A HEALTHFUL RECIPE FOR NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY
I’m about to share my recipe for the most healthful, most delicious pancakes ever! But first, I have two brief pancake stories, of course.
PANCAKE STORY ABOUT MY MOTHER
When I was in New York visiting my little mo once, I announced that I was making her fresh blueberry pancakes. She said she was so excited about that! So I went out and bought the freshest blueberries to top them with, along with the most expensive whipped cream I could find. I even had to buy a frying pan for the occasion! (My non-cooking mother’s kitchen was not exactly chef-ready.)
I slaved over a hot stove, and then proudly presented Maybelle with the first pancake, topped with fresh blueberries and whipped cream. She oohed and aahed and declared it to be the most delicious thing she’d eaten in a long while. I was sooo proud of my culinary prowess. But then, as I was delivering her second pancake, I noticed that she hadn’t even eaten her first one at all, so what could she have possibly been raving about?!
It turned-out that she was basically using the pancake as a plate, and eating just the blueberries and whipped cream! I asked her why she was doing that, and she very calmly told me, “Oh, I don’t like pancakes.” Oysh.
PANCAKE STORY ABOUT CLARENCE
My much better pancake customer was my beloved Clarence, the Singing Dog. For the last few years of his life, he and I would have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast every day. (No wonder I gained weight then! And no worries, dog lovers—Clar Dar did not get any of the chocolate!)
The second I got out of bed and walked into the kitchen, he’d come to the edge of it, all excited and banging the floor. We sang a pancake song as I made them, (remember—he was the famous singing dog on TV!,) and then he’d run ahead of me to the coffee table in front of the TV for our gourmet breakfast. I’d tear off tiny pieces of my pancake, and put them on a plate for him, with a bit of whipped cream, of course! And he would go nuts with happiness.
But the second he was done, he would flat-leave me, and go back to bed with Mr. X. And you know what? My pancake breakfast with my precious pup was the highlight of my day, every day! And his, too, of course.
Now, with those happy memories, I celebrate National Pancake Day with you, by sharing my most healthful breakfast recipe. I hope you love them as much as Clarence loved his.
RECIPE FOR BANANA-PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
This makes about nine pancakes, of varying sizes, (which are rarely pretty, so please be aware of that, and don’t curse the ones you make,) but I swear, it’s really perfect for just two hungry people who are not eating anything else for that breakfast or brunch. (Mr. X eats about six of these in one sitting, with no butter or syrup—just plain, while I eat three, drenched in whipped cream! With a big glass of skim milk. And sometimes we just leave them on a plate in the kitchen, and snack on pieces of them throughout the day, cold!) If you’re alone, just halve it.
And the third best part, (after their health value and deliciousness,) is—they are incredibly easy to whip up!!!
These are all healthful, good for you ingredients. (Even dark chocolate chips!) There’s no added sugar, and not even any dairy! Yes, that is correct—these are made with no butter or milk. [Note #1: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, e-words are not dairy!] [Note #2: You may be able to make them vegan by substituting applesauce for the e-words, but I’ve never tried that. I just think it will work.]
So here they are:
4 very ripe bananas
4 e-words, or the equivalent in e-word whites, (which is what I use, for extra health value.)
1 cup of quick oats (not to be confused with regular oatmeal; quick oats are different, but just as good for you. And you can get a canister of them at dollar stores!)
½ cup of peanut butter (I use chunky because I like that bit of extra crunch.)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup dark, or semi-sweet, chocolate chips
Mash the bananas.
Add in the e-words, the oats, and the salt, and mix well.
Mix in the peanut butter, and make sure to mix the whole thing really well. The batter will never be smooth, (nor should it be,) so don’t even try to make it such. It’s fine the way it is. Just make sure all the ingredients are blended enough.
Now mix in the chocolate chips, just so that they are distributed throughout.
Spray whatever pan you’re going to make the pancakes in with cooking spray. (Just make sure that it isn’t garlic-flavored!)
This is actually the only semi-hard part because this batter doesn’t stay together like regular pancake batter does. Whether you make one large pancake at a time in a frying pan, or two to three on a griddle, just make sure that each one is an easy-enough size to be able to turn over.
I put the batter in from a ladle, so I can control the size of all of them. You have to really watch them because they don’t bubble-up on one side as regular pancakes do.
When you think that one side is done, very—and I do mean very–carefully turn them over. I actually use two spatulas working in concert, to get it done without making too big a mess. (Just make sure your pancake turners are big enough to accommodate whatever size your pancakes are.)
As soon as you turn them, kind-of push them down so that the inside gets cooked really well. You may see some raw parts on the now-exposed side, so if that is the case for yours, just turn them over one more time to get that little bit more done. And that’s it! You’re done!
And now just enjoy them. I promise you—you do not need butter or syrup on these. If you’re making them for company, I would put a couple of banana slices on top with a swirl of whipped cream and perhaps a sprinkle of chocolate chips or a drizzle of chocolate syrup. (Or caramel or marshmallow. You can experiment with toppings.) But that is it. You need nothing else except for a fork. (And, for me, a glass of cold milk!)
A note: If you’re not a chocolate or peanut butter lover, you can always make some modifications to the flavors in this recipe. But you must keep the basics for it to still be healthful. You can substitute blueberries for chocolate chips, and leave out the peanut butter. A tad of vanilla, cinnamon, or cocoa powder can be added. Experiment to your heart’s content. (And please let us know what worked for you, in the Comments section below.)
One last note: I cook-up the entire batch at once, and keep the plate of pancakes covered until the last one is done, so that Mr. X and I can eat together, as opposed to eating one at a time. They taste just as delicious a few minutes (or even hours) later, as they do fresh off the griddle.
Now enjoy! And Happy National Pancake Day!