Colored bliny: You need to try them during Pancake Week - Maslenitsa! (RECIPE)

Add fresh vegetables to give a twist to your traditional bliny!

Add fresh vegetables to give a twist to your traditional bliny!

Yulia Mulino
Maslenitsa is an ancient Slavic holiday when people bid farewell to winter, have fun and eat bliny - lots of them. Check out how to boost your immune system with the help of our naturally-colored bliny.

Do you know how to color pancakes without using artificial dyes? I use spinach, pumpkin and beetroot. Strictly speaking, only the latter one can be called a genuine Russian vegetable; anyway, bliny were hardly cooked this way in the past.  

Why these vegetables? It is easy, and they give a perfect color effect. Fortunately, these vegetables are also very healthy for our body, especially at the end of winter. 

Spinach bliny are my favorite. Spinach is an important source of minerals. So, if you want to enhance your blood cells and regulate metabolism, then spinach bliny are the right choice!  

No surprise that beetroot helps digestion, removes toxins and cholesterol thanks to its large number of minerals. Having experimented with beetroot in bliny, I found out that steaming beetroot not only preserves more vitamins but gives a more intensive hue. A boiled beetroot gives a paler color to bliny. 

Pumpkin brings a warm and sunny feeling, and it’s a powerful antioxidant. Pumpkin contains lots of carotene that enriches your body with vitamin A and is beneficial for eyesight as well.  

All three types of bliny can be served with crême frâiche, sour cream or yogurt. But let me tell you my favorite fillings! Spinach bliny are nice with cream cheese and smoked salmon or caviar. Beetroot bliny go well with ham or blue cheese and fresh salad. Yellow pumpkin pancakes are perfect for sweet variations: honey, jam, berries. Let’s try them! 

Ingredients:

  • Kefir - 500 ml
  • Flour - 250 g
  • Milk - 200 ml
  • Eggs - 2
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil - 2 tbsps
  • Pumpkin – 60 g (45-50 g when cooked)
  • Beetroot – 1 pc (60 g, 45-50 g when cooked)
  • Fresh spinach – 50 g 

Preparation:

1. Wash, peel and cut in quarters the beetroot and pumpkin.

2. Steam the vegetables. Steam the pumpkin for about 15-20 minutes.

3. Steam the beetroot for an additional 10 minutes (so, 30 minutes total). The time depends on the size of the pieces. They should be soft but keep their shape.

4. Mix warm kefir, eggs, sugar, salt and baking soda with a hand mixer. 

5. Add flour - mix it thoroughly.

6. Warm the milk. It should be almost boiling. Pour the milk into the dough while stirring. Add oil.

7. Pour 250 ml of the dough in a tall glass and add fresh spinach. Blend it till smooth and homogeneous. There will be enough dough for 3 pieces.

8. Bake pancakes on a hot pan, adding a bit of oil. Be careful when flipping them. These pancakes may be not as firm as classic ones.

9. Repeat the same steps and proportions with beetroot and pumpkin. You will have some dough left for classic bliny.

10. Serve bliny while still hot with yogurt and your favorite fillings. Enjoy!

READ MORE: How to cook mind-blowing Russian bliny with minced meat (RECIPE)

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