Green Citrus Ginger Pancakes

Currently in my house, these are called Saint Patrick’s Day Pancakes. I think you can figure it out. However, these would be great to eat year round. Got kids? These are an excellent way to get a serving of veggies in. You’ll see why.

delish pancake stack

The Irish heritage is in my blood. Literally. My maiden name is McCabe, and I had a hard time giving it up for Smith, so I kept it as my middle name (I have two now). I also keep movie and concert ticket stubs. As well as every hand written note I’ve ever received from my best girlfriends growing up.

I swear I’ve never been a subject on Hoarders. I swear it.

I image googled Saint Patrick before I started this post, mainly because I had never actually studied a picture of him, and to my surprise they were mostly images of a cartoon leprechaun. Think, Lucky Charms dude. For the most part, Saint Patrick’s Day in America is celebrated with lots of green, lots of beer, and lots of green beer. And many people don’t understand the true meaning behind the celebratory day.

Saint Patrick

{Saint Patrick}

Here is a brief lesson provided by the History Channel:

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

You can read the rest of the article here. And check out some fun facts here.

Since I love pancakes, and the color green, and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, it was only fair that I create a recipe that included all three. You can’t taste the spinach because of its mild sweetness, which makes it perfect for that green color!

Green Citrus Ginger Pancakes

These pancakes are by far the fluffiest of the fluff that I’ve ever had. I adapted the recipe so that the oil is replaced by the applesauce, and there is no added unrefined sugar (except in the vanilla almond milk, but you could use unsweetened if you want). I used plain old all-purpose flour because I wanted the green to really pop. But you could experiment with whole wheat pastry or spelt flour.   

Makes 6 large pancakes

Adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1 T juice from freshly squeezed orange
  • 3 T unsweetened apple sauce
  • orange zest, for garnish (optional)
  • canola oil for greasing your pan

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and set aside. Grind whole flax seeds in a blender (just under 1 T whole flax seeds will make 1 T ground flax seeds), add almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Blend for about a minute until foamy. Add baby spinach, water and juice from orange. Blend for another 1-2 minutes. It will still be a little foamy on top.

Add wet ingredients and apple sauce to the dry mixture, and combine with a wooden spoon. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, just so that all the ingredients have been incorporated together. Let batter sit for about 10 minutes while you grease and pre-heat your pan*. Be sure to lightly grease your pan, even if you’re using a non-stick.

Add about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake. Let cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite topping (mine is maple syrup & peanut butter!). And don’t forget to garnish with some orange zest, it’s worth it, trust me!

*I have a non-stick electric skillet that can cook all six pancakes at once. If you are using a regular pan, be sure not to crowd the pancakes, and lightly grease in between each batch.

Click on pics for up-close & personal version:

  orange & zest green pancake mix  cooking pancake  fluffy pancake stack

more drippy toppings!

p.s. One thing I absolutely love is shepherd’s pie, so for Saturday I’ll be making Engine 2 Diet’s Shepherd’s Pie with Happy Herbivore’s Brown Gravy. YUM.

Which St. Patrick’s Day food traditions do you love?

Leave a comment


  1. bigbutter

     /  March 15, 2012

    LOVE this! So fun for St. Patty’s day!

    • Thanks!! 🙂 And if you’re a drinker, they’ll be great for soaking up alcohol hahah

      • bigbutter

         /  March 15, 2012

        In fact, I AM a drinker…looks like i know what I’ll be making for breakfast! haha

      • Let me know how it works out for ya…and remember, have a glass of water in between each drink to reduce hangover. I’m speaking from experience lol. Stay safe, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂

  2. Aunt KRan

     /  March 15, 2012

    OK. What is the white topping oozing & melting away. Your pics are great! I will share with my local Stratfordites.

    • It’s earth balance butter! But of course, if it’s your preference you can use regular butter too. Thank you for sharing!! Miss you 🙂

  3. This looks so tasty and very festive 🙂 Love the idea of ginger and citrus in pancakes. A must try!

  4. I love the green color! And my kids will too. I was surprised at first that 1 c. spinach could make the color so bright, but then I remembered the spinach pasta I make–SO GREEN! Vegetables are cool. 🙂

    • I know, right? And they get brighter when you cook them. I’ve never quite been able to make my own pasta yet (i’m sure practice makes perfect), but my Hungarian grandmother has been making homemade pasta her whole life. Tastes SO much better than store bought!

  5. dan

     /  March 16, 2012

    Those look really good.,will try and make them for saint pats! I think making pancakes for dinner has something to do with you loving them so much.ha ha

  6. Tessa

     /  March 19, 2012

    Wow after years of making gluten free pancakes your recipe finally taught me how to have fluffy pancakes again! Must be the apple cider vinegar?! I am so excited. I just substituted the flour with Pamela’s Products GF pancake/waffle/baking mix and they were great! Oh and left out the baking powder bc that is already in mix.

    • This makes me so happy!! The apple cider vinegar definitely helps because it reacts with the baking powder. Also, letting the batter sit makes a huge difference. If you check out they have a whole section on vegan baking. It has helped me a lot with altering recipes! Thanks for letting me know how your pancakes turned out!! 🙂

  7. krista

     /  April 1, 2012

    this looks so good – going to give it a shot this week 🙂

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