Chocolate Chip Mandarin Orange Pancakes

Chocolate chips and mandarin oranges give these delicious pancakes their sweetness but a surprising ingredient provides just the right amount of tangy goodness for the perfect flavor balance.

A few months ago I came across a display of freeze dried fruit packages at the supermarket and was immediately intrigued. They’re made by a brand called Crispy Green and come in a bunch of flavors but for some reason the tangerine spoke to me. So I bought a few bags and promptly forgot about them entirely until one morning when I was making pancakes. I’d been tinkering with the concept of chocolate chip pancakes with mandarin oranges for a while, but whenever I made them it always felt like just a little something was missing. Enter the freeze dried tangerines! They’re super flavorful, light, airy and can be easily crushed into crumbs using just your fingers. So I smushed up the whole bag and added the crumbs right into the pancake batter. What a difference they made! The tangarines gave the pancakes just the zesty citrus flavor that they needed to blend with the sweetness of the chocolate chips and mandarin oranges.

I was able to make 14 small pancakes from this recipe. It can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd or to stock your freezer with homemade breakfast goodness for those days when you don’t want to bother cooking.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 Cup of Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Plant Based Milk
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • Egg Replacer Product equivalent to one egg
  • 4 Tbs Unsweetend Applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup of Refrigerated or Canned Mandarin Oranges, drained and chopped up
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy Free Chocolate Chips or Chocolate bits
  • A 10g(.36oz) Package of Freeze Dried Tangerine
  • A Few Knobs of Earth Balance Butter for the frying pan
  • Maple Syrup to Drizzle on Top (optional)

How To:
Grab a large mixing bowl and use an egg replacer product to make the equivalent of one egg. I happen to like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, but use whatever brand spins your pinwheels. Next add in the flour, baking powder, sugar, applesauce, diced mandarin oranges and chocolate chips. Then pour your plant based milk on top. I used unsweetened cashew milk, because it has a richer, more robust flavor than some of the other vegan milks do. Almond milk would probably work really well also, as would refrigerated coconut milk. Anyway. Mix everything together, then gently stir in the crushed freeze dried tangerines.

Put a little vegan butter into a frying pan over medium heat. When it’s all melted and the pan is good and hot, use a soup ladle to pour the batter into the pan. Repeat until you have a few small pancakes in the frying pan. Let them cook for a couple of minutes until you start seeing the sides of the pancakes thicken and some bubbles forming in the center. Use a spatula to gently flip them over. Let them cook for a few more minutes then flip them again to ensure that they’re done cooking. Remove them from heat and repeat the process until you’ve used up all your batter. Don’t forget to add a little knob of Earth Balance each time that you take the finished batch from the pan so that the next ones don’t burn or lack delicious, buttery goodness.

Drizzle your stack of pancakes with a little maple syrup if you’d like. Do yourself a favor and only use real maple syrup, not that processed, corn syrup laden stuff impersonating maple syrup. Life is too short not to enjoy the real deal. 🙂