The Pancake Hall of Fame Vol. 1: The Weekday Pancake
After my last super serious and earnest post about spirituality and parenting, I felt like I had better swoop in with something cheery and practical! Hence, the first installment in my new series entitled “The Pancake Hall of Fame.” My family has never met a hotcake we do not love, and we have a version for every occasion!
Some days it feels like I spend half of my time scheming up creative ways to force more protein and fiber into my children. Please don’t tell me that I should simply blend things into smoothies or tomato sauce—my children refuse to eat either of those things. Weekday breakfasts are especially tricky, because mostly they just want to eat cold cereal or toast with just butter or jam. It’s not that I have a problem with them eating these things, but they are not nutritionally dense enough to get them through their morning at school. In fact, they are usually begging for snacks before I can even get the breakfast mess cleaned up.
Luckily for me, they will eat pretty much anything if presented in pancake form, so I have gotten into the habit of blending a little of this and a little of that into a wholesome batter that I feel good about them eating on the reg. It should be said that Michael is far more skeptical of ‘healthy pancakes’ than the children are, but after much trial and error I have finally found a version that he embraces. It is essentially a riff on all of the two or three ingredient banana pancakes one finds on so many healthy food blogs. Some of these are totally grain free—mine is not. I feel like a dose of whole grains is a good way to start our day, so I blend up some oats in my Vitamix in order to produce a homemade oat flour. I also add a tiny bit of baking soda, in partnership with a dollop of plain yogurt, to give these babies a little lift. This brings these much closer to a traditionally, fluffy pancake texture. Finally, I throw in some vanilla, salt, and cinnamon, because why the heck not?!
I know it can be hard to find the time and energy to make a hot breakfast on a weekday morning, but honestly, these don’t take much longer than making toast and cereal. You can throw any extras into the fridge or freezer and toast them up for the rest of the week.
Banana Oat Pancakes
Yield: This makes enough for our crew of 2 adults and 2 little pancake monsters. I often increase the ration so I have extras for the fridge or freezer. The batter is a little loose and produces a really delicate pancake, so I would recommend that you make these on the small side for easy flipping.
1 cup. rolled oats, blended into a flour*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 bananas, the ripper the better
1/4 cup plain yogurt (whole milk preferred)
1/4 cup natural almond or peanut butter **
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)
*Don’t have a blender or food processor? You can by oat flour ready made. Be sure to use oats or oat flour that are labeled as ‘certified gluten free’ if that matters to you.
**These are also great for a lunch box if you make them nut free! Simply leave out the nut butter, adding an extra scoop of yogurt if the batter doesn’t seem moist enough.
Blend oats in blender or food processor until they breakdown into a course flour.
Add all of the other ingredients and blend until well incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
Using a little butter or coconut oil, griddle these as you would any other pancake, taking care to keep them on the smaller side (we like little silver dollar babies). Wait until bubbles are breaking the surface and the top is beginning to look quite dry before you attempt to flip.
Enjoy with butter, fruit, jam, or syrup—whatever floats your boat!
To freeze, spread them out on a a lined baking sheet so that they are not overlapping and freeze. When frozen, pop em’ into a plastic bag or container. Reheat in the toaster.