Oatmeal-Carrot Griddle Cakes

We eat a ton of oats and oatmeal in my house (literally, my infant eats oatmeal *every* morning. I kind of wonder if she's able to differentiate between day and night solely because oatmeal comes reliably at 7:15 every morning.) Last night I made braised chicken with steel cut oats and chard from Mark Bittman's Food Matters cookbook, which I absolutely love. I've made it before but not for a while and as expected, it was gobbled up. 

Well, actually, my 3 year old requested that the "green parts get taken out." And my 7 year old hand-picked out the onions somehow. But they ate the rest with pleasure. My infant? She devoured it! Extra thumbs up for a dish that everyone eats!

While I had the book open I flipped to another one of my faves: oatmeal griddle cakes. I've been on a carrot kick lately so I made a batch of these pancakes and added shredded carrots. I made them egg free and dairy free by using soy milk instead of cow's milk and cooked them in Earth's Balance instead of butter so that my infant could taste them as well. I want my kids to know what's in their food and develop confidence around their own taste preferences, so I don't want to hide the fact that I added carrots to their morning pancakes. Frankly, while I see the merit in adding vegetables to certain recipes (like this one or this one) or other dishes where healthful ingredients might not otherwise be expected (like this one), I am never okay with not being truthful about it.  

So today when my babysitter arrived and my son happily declared that he got oatmeal carrot pancakes for breakfast today, well, I felt proud as a peacock. 

Here's the adapted recipe for Mark Bittman's Oatmeal Griddle Cakes:  

Oatmeal-Carrot Griddle Cakes

1 teaspoon flax meal
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soy milk
1 1/4 cups cooked oatmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill rolled oats)
2 carrots, finely shredded
Earth Balance for frying

In a small bowl, mix the flax meal with water and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 
Gently incorporate the soy milk and cooked oatmeal into the dry mixture. 
Add the flax/water to the bowl. 
Mix in the carrot. Batter should be a bit pasty. 
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add Earth Balance (I used 1/2 tablespoon for each set of fist-sized pancakes)
Flip the pancakes when small holes or bubbles appear on the top (approximately 2-3 minutes per side).

** These griddle cakes are great for breakfast and can also be used as mini sandwich bread substitutes for a fun change of pace.