We've always enjoyed pancakes for a weekend breakfast treat. For years I relied on the convenience of a prepackaged dry mix where all I had to do was add in milk and eggs. With our healthy lifestyle I decided to develop my own pancake recipe since we avoid processed foods due to the added salt, sugar and preservatives. Look at a well-known pancake mix. Try to locate the trans fats, sugar and aluminum in the ingredient list.
We had a few requirements to make the "Super Cakes" recipe nutrient rich and dense:
- Boost the protein content
- All whole grain
- Eliminate the dairy
- Sweet enough without drenching them in maple syrup
The addition of ground flaxseed, oat bran and pecans increases the protein content along with the whole wheat flour, eggs and soy milk. You can use almond milk but it will have a much lower protein content.
We enjoy the taste of Grade B maple syrup on our "Super Cakes." Drizzling one tablespoon versus 1/4 cup "serving" of maple syrup over a plate of 3 to 4 pancakes is sufficiently sweet for us. All that added sugar will negate the healthfulness of the recipe. Especially since the "Super Cakes" recipe calls for ripe bananas. You'll know the bananas are ripe and sweet enough for this recipe when brown spots start forming on the skins.
Whenever we have leftover pancakes Marty makes a breakfast sandwich using two pancakes with almond butter and sliced bananas in between. That extra smear of almond butter certainly boosts the protein.
For a different twist you can serve the pancakes with a blueberry sauce. Since we always stock frozen blueberries, it's convenient to mix up a warm blueberry sauce. Mix one tablespoon of maple syrup into a serving of defrosted blueberries. The juices from the blueberries mixed in with the syrup makes a delicious topping.
Over the years I have learned a few tricks to make these "Super Cakes" easy to enjoy on a lazy weekend morning.
- The night before measure out and combine all the dry ingredients in a large container that can be covered. This saves some time in the morning and there's less measuring of ingredients when you're still sleepy. Use this same container to add in the wet mixture and mix up the batter.
- Freeze ripe bananas to have on hand just for this occasion. You'll need to defrost them, in order to add to the pancake batter. Of course, fresh ripe bananas are excellent too.
- Use two frying pans to shorten the total cook time. I use non-stick pans on medium heat.
- Ladle out about 3 pancakes per pan, depending on the pan's diameter. Don't try to crowd in too many pancakes or it will make them difficult to cleanly flip.
- If you enjoy a morning beverage, have that ready first so you can sip away while you're tending to the pancakes.
- Have fun arranging the pecan halves into the pancakes. I like to make flower shapes.
Super Cakes: Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Pancakes
Dense, nutty and sweet pancakes.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 ripe mashed bananas
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup non dairy milk- i.e., soy, almond
- 3/4 cup water
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cups of pecan halves- Set aside. Do not mix them in with batter.
- Pre-heat frying pan(s) on medium heat.
- Combine all the dry ingredients.
- Combine all the wet ingredients.
- Stir together the dry and wet mixtures.
- Pour about 1/3 cup per pancake onto heated frying pan.
- Arrange 5 pecan halves into each pancake.
- Cook on one side till bubbles form and underside is golden brown.
- Flip and cook other side until golden brown.
- Serve warm.
Yield: 12-15 pancakesPrep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.Tags: whole wheat, pancakes, bananas, pecans