This Valentine’s Day, treat that special someone to my makeover of Tidy Mom’s decadent Red Velvet Pancakes with Sweet Cream Cheese Topping on the Recipe Girl website. As always, I’ve swapped in better-for-you ingredients to boost the recipe’s deliciousness, eliminate pesticides and other toxins and infuse your body with nutrients. Enjoy!
- Spelt flour: Increase nutrients by using spelt flour in lieu of all-purpose flour. Unlike other grains, even conventionally grown spelt is not commonly sprayed with pesticides or other synthetic chemicals.
- Organic raw cocoa powder: Boost antioxidants and other essential health-supporting nutrients with organic raw cocoa powder (a superfood!); organic unsweetened cocoa powder is also a good choice.
- Organic, lower-glycemic sweeteners: Replace processed granulated sugar and powdered sugar with organic coconut palm sugar or local organic raw honey, two lower-glycemic sweeteners packed with health-giving properties. Use a one-to-one ratio for the palm sugar and a one-to-three ratio for the honey. To simulate powdered sugar, simply grind up the palm sugar in a food processor until it has a powder-like consistency.
- Better salt: Substitute mineral-rich and toxin-free Himalayan crystal salt or Real Salt from Utah for table salt.
- Organic buttermilk: Choose organic buttermilk from grass-fed cows not injected with antibiotics or hormones. If you’re allergic to cow milk, use organic unsweetened almond or rice milk mixed with ½ tablespoon of organic lemon juice or cider vinegar.
- Organic, free-range eggs: Boost flavor and nutrients with organic free-range eggs from pasture-raised hens; hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs from cage-free hens are also a good choice. (Hens raised in crowded battery cages have a greater chance of producing eggs with salmonella, offer few nutrients and often have a bland, fishy taste.)
- Natural food coloring: Replace commercial food coloring with homemade, all-natural food coloring made from organic beets. If you’re pressed for time, look for organic food coloring from Seelect Tea and all-natural food coloring from India Tree.
- Better butter: Swap out conventional butter for butter made from the raw milk of grass-fed cows; organic butter from the pasteurized milk of antibiotic- and hormone-free cows is also a good choice. If you’re allergic to dairy, substitute organic extra-virgin coconut oil for the butter.
Garnish with fresh berries or sautéed bananas and a drizzle of local raw organic honey or organic maple syrup.
Personally, I’d leave it at that — but if that cream cheese topping is calling your name, try using organic cream cheese and organic ricotta cheese made from grass-fed cows raised without hormones and antibiotics. And instead of powdered sugar, use organic maple syrup or raw organic honey to taste.