{Recipe} Healthy + Simple Valentine Strawberry Pancakes

Happy {almost} Valentine's Day, friends! My husband and I don't usually go all out for this holiday {with the exception of our Valentine's trip to Ie Island we took that one time}. He might get me some roses, but at any given time, we are spending money on things that are more important to us than jewelry and chocolates - like trips or other random items for our house.  So, we end up taking whatever large purchase we happen to be spending our money on at the time, and we call it our "Valentine's Day gift" to each other.  Last year, I think I got a dishwasher "for Valentine's Day". This year, it's a new master bathroom.  Is that lame?  I don't care.  

So, since things aren't getting super festive around here this year, I decided to do this simple, fun little recipe {just a twist on our normal pancakes} to add a little something to Valentine's week. We made these using healthier ingredients {gluten-free pancake mix + unsweetened applesauce in lieu of oil}, but feel free to use whatever mix you like.

Healthy + Simple Valentine Strawberry Pancakes

3 c. Gluten-free Pancake Mix {my favorite is this one}
2 Large Eggs
1-1/2 c. Milk {we used cow milk, but almond would work well, too}
2 tbsp. Unsweetened Applesauce
2 tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Fresh Strawberries
Pure Maple Syrup and/or Powdered Sugar

Slice the strawberries and cut the tops to shape them into little hearts.  Set them aside.  {I used 3 strawberry slices per pancake, but you can add as many as you like}

Thoroughly combine the pancake mix, eggs, milk, applesauce, honey + cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Spray your griddle with non-stick cooking spray and preheat on low/medium.  Once heated, pour your pancake mix + place your sliced strawberry hearts onto the tops of each pancake.  Gently press them just slightly into the batter. 

Cook the pancakes most of the way through in this position, with the strawberries facing up.  When you can tell the bottom is fully cooked, turn the heat down to low + flip the pancakes over.  Make sure to have enough non-stick cooking spray on the griddle and not cook the pancakes too much on this side, or the strawberries will stick. 

Top with some pure maple syrup and/or some powdered sugar + enjoy with some fresh strawberries on the side!

I hope you all have a great weekend + a wonderful Valentine's Day - thanks for reading!


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