Monday, June 3, 2013
Banana Oat Pancakes: Easy and Kid Friendly!
I have been making pancakes for as long as I can remember. I mean honestly, I don't even know how long I have been making pancakes, but I have a feeling the number of years would probably make me feel old so we will just say "a long time". I have been making pancakes for a very very long time....
When I was younger, pancakes always came "from a box"... Jiffy to be precise. Then as I got older my Nana introduced me to her favorite "Krusteaz" which technically came in a bag... Then I moved away and had a child and decided that he would only eat homemade-from-scratch pancakes like my incredibly mouth watering Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate chip pancakes. But after a few years of making different versions of that recipe, I realized: there are FIFTEEN ingredients in that recipe. 15!!! Wow. Not only is that a lot of work and a lot of measuring (and we all know I loathe measuring), but that is a lot of junk in a breakfast food that really doesn't provide any kind of nutrition in the first place...
So then I started adding more oats and whole wheat flour and less white flour and little to no sugar. I would add applesauce or a banana and use almond milk, sometimes I would add pumpkin... I reworked every version of a pancake recipe in every way you could think: but they always had flour.
Then a friend of mine said "Have you made banana pancakes yet?". And I kind of chuckled and to myself said "Well yeah I have made banana pancakes... ", referring to slicing up bananas and folding them into my batter, but instead I said "what do you mean?". And thank goodness I did because she said "all you do is mash a banana with an egg and cook it."
Apparently this recipe had been floating around Pinterest for a while and I have seen it but never really put much thought to it... I did try the banana and oatmeal cookies recipe that I saw on Pinterest and fell in love with them. So I decided to take my friend's pancake suggestion and merge it with the oatmeal cookie recipe and created a pancake that both my kids absolutely love... and so do I!
Banana Oat Pancakes
1/2 ish or so cup oats (I used quick because it is what I had. Old fashioned would certainly be a good choice but I would pulse them in a magic bullet or blender first to help the texture)
Healthy splash of vanilla (or a glug... more like a glug)
1 tsp cinnamon (it may look like a lot but these fragrant pancakes will be worth it)
Whatever you can think of!
I got too excited and mashed the banana and egg with some oats before I remembered to take a picture... oops!
This is a perfect job for kids. Here Landon is mashing the banana up. It was so much fun talking to him about the way the masher made little squares, how it sounded, how it looked, what did he think it would feel like if he touched it, etc etc. Getting kids in the kitchen is a wonderful way to boost their vocabulary and create some great dialogue, learning opportunities, and new experiences. It is also a great way to get kids to try stuff they wouldn't normally try - something about helping to make it takes away the fear of trying new things!
Adding the egg and whisking it all up. Landon is an awesome egg cracker! I never would have thought a 4 year old could crack an egg but I decided to teach him one day and now he likes to crack all of the eggs by himself.
After Landon got all done stirring up the eggs, banana, and oats, we added the cinnamon and the splash of vanilla. I love vanilla and cinnamon and I wanted these pancakes to have a heavy scent that filled the kitchen... oh boy did they! I was also pleased with how the addition of the vanilla and cinnamon took the spotlight off the banana and made them more reminiscent of a pancake you would expect to find at IHOP or somewhere like it.
Drop them onto a hot griddle greased with coconut oil, butter, or whatever you like to use, and sprinkle with your add ins. We added chocolate chips for the two of us, and left them plain for the baby. I did not let Landon help with this part (anything involving the oven or stove is off limits for him), so he went to set the table while I finished up. I think I had them at medium heat and they probably cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Flip them carefully. These little guys are tricky to flip because they tend to slip all over the place. It is more akin to flipping a fried egg than a pancake, since this is egg based, so be careful and patient when flipping or you will end up with a folded up pancake... but don't worry, it will still taste great! (I know from experience).