Sweet Cherry Mini Pancakes –
Vegan + Whole-Grain!
These sweet cherry mini pancakes are vegan, made with whole grains, and topped with a delicious, healthy cherry chia sauce.
Have you guys seen the mini pancake craze on social media recently? People are turning big, fluffy, beautiful pancakes into tiny, bite-sized dots of batter and tossing them in a bowl with maple syrup.
To each their own, but this trend didn’t really strike my fancy…until I realized how excited my son got about mini pancakes.
For his second birthday, I asked my son Caleb how many pancakes he wanted for breakfast. His response? “Seven.” Ha! Seven he got – seven MINI pancakes :). The smile those baby cakes brought to his face made me do a 180 and jump right on the mini pancake bandwagon.
You know what isn’t just a silly food fad though? Sweet cherries grown in the Northwest. These delicious summer superfruits are packing serious evidence-based nutrition benefits, which is why I decided to add them to my mini pancakes. Scroll down to check out a list of 10 research-backed reasons that sweet cherries are nutrition rock stars including helping to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline!
My sweet cherry mini pancakes aren’t some trendy Instagram recipe. They’re a legit, nutrient-dense – but undeniably scrumptious and eye-catching – plant-based breakfast.
I used my tried and true popular recipe, The Best Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes, for this one and added sweet cherries for color and flavor. Made with whole wheat flour, chia seeds, non-dairy milk, and fresh fruit, these cakes bring the protein, healthy fat, and fiber for a perfectly balanced breakfast.
I also whipped up a super simple sweet cherry chia sauce to drizzle on top made with three simple ingredients and sweetened with a minimal amount of pure maple syrup.
In case you’re wondering, the trick to making perfect round mini pancakes is something to squeeze the batter out of. I used an old toddler “Honey Bear” training cup of Caleb’s as a dispenser, but you could pipe the batter out of a plastic bag or use an old honey bottle.
PS – if you’re an adult who is NOT into the mini pancake thing, feel free to make these into full-sized cakes. They’ll be just as delicious and nutritious!
PSS – while Northwest sweet cherries are only available fresh during the short summer season of June-August, you can freeze, dry, or can them to enjoy their health benefits all year long! I love saving extras in the freezer to make cherry smoothies and cherry “nice cream!”
10 Evidence-Based Nutrition Benefits of Sweet Cherries
- Polyphenols (antioxidant phytochemicals) found in sweet cherries have been shown to relax blood vessels which may help to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
- Sweet cherry extracts have shown to inhibit breast and colon cancer cell growth in lab studies, without toxicity to healthy cells.
- Phytochemicals known as anthocyanins in cherries have been shown to interfere with inflammatory pathways, which may help reduce heart disease risk and improve brain and visual functioning.
- Anthocyanins may also protect brain health and reduce age-related cognitive decline.
- Studies show that anthocyanins from cherries may help improve memory in older adults with mild to moderate dementia.
- Polyphenols from cherries have shown to reduce blood sugar levels and inflammatory markers in patients with diabetes.
- Consuming cherries may help with gout by decreasing urate in the blood.
- Sweet cherry juice concentrate has been shown to compare favorably to NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in reducing gout flare-ups.
- Cherries contain tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin which interact with phenolic acids to help regulate sleep cycles.
- Serotonin in cherries may help to decrease stress, anxiety, and cortisol levels, and improve mood.
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds + ¼ cup warm water
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ½ banana
- ⅓ cup Northwest sweet cherries, pitted
- 1-2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (optional for added sweetness)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup Northwest sweet cherries, pitted
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine chia seeds and warm water. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Add cherries, banana, milk, and optional sweetener to the chia seeds and puree in a blender or using a hand mixer.
- Fold wet mixture into the dry mixture.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Cook mini pancakes for about 1-2 minutes per side until lightly browned.
- Enjoy immediately with cherry chia sauce on top.
- Combine sweet cherries, water, and lemon juice in a blender or puree with a hand mixer. Add to a saucepan with chia seeds, simmer for 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens.
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Weigh-in: Are you a mini pancake fan? Are you a sweet cherry lover? Will you give these sweet cherry mini pancakes a go?
*This post is sponsored by the Northwest Cherry Growers but all opinions are my own. I thank you for your support of Whitney E. RD-approved partnerships that make this website possible.