We have a tradition of making pancakes on the weekends. It’s kind of our thing. We like pancakes.
Last weekend I was out of town on Saturday, and on Sunday I was so tired from getting in late on Saturday that I didn’t feel like cooking much of anything. I think we had cereal for breakfast, but I don’t really remember.
So today I knew I needed to make pancakes, lest the natives (i.e. my husband and children) grow restless.
The dilemma I faced, however, was how to make them fit into the Eat Right America challenge. I’ve been making whole-grain pancakes for quite a while now, using oats and whole-wheat flour. The problem is that they contain quite a bit of dairy – in the form of both buttermilk and melted butter. They also contain eggs and sugar. All of these things are relatively taboo in a Nutritarian diet.
What was I to do?
Why, channel my inner Elvis, of course (sans bacon). Peanut butter and banana is a wonderful combination, and I just happened to have some homemade peanut butter in the fridge (made simply by roasting some raw peanuts in the oven at 375F for 20 minutes or so and then whirring them up in the food processor for another 15 minutes until they became peanut butter). I did use a little bit of low-fat plain yogurt and two eggs, so there was some animal protein in there, but not much by the time you break the recipe down into 8 servings.
Had I been making these for just the kids and me, I might have used almond butter and almond milk in place of the peanut butter and yogurt, but my husband is allergic to all tree nuts (peanuts, being a legume and not a nut, are fine).
Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
yields: 16 4-inch pancakes
1 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
4 oz. plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup water
2 cups old fashioned (or quick cooking) oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat an electric griddle to 275F
- Whisk together banana, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter, vanilla and water
- In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda and baking powder
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir quickly to combine. Do not overmix
- Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to portion batter out onto the griddle. Use the bottom of the cup to spread the batter out if necessary (it is pretty thick)
- Flip when you start to see the edges become dry. Unlike traditional pancakes, you will not necessarily see bubbles form on top when they’re ready to flip.
- Cook on second side for about two minutes. Remove to a baking sheet placed under the griddle or in a warm oven to stay warm while you cook the remaining batter.
- Serve with more peanut butter spread on top, some natural apple sauce, or with a tiny drizzle of honey or agave nectar.
They were very filling, but still light and fluffy. You could definitely taste the banana, but the peanut butter got a little lost. I might increase the amount of peanut butter next time, and maybe even sprinkle some chopped peanuts in the batter for extra texture and flavor.
A serving of 2 pancakes contains 179 calories, 5 grams of fat (mostly from the peanut butter, but some from the eggs and yogurt) and about 4 grams of fiber. There is more sodium in them than I’d like (243 mg), but I’m not sure how to avoid that seeing as it comes from the baking soda and baking powder. I think you can get low-sodium baking powder, so that might be a solution. I suppose another solution would be to simply not make pancakes, but in our household that just wasn’t an option.
Served alongside a Double Green Smoothie, this would make a very balanced breakfast. As a variation, you could use applesauce in place of the banana and cashew or almond butter in place of the peanut butter. If you want to eliminate the dairy and egg altogether, you could use soy or almond milk and a little bit of of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to react with the baking soda and powder for leavening. This would produce a much more tender batter (the protein in the egg is what gives pancakes a bit of chew), so you would have to be careful when flipping, but it would produce a passable (and vegan) pancake.
Are you doing the Eat Right America 28-day challenge? What sorts of fun things have you been eating? How are you feeling? Tell me all about it in the comments!