Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes

I was going to label this post ‘the time I thought I had started bleeding purple blood’. I opted out of it because

a)    It’s impossible

b)    I was working with beets

So this knocks of Numero Uno of five upcoming pancake recipes. I might make it a Monday thing.

Oh beetroot. Australia seems to have claimed you as their own (any burger, hot dog or sandwich being ‘Aussie-fied = just a slice of beetroot)–  but in reality- we like ours out a can, marinating in salt water and excess purple juice.


Growing up, I loved eating beetroot from a can. Chucked in burgers, eaten in a salad or my preferred way, straight from the can- I could go to town with a can of beetroot and be perfectly satisfied- along with an unintentionally stained t shirt. It was the only way I knew beetroot. From a can.

I still remember the day I came home and mum had beets simmering on the stove. I was perplexed to say the least. What was my canned perfection doing on top of the stove? Mum told me that in Winter, there would be makeshift stalls on the streets of Iran selling piping hot steamed beets.

I thought that sounded like something a twat would do.

Roasted chestnuts? Yes.

Hot chips? Yes.

Hot dogs? Yes.

Steamed beets? …..

Iran’s street food fare is famous for their hot chips, rosewater ice cream and iced chocolates, yet they decide to sell steamed beets.

Turns out I’m the twat. Again.


My mum knocked some logic into me- when you’re freezing cold outside- how appealing does ice cream or frosties sound?

ME- ‘What about hot chips? Hot Pies? Hot donuts?’

MUM- ‘What about those who want a healthy, naturally sweet alternative?’


Back on track. I’ve never been a fan of the steamed beets. Even roasted? Nah. They need to be from a can and swimming in salt water. Except in one other instance- hidden in pancakes.

I understand many chefs or bakers would use food colouring to produce that delectable velvet colour, but many also use beetroot. I steamed the beet, mashed the beet and coloured my kitchen purple chucked it in the pancake batter hoping for the best but most importantly- hoping I couldn’t taste it.

Safe to say, I am a fan of steamed beets….As long as they are in a pancake batter and cannot be tasted. They add a beautiful colour and to make sure there was no chance I could taste the beets, I went overboard with the cream cheese frosting.

Just kidding. You can NEVER go overboard with cream cheese frosting.


PS. They say never wear white on Labour day. Never wear white period. Or at least in the presence of beets.

Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes

A delicious, sugar free and high protein pancake recipe which tastes like a slice of Red Velvet Cake- without the necessary sugar rush!
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Servings: 1
Author: Arman @ thebigmansworld


For the pancakes

For the cream cheese frosting


  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the coconut flour, gluten free flour blend and unsweetened cocoa powder to avoid clumps. Add in the baking powder, sea salt and sweetener of choice. Mix well to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and egg and add it to the dry mixture. Add the mashed beetroot and mix until fully incorporated. One tablespoon at a time, add the milk of choice until a thick batter is formed.
  • Heat a frying pan on low heat and spray with cooking oil. Once pan is extremely hot, Pour batter in circular shapes in the pan and cover with a lid. Once bubbles appear and the edges go brown, remove cover, flip the pancakes and cover again for approximately 1 minute. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  • n a small bowl, mix the sweetener with the softened cream cheese and add the milk until a semi firm cream is made. Layer the pancakes evenly with the cream frosting.


* Sub for one flax egg
To steam the beetroot, put beetroot in a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes (varies amongst devices). Beetroot is cooked when tender on the outside and soft on the inside. Allow to cool and mash.
Fresh whipped cream or cooking cream can be substituted for the cream cheese frosting.

Are you a fan of beetroot? What is your favourite way of eating them?

What is the most unique street food you’ve come across? (You don’t want to know what I was faced with in Malaysia..)


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#strangebutgood Clean eating diet food Healthy Gluten Free Recipes recipe



125 thoughts on “Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes

  1. We can buy already steamed beetroot in supermarkets which is very convenient. I like to eat them with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but I don’t do that often. The packages are too big for only me and I can only eat a certain amount of beet until I wanna throw up… when I feel super fancy I will give these pancakes a go!
    Funny story. I once made a healthified red velvet cake , recipe by Blogilates Cassey Ho. This stupid thing ruined my cake tin!! The worst part was that it was a pretty, heat shaped cake tin 🙁 I still haze her a bit for that.

  2. OMG Arman, I LOVE this beetrott story. I am sitting in my stupid office, trying to force down my even more stupid laughter.
    I love that you used beetroot in your pancakes. I am such a fan of strange pancakes. And yes on the cream cheese frosting – whoever thinks you can go overboard didn’t get the meaning of life.
    They sell roasted chestnuts here in Switzerland this season. It really is very, very delicious. It’s like getting your kabocha fix on but more savory and starchy and warm.

  3. I love steamed beets! Yum yum! We can buy them already steamed from the supermarket and eat them hot or cold. We don’t get tinned beets but do have them in a jar, swimming in vinegar – now that’s nasty!
    I think the worst street food I have seen is in this country – the amount of ‘burger vans’ that we have where the common ingredient in everything is mass amounts of grease… And the smell coming from them – urgh!

  4. Awesome! I cannot get enough of beets right now, and who wouldn’t love the flavor of red velvet?! Be careful with that T word….your american readers may not like it. I have found Americans gasp when I have used that word in the past! Haha

    Thanks for the recipe, thanks for the monday laughs 😀

  5. I love using beets as a natural food dye! I have never used it in pancakes, though. This would make an cute Valentine’s Day breakfast!

  6. Welcome to the beet side – but I am shocked – you don’t like steamed or roasted beets!? Yikes!!!
    I know people who are allergic to that red food dye – so beets have been a wonderful coloring alternative – till I found out there were people allergic to beets! Yikes!
    These pancakes are my kinda yum!

  7. Beetroot!? So cool!! I only started to like actual beets as an adult but I’m sure if I had these pancakes as a kid I wouldn’t mind the beloved beetroot.

    Not really street food but in my house in Portugal, snails from the backyard end up on the menu… and I like it! 🙂

  8. I made a huge mess all over my white shirt last night while I was shredding beets. Remember that time I told you that you have an Aussie accent?

    Hmm… streetfood… I can’t think of anything overly unusual, but one of the favorite things I’ve come across are malasadas. OMG I WANT

  9. Yeaaaa, me and beets don’t mix so well. I actually can’t stand them, and the one time I did try to blend them up into a batter I made a mess and stained my entire kitchen. You make a hard pitch though, and you just might have me buying some beets sometime soon.
    That is if I can get over the whole staining my entire kitchen thing.

  10. I remember the first time I got beets in my CSA this summer, I was in the kitchen peeling them and BF just walks in like “what the f**k happened” apparently he thought I stabbed myself. Lesson learned, always tell your loved ones before you color the kitchen with beets 😉

  11. Omg, the first part of your post made me laugh. Sometimes I feel like I am bleeding purple blood too when I’m working with beets! I normally stay away from red velvet anything because of the artificial colouring, but I know I’ll love these because you used beets! I love beets roasted, or hidden in sweet things like your pancakes 🙂

  12. I used to -hate- beetroot as a child, much to my mom’s dismay. She would always make a beetroot soup for the holidays, and I’d refuse to eat it every.single.time. I actually didn’t have my first taste of beetroot until I was something like 26 or 27 and I actually thought it was pretty tasty. My stomach isn’t really the biggest fan, though. Neither is my kitchen.

  13. Testicles. Yes. Testicles. Did I purchase any for noshing? No, I don’t typically have to purchase testicles for noshing, I typically get them thrown at me for free.

    OMFG AHHH HA HA AHA HA I JUST made myself cry from laughing.

    But seriously, I encountered this street food in Hong Kong… Raw and ready for roasting 😉

  14. I can’t eat beetroot! That and processed meat give me migraines. I will just have to wait for the other pancake recipes. Don’t disappoint me again 😉

  15. Damn straight you can never have too much cream cheese frosting! These look delicious! Iran street food also sounds delicious. I had no idea to aussie-fy something is to add beetroot. You guys are so healthy. To americanize something would be to double it in size in some hormonal chemically way, then add bacon, mac&cheese and then more cheese to whatever it is.

  16. What a great post, Arman! I’ve always wanted to use beets to make red velvet something…anything! I’m not a huge fan of beets in general, although my wife loves ’em. I did have them roasted recently, though…and I guess I can admit that they were kinda tasty like that. But I’m still trying to picture you eating beets straight out of a can. Blargh! Haha!

  17. I LOVE beets haha. Especially the canned ones. And I’m from Texas. My mom would always buy the big cans of them and we’d pour them out on a plate (cold), sprinkle some salt on them, and just eat them straight like that.

  18. I kinda hate beets, they seriously make me gag. But I have to say that those pancakes looks pretty legit. You’ve almost convinced me to give them a try (I said almost…) 😉

  19. we ate beet root every day in NZ. and uhh, we turned red, if you get my drift. Do they have burger fuel over there? if so, try the beet root burger. And then send me some pancakes.

  20. I love beets, they’re one of my favorite root vegetables, but my mom bought WAYYY too many last week and she is notorious for not eating 90% of what she buys. This is ok because I just do the clean up with my tornado appetite, but that also means I’ve been peeing (and…the other one I’ll spare you) red all week. I find it quite amusing. I think I am still 12.

    Pass the pancakes, please.

  21. I only started using beetroot last year. It still shocks me sometimes how it makes everything blood red. I am a bit sensitive but that’s a totally different story… I love the idea to make red velvet pancakes with beet root instead of using artificial food coloring. I should give it a try. Until now I mainly juice them. It gives such an earthy and rich flavor to any juice. I quite enjoy that. But I see that earthy pancaces might not be a win. But I see nothing bad in using a big big batch of cream cheese frosting. YUM 🙂

  22. Thanks to Irish friends I actually know beetroot and beets are the same. Otherwise, I would be confused. I LOVE beets!! And I would never think to have put them in pancakes. The only thing I do with beets is roast them. We don’t travel much so weird street foods aren’t something we encounter. Would you consider the hot dog truck in NYC weird or questionable? Possibly!

  23. You are NOT a twat! Ever. At all. No. You mentioned white and Labor Day. The old fashioned saying is: “Never wear white between Labor Day and Easter Sunday.” I live in steamy Charleston, South Carolina. We disregard the white rule. We say: “No white after the first freeze.” We had a freeze this past weekend. So no white til Easter! Street food…I’m not a big street food fan (we have some food trucks but not many street carts), but when I traveled in France, Paris had crépe carts on every corner. It was seriously like hotdog stands in New York. Everywhere you turned, there was a crépe cart. During my 2 weeks in Paris, I frequented a special crépe cart….daily….and ordered a plain crépe, slathered in Nutella, with an Orangina on the side. It was amazing. I loved watching the vendor make my crépe in front of me. It’s a small personal touch. But I loved it!

  24. I’m Polish and beets are big in Poland. The cooked kind, not the tinned. I love it that in UK I can buy ready-cooked beets. Saves so much work and hand scrubbing!
    The recipe sounds delicious and pictures look great too xx

  25. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share next time!

  26. I would LOVE love LOVE to try this recipe. But I can’t find beet in anywhere here in Italy. Is there any alternative vegetable? Maybe with sweet potato?
    Oh, I just made “Copycat [Healthy] Bounty Bar”. Actually I’ve never had before but… anyway I loved it! my kids loved it too. Thank you!

  27. Do you skin the beetroot before steaming? Also, could almond flour be used in the place of the ‘gluten free flour blend’?

  28. I have been craving some pancakes lately. I’m going to give these bad boys a try! They’ll probably end up looking like a Frankenstein version of yours though, lol.

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