Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

photo 3Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and, on weekends, it’s by far my favourite meal of the day. In general, I do not need to rush on a weekend.  I’m not going to be late for anything because I usually have no where to go.  This means that I can spend a little extra time making breakfast – and well, usually on the weekend my breakfasts are a little more…. carb-y.  My boyfriend has been begging me for weeks to make pancakes for breakfast, and I think he was almost ready to buy the prepacked boxed stuff and give it a go himself if I didn’t make a batch.  Of course I wasn’t having any of that.  So to save him from the Aunt Jamima pancake wannabes (and to save my poor pans from being scorched to death due to my boyfriend’s inability to cook) I agreed to make a from scratch batch of whole wheat banana pancakes. It was also a request that the pancakes be chocolate chip, and since I usually have some form of chocolate in my house I searched my cupboards and found a few chocolate chips to throw into the mix. Yummmmyyy…   I can’t remember the last time I had pancakes, and surprisingly enough. I’ve NEVER made pancakes before.  Never in my life.  Pancakes were something I would watch my mom cook when I was little.  She would put all the ingredients in a bowl, I would mix it and then sit on the counter as I watched her cook it all up.  She would make a bunch of fun shapes: a big circle for a head and tiny circles for eyes; she would make a nose and ears and a big smile.  Sometimes she’d even make a Mickey Mouse.  It was great. We had tones of fun eating our Saturday morning pancakes.

photo 2

Since I had never made pancakes before, I decided to do a little googling.  I found an excellent recipe from InspiredTaste that I used for a guideline.  For this recipe I used whole wheat flour mixed with a little unbleached all purpose flour, but you can use all whole wheat flour if you want.  Using all whole wheat flour has it’s advantages, but tends to create a thicker batter so you may need to add more milk if it’s unreasonably thick.  I added a little sugar, but you can substitute with 2 tbsp of honey, as well as 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1 ripe mashed banana.  I included a little bit of cinnamon and it gave the batter an amazing taste.  And of course, I topped it off with some maple syrup – and I’m sure it would taste fabulous with some homemade whipped cream, powdered sugar, or fruit.

photo 1

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Makes about ten 4-inch pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more if you like them extra chocolaty)

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large bowl,  combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Set Aside.
  2. Heat milk in a skillet over medium heat until it is lukewarm (you should be able to hold your finger in it for 10 seconds without it burning).  Whisk together warmed milk, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract and mashed banana.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine until completely incorporated and no flour pockets remain.  Do not overmix the batter. Fold in chocolate chips.  You may add more milk if the batter seems too thick.
  4.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Brush the pan with melted butter and spoon a 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet.  Use the spoon to spread the batter to about a 4 inch circle.
  5. When the edges look dry and bubbles form on the top of the pancake, it is ready to be flipped (about 2 minutes).  Cook the other side of the pancake for an additional 1 to 2 minutes – until light brown and cooked through the middle.

I’m not going to lie, we finished off the entire batch. Man they were good! They were light and fluffy, not too sweet, and the banana taste just amplified everything.  I will ABSOLUTELY be making them again… or some over form of pancake… I might be on a pancake roll now.  So, try these. They’re amazing. Happy Baking!

photo 5

Healthy Banana Pancakes

photo 1People – Love your food.  Too often are we apologizing for loving to eat.  Lately I’ve realized how sick I am of feeling guilty for loving food.  It drives me bonkers! I love food.  I am a foodie. And proud of it! Here’s a fun quote I found in a book I started reading about eating real food:

We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity.” – Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

A great read – I recommend it.  Now on to the newest real food recipe I discovered over the weekend. Despite my ever changing food routine, one thing has remained consistent through everything: Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because some of my favourite food memories have been of Sunday morning brunch.  My dad would cook up a whole slew of bacon, accompanied with Cavendish potatoes, fried in oil, paprika, parsley and garlic.  Those were my favourite.  Still are actually, although I always use fresh potatoes in replacement of the frozen bagged potatoes.  Still, there was something about those tiny cube shaped potatoes that still make my mouth water.  I would drown them in Ketchup and could probably eat them by the truckload.  Often my weekend breakfasts include fried potatoes and turkey bacon, with a side of toast and fruit.  I’ve never been an egg person.  During the week I go more towards fruit and toast, oatmeal, sometimes cottage cheese, and every now and then a protein shake.  Although lately with my recent move towards real food and no processed foods, I tend to skip the protein powder.

Over this past weekend I tried a new weekend breakfast that totally blew my mind.  I made pancakes.  I was never a huge pancake lover as a kid.  I didn’t really get what the fuss was about.  Although toss me a waffle and my heart would melt.  One thing I forgot to mention – I LOVE peanut butter and bananas.  Separately they are amazing, but together? Wow.  So I usually jump at any change to add either peanut butter, banana, or both to my breakfast.  So when a friend gave me a simple, real ingredient pancake recipe I just had to make it my own – by adding bananas.  This recipe is simple.  It’s another blender recipe. For simplicity’s sake: Add all the ingredients into a blender.  Blend. Pan fry. Eat. Done. THAT simple.  Well, you’d think so wouldn’t you.  The pan fry part was the challenge for me.  The batter is very thin, so creating pancake like shapes is difficult.  The pancakes can get too big and it’s tough to flip them.  But no matter.  They turned out fantastically (the second time).

photo 1

I made sure to use 100% Pure Maple Syrup – no added sugars or unnecessary preservatives.  You can really notice the difference in taste when using the real stuff in comparison to what you get with the processed stuff.  These pancakes are quite good, and will run you about 570 calories for the entire meal, including the Maple Syrup.  A little high, but I usually have brunch relatively late so I just sorta watch my calorie intake for the rest of the day.

photo 2

So if I’m having nothing else except these pancakes, I will make 2 large pancakes for myself, otherwise I’ll offer one up to my boyfriend – it feels like a lot of food.  I’ve actually yet to finish my entire plate.

Healthy Banana Pancakes

makes 2 large pancakes 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 medium banana
  • olive oil or butter for cooking
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries or blackberries
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine rolled oats, milk, egg whites, honey, baking powder and banana in a blender.  Blend on high until combines, scapping down sides if necessary.
  2. In a skillet on medium heat, heat oil or butter.  Once the oil is hot, take 1 cup serving of the pancake batter and add it to the center of the pan.  Adding it to the center will stop the very thin batter from pooling to one side.
  3. In the mean time, add diced strawberries and blackberries into a skillet and top with maple syrup.  Cook on medium until berries are tender and have created a juice.  I usually leave them in there until the pancakes are done, but will switch them to low after about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the pancake has become somewhat solid on the top, you can flip it.  Be very careful, and try to use a large spatula.  Once the pancake is flipped, continue to cook until cooked through the middle and brown on both sides.  It’s best to cook one pancake at a time, so once the pancake is done, I usually sit it in the oven on low heat until the second one has cooked.
  5. Once pancakes are done, add the berry mixture on top and drizzle with maple syrup.

The first time I made these pancakes I made the mistake of putting the entire batter in the pan… it was impossible to flip and ended up being a big mushy mess.  Speaking of mush.  Last week I mentioned homemade veggie burgers….ya they did not turn out. They were 100% mush. I’m trying a different approach when I re-attempt them this weekend so I will keep you posted.  Happy Baking!