In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Rub together your fingers until fragrant. Add the mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg, egg whites, orange juice, canola oil and vanilla extract. Gently fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until flour disappears. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Don't over mix. The batter will be thick.
Heat a griddle or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot griddle or skillet. Cook the pancakes until browned on the underside and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the pancakes on the other side, about two minutes longer. Continue making pancakes until batter is gone. Serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.