pancakes for a child under age 1, use maple syrup instead of honey. 
  • No high-speed blender? Blend in stages to prevent over-taxing your blender and so that you have a smooth batter. Blend the oats alone first until they have a flour-like texture. Then add the wet ingredients and spinach. Blend again. Then the dry. Blend until everything is smooth and then cook as normal.
  • Make them ahead of time. If you are not a morning person or simply don’t have the time to be flipping pancakes while trying to get your family out the door on a busy Monday morning, these pancakes make for a great freezer stash. Make them ahead of time, let them cool before freezing and then warm them up in the microwave, toaster oven or on the stove top when you are ready to chow down on them.
  • Make them egg free! Replace the eggs in this recipe with 3 “flax eggs”.
  • Make them Paleo. Replace the oats in this recipe with 1 1/2 cups almond meal. Since almond meal is moister than oats, I also suggest removing an egg from the recipe to prevent them from being too wet. I would not suggest, however, making these both Paleo and egg-free.
  • Make them as muffins. Pour the batter into a lined muffin pan and bake them at 350℉ for about 20 minutes.
  •  
Serving: 2pancakes, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 280mg, Potassium: 235mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 559IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 132mg, Iron: 2mg