Banana Pancakes

This recipe is perfect for rainy Sunday mornings (or any other day of the week... hehe) when you feel like it's a pancake kind of day. For those of you who have cut white flour out of your life, remember that this simply means you can have the same things you did before but in more delicious and nutritious variations! The recipe below is modified from instagram foodie @nanapatv feel free to modify it further- the possibilities are endless.

What you'll need

  • 1 very large or 2 small mashed bananas

  • 1/2 cup yogurt 

  • 1 TSP baking powder

  • ~2/3 cup Almond milk *(or regular milk for non vegans)

  • 1 whole egg *(this can be omitted for vegans or substituted with a flegg)

  • 1 TSP    Cinnamon

  • 1/2 TSP Nutmeg

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 TBSP  Vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup Whole oat flakes

  • ~1 cup spelt flour

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • frozen or fresh berries & maple syrup for topping

* feel free to use coconut, oat or cashew milk too

*a flegg or vegan egg is a simple mixture of flax meal and water to impart some of that eggy        gooeyness that helps hold things together and add some body to your dish

First combine the yogurt and baking powder in a cup mixing by slowly with a spoon. Make sure the cup has some extra space before the baking powder goes in because the yogurt will grow! The bubbles you see forming are due to the reaction between the alkaline baking powder and acidic yogurt producing carbon dioxide. This will help your pancakes grow and aid digestion according to Ayurvedic nutrition.

 

Meanwhile, combine the mashed banana, egg/flegg, almond milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg in a bowl until well combined. The banana does not have to be perfectly mashed, in fact, little banana clumps are one of the best parts of the finished product!

Next blend the oats in a blender or food processor lightly- I prefer them not to be perfectly blended because the coarsely ground oats allows for a chewier pancake. Fold in the yogurt mixture (which should have expanded and be quite bubbly at this point). Combine the wet ingredients with the oat flour (you just made) and spelt flour. You can experiment with different flours, spelt is simply my all-around favourite flour. 

*These pancakes can very easily be made into chocolate pancakes by adding a couple tablespoons of cacao powder and maple syrup to the batter to balance out the bitterness of the raw cacao. In this case, omit the cinnamon & nutmeg and top with a delicious fresh strawberry sauce and syrup.

As you can see from the image below I forgot to fold in the yogurt with the wet ingredients first but the batch still came out terrific. 

Once the mixture is well combined you are ready to fry. Make sure there are no hidden flour bubbles in your mix because no one likes a surprise flour bubble. With other pancake recipes it is often a good idea to put the whole mixture in the blender to get a smooth batter. However for this particular recipe, blending the batter would eliminate all the wonderful textures that we've cultivated so far and may interfere with the growth potential of the baking soda mixture.

The flour and almond milk are approximate measurements because you can play around with how many pancakes you want to make by simply adding more milk and flour at the end (or omitting this dilution if you want them to be extra banana-ey). You want the final mixture to be thick enough to come down onto the pan in clumps but not too thick that it can no longer fall off the spoon as one consistent batter. If its too liquidy it will burn before it cooks and come out very thin but if its too thick it will be much too doughey and thick making for a heavy unenjoyable pancake. 

Heat a frying pan on medium and apply a spoon of coconut oil. You can use other oils that you may prefer to fry with. The best oil to fry with depends on what you are frying. I find that coconut gives the pancakes a light toasty flavour. However if you go with coconut, use refined coconut oil for frying because the raw virgin oil has a much lower smoke point. Refined grapeseed or ghee is even better. Smoke point is important and this is why frying with extra virgin olive oil is a big no-no. Some of the healthiest oils such as a walnut, extra virgin olive and flaxseed have very low smoke points. Meaning you should never fry with them because their molecular compositions change after a certain heat threshold, forming compounds that can be dangerous in the body and even toxic.

Once you pour the batter on in small dollops, let them cook until you can see the edges turn brown all around, then flip. I like to make them small because they are easier to control and more fun to eat. You can turn the heat down a bit if they are getting dark before they cook- the smaller they are the less likely this is to happen. If they start sticking mid-cook just add in a little oil and wiggle. It's a good idea to keep them in between sheets of paper towel as you go through the batter to soak up any residual oil. 

While the pancakes cook, wash and prepare the fruit you wish for topping. Of course the topping possibilities are endless! You can make whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel or just eat them with good old maple syrup. If the fruit is frozen, pour it into a pan with a bit of water and simmer on low heat until it melts. You can cook further to make a fruit sauce reduction. This obviously works best with fresh fruit because they are much more flavourful and their natural sugars are still intact. Additionally, because they are not frozen the sauce will be much less watery, giving rise to a richer sauce. Because fresh fruit is naturally sweet, theres no need to add sweetener here. However you may choose to reduce the fruit with sweetener to create a delicious fragrant sauce to top the pancakes with instead of maple syrup- as I said, the possibilities are endless...

These are also really taste to snack on by themselves because of all the textures and flavours.

Now all thats left to do is add your toppings and enjoy! I like to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and just a pinch of nutmeg (because it is so potent) on top of the pancakes as well. They pair perfectly with yogurt or kefir but of course are still delicious without. Vegan alternatives may include topping with almond or peanut butter while hot, along with the fruit, which really brings a nice freshness and more dimension to the dish.

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