Pancakes (broccoli pancakes in this case) are a great way of having a treat while treating our bodies well, all at the same time – time to try this broccoli fritter recipe!
If you think of the classic brunch, which includes multiple high-calorie items (like sausages, hash browns, sauces, etc), you can see why this should only be an occasional treat, but in all honesty, why should we limit what we like to an occasional treat?
These low carb broccoli fritters have a nice black pepper hit, are kept together by the perfect protein (egg), and cooked in very little vegetable oil (or cooking spray!), so a great healthy option, with low net carbs and packed with Vitamin C, ready in very few simple steps.
Let’s talk nutrition!
Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and is closely related to cabbage and cauliflower. This vegetable is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals.
Different methodologies of cooking broccoli change its composition in different ways, reducing more or less the amount of nutrients, especially Vitamin C, left in it.
One cup of raw broccoli (about 90g) contains more than the RDI for Vitamins C and K, while also containing a generous amount of folate, Vitamin A, and fiber.
Although broccoli is not known for giving any specific side effects, it is known for making one gassy.
How to cook healthy low-calorie broccoli pancakes?
This recipe is very quick to prepare and has very few quick steps.
To start, divide your broccoli florets from the broccoli stalks using a sharp knife on a cutting board, as these can be quite tough when raw; boil the broccoli in a large pan of salted water until tender, but not overdone (this should take about 6 minutes, depending on the size of the broccoli stems).
Once the broccoli is ready, drain them and mash them; this can be done in two ways, depending on the consistency desired. Should you prefer to have some small pieces of broccoli in your broccoli fritters, then like me, you can use a potato masher or a fork, should you instead prefer a smoother consistency, then you can use a food processor to do so.
However you decide to mash the broccoli, once done, set them aside and allow them to cool down a bit (at least 5-10 minutes), so that when they are added to the pancake batter they do not start cooking it with their heat.
In a large bowl add the all purpose flour, black pepper, and salt and mix well; next add the eggs and mix well once more, until a smooth batter is achieved.
Lastly, to finish preparing the batter, add the boiled and mashed broccoli florets to the large bowl and mix well once more.
To cook the broccoli pancakes, warm up a frying pan or non stick skillet on medium-high heat and coat it with a little vegetable oil (or use a cooking spray if available); once this is warm, using a soup ladle, cookie scoop, or a large spoon, create the pancakes on the pan and allow to cook on medium heat until half-way ready. Once the pancakes are halfway done, flip them and finish cooking them thoroughly. To eliminate any excess grease, rest them on a piece of parchment paper or a paper towel; do this until all the batter is used.
OPTIONAL: If you are preparing this broccoli fritter recipe with cured bacon as I have, cook this thoroughly using the same pan after the pancakes have been prepared.
Can I make these broccoli cheese fritters?
Good news, broccoli fans, you can turn this broccoli fritter recipe in a cheesy one very quickly! Should you wish to make these cheesy, simply add the chosen type to the batter and mix well; when doing so, be sure to reduce the quantity of flour and salt used. As the recipe calls for 3 spoons of flour, should you decide to use Parmesan cheese, then perhaps try with 2 spoons of flour and one of parmesan. Another great cheese option for this recipe is cheddar cheese (ps: adding cheese is great also when making cauliflower fritters!)
Can I use other types of flour rather than all-purpose flour?
Absolutely yes. This broccoli fritter recipe would work very well with chickpea flour or almond flour; given these are salty pancakes, I would not recommend using sweeter options, like coconut flour.
How can I store boiled broccoli to use in these pancakes?
There are different meal preps for this recipe; should you decide to only pre-boil the broccoli, then I’d suggest mashing them to the desired consistency while still warm, then allowing them to cool down. Store the broccoli in an airtight container in the fridge, but try not to boil them more than one day in advance. To maintain the broccoli’s rich green color, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to them and mix well; this trick can be used for many broccoli recipes.
Can I prepare these broccoli pancakes in advance? How to reheat broccoli pancakes?
These broccoli pancakes can be prepared in advance; once prepared, allow them to cool down and then store them in the fridge in an airtight container, where they will keep well for a couple of days. To reheat them, simply place them on a non-stick pan with a few sprays of cooking oil and warm up on both sides until piping hot, or place them in the microwave and heat until ready, checking on them every 15 seconds.
How to clean a pancake griddle?
The best option, in order to preserve its non-stick qualities, is to allow it to cool down and then wash it with warm soapy water using a soft sponge. Do not use a scouring sponge, as this will scratch the surface of the non-stick pan and ruin it.
A few notes:
- Crispy broccoli fritters: to make these extra crunchy, simply shallow fry them in a tablespoon of olive oil or sunflower oil, and once ready (perfect when they are golden brown) rest them on a baking sheet or cookie sheet. Remember that this will increase the calories and fat of the recipe, but sometimes it is just worth it!
- Favorite dipping sauce: these pancakes pair very well – especially if eaten without the bacon – with sour cream or unsweetened Greek yogurt, but also with a bit of maple syrup.
- Nutritional yeast: some can be added to the base batter recipe, but ensure you are familiar with it.
- More flavor: add some garlic powder to the batter for extra taste; this would work extra well also if preparing zucchini fritters if looking to prepare this recipe in a different way.
- Make it cheesy: if you find any special cheese in the grocery store and you think it could work with these salty pancakes, then why not give it a try? Not only parmesan or cheddar cheese, think gorgonzola (try it with some crumbled Gorgonzola Dolcelatte by Galbani!) , stilton (classic with broccoli), or pecorino. These would definitely elevate your broccoli cakes!
- Side dish: you can treat this healthy low-calorie pancakes recipe as a side dish and serve it with almost anything, like grilled chicken, skewers, or poached eggs.
- Leftover broccoli: this is a great way of using up leftover broccoli! Although fresh broccoli that is still warm is easier to mash using a potato masher, leftovers can be lightly warmed in the microwave!
- Keto broccoli fritters: to make these broccoli patties keto-friendly (so lower in carbohydrates), simply change the type of flour for an approved substitute. A good option is almond flour, which may be the most used substitute when making a recipe keto-friendly! Also, remember that cheese is a keto-approved ingredient, so you could go 50-50 for a twist.
This recipe is absolutely easy, delicious, and a great way to make brunch fun also when sticking to a meal plan (or how it should be really thought of: healthy lifestyle!).
If you are a fan of broccoli, you will love this in any case, but if you know someone who is not, I am sure this will be the way to make them enjoy an entire head of broccoli without a single question!
Low-Calorie Broccoli Pancakes Recipe was first published on 17th January, 2021 and updated on 11th September 2021.
Low Calorie Broccoli Pancake Recipe
- 300 g Broccoli in small florets
- 2 Whole Eggs Large
- 3 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 8-10 Sprays of Cooking Spray
- 4 Cured Bacon (reduced Fat) optional
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the broccoli florets until soft.
- Drain the broccoli well and then, using a potato masher, break them down. You do not need to make them smooth, as a bit of a bite can be pleasant.
- To the mashed broccoli add the flour, parmesan, salt, black pepper, and egg and mix well, until uniform and without flour knots. The consistency will be thicker than the one of regular pancakes, but resist the temptation to add any liquid to the batter: the broccoli are full of it and will release some while cooking.
- In a frying pan, add a couple of sprays of cooking spray, and warm-up; once it is warm, add ¼ of the broccoli batter to it, spread it evenly like a pancake (I do mine about 5mm thick), and allow to cook on a low flame. This will take, on a low flame, about 4 minutes on each side, so if you have a large pan, you may do two or more at the same time.
- Once one side of the pancake is cooked, apply a couple of cooking sprays to the top of the pancake (or pancakes if cooking multiple) and flip; allow to finish cooking through and through.
- In the meantime, warm up a grilling pan and cook the gammon thoroughly; it is important that the gammon is not served undercooked as it is pork! My steaks took about 4 minutes on a low-medium heat on each side.
- Once all four pancakes are done and both steaks are cooked, divide into two plates and serve. Enjoy!