Banana and Oat Pancakes

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People always laugh at my putting oats into everything – but I do.

I add it to savoury dishes, to desserts, in drinks and, as this recipe will show, in breakfast or brunch pancakes. Why? Well, rather than using flour which leaves me feeling bloated and uncomfortable most of the time, oats fill me up, leave no nasty side effects and have very little flavour which means they can be used in most recipes. Oats are high in fibre and antioxidants however they do contain gluten, unless you buy gluten-free oats. The gluten content is very low though.

Eating oats carries many benefits, amongst others:

– stabilising blood sugar
– enhancing immune system
– removing cholesterol from the blood system

(read more here)

Bananas are, like oats, a great source of fibre and naturally sweet which means no added sugar is needed.

This recipe developed because we, as a family, had the habit of always eating pancakes together on a Sunday morning. Life is so busy, especially with three children and all that comes with them, and Sunday mornings were our quiet time. Our family time. But it was very sugar filled and ultimately we agreed that this must change. So the challenge was to create a treat, in the children’s eyes, that would be healthy. Banana and oat pancakes were born!

Banana and Oat Pancakes (makes three small, round pancakes)

1 ripe banana (the more ripe, the sweeter the pancakes)

1 egg

2 tbsp whole rolled oats (or any oats you have)

Coconut butter for frying (coconut butter is magic! Read more here)

  • Mash the banana in a bowl with a fork
  • Crack the egg and add it to the banana – stir the two together
  • Add the oats – if you prefer more dry pancakes you can add three tablespoons
  • Heat a teaspoon of coconut butter in a frying pan
  • Once melted and the pan is hot, add the pancake batter creating three round pancakes using a large spoon
  • Fry for a few minutes then flip over and fry for a further minute or so.
  • Transfer to a plate and eat either as they are or drizzled with Greek yogurt, honey and some goji berries (or any berries for that matter).
  • They will be fluffy, sweet and keep you satisfied for many hours. Enjoy.

Coconut butterRaw pancakesready

Yum - a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

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The Ultimate American Pancakes

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Shrove Tuesday has come around again – and before we hit the recipe here is a small reminder as to what Shrove Tuesday actually is about.

The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Lent, for many, is a time of abstinence, of giving things up, and being the last day before the period of Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration (indulging!) as well as penitence.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, and throughout the United Kingdom the day used to be (and still is) associated with pancakes because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. (read more on Wikipedia)

I have spent many Sunday mornings perfecting my American pancake recipe. As a family we have devoured thin, thick, soggy, crunchy, hard, chewy…all types….and finally we have reached the pinnacle of success! This recipe is divine. I am almost tempted to keep it to myself – it is that good – but as sharing is caring here goes! Recipe for the ultimate american pancakes – including reasons why some of the ingredients are used! Enjoy.

Please have a look at other great Pancake Day recipes too….

Spinach layered pancakes

Original crepes

Chocolate pancake layered cake

Why use….?

  • Why a combination of cornflour and regular flour? It makes for a more delicate cake because cornflour does not have the two amino acids that wheat flour contains (glutenin and gliadin which combine to make gluten) – not really necessary for cakes. By using cornflour you therefore decrease the gluten content of a cake making it lighter.
  • Why vinegar and baking soda? I tried this in some cupcakes and the result was amazing. They turned out to be the softest cup cakes I have ever had. I therefore decided to try to add it to the pancakes..and yes…it works. Vinegar (acetic acid) + baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)= CO2 (carbon dioxide gas). This gas leavens the cake/causes it to rise. Think of your classroom volcano experiment: mix soda and vinegar and you get a big old foamy mess. Add that foamy mess to cake batter and you get a lighter, fluffier cake.
  • Why yogurt? When used in cakes it provides moistness..simple as that. If you have never tried, do! It retains that lovely moist feel and taste for days.

Ultimate American Pancakes

Drizzle of vegetable oil (equivalent of 2 tbsp)

115g plain flour

115g corn flour

pinch of salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (trust me!)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

100ml natural full fat yogurt

300ml milk

  • I always put my oven on 50C to keep the pancakes warm – that way we all eat together as a family which is much nicer than throwing them over my shoulder to a pack of wolves who devour them and leave the room!
  • Sieve the flour and cornflour into a bowl and add the salt, sugar and baking powder to it
  • Put the egg, milk and yogurt into a different bowl and whisk to combine
  • Place the bicarbonate of soda on a tablespoon and add the vinegar to it – it will bubble up (great for volcano experiments with the children…that’s for another blog!)
  • Add this wet mixture to the egg, yogurt and milk bowl – stir to combine
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix VERY briefly until just combined – it will seem like there are lumps of flour in the mixture – do not worry about those. Do not over mix…. 
  • Drizzle the oil into the mixture (doing this reduces the need for oil/grease on the pan)
  • Put a frying pan over medium heat and brush it with a tiny bit of vegetable oil
  • Using a large spoon or small glass, place small dollops of batter onto the pan and cook until they begin to bubble on the top. Flip them over and cook the other side until golden
  • Put into the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes
  • Serve warm with lots of freshly chopped fruit, syrup, icing sugar, nutella, lemon, jam….so much choice!

Pancake Day #2 – Spinach Pancake Layers

For Oma! This is her recipe (although she uses mortadella ham rather than bacon). She prepares it like no other and even at my best I cannot compare when cooking it! When Oma visits she knows what will be requested without asking!

Pancake day approaches with swift steps, yay, and this is a savoury way to include them in your Shrove Tuesday celebrations. Better yet, have the traditional crepes from my last post at breakfast time and these for dinner! 😉

Be prepared to spend a bit of time by your stove though – you need to make the bechamel sauce, spinach sauce,tomato sauce and of course the bacon has to be fried until crisp as well as the pancakes flipped! It is worth it though – and ever so child friendly. Reminds me a bit of a soft spinach lasagna and the sweet flavours of nutmeg and spinach really compliment the salty bacon… Soft and comforting food!

Spinach Pancake Layers

For the pancakes

100g plain flour
50g rye flour
1 egg
375ml milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
 

For the Spinach Sauce

500g frozen chopped spinach 
150ml single cream (milk is also fine just makes it less creamy)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
 
For the Tomato Sauce
 
2 tins of chopped tomatoes 
1 clove of garlic – halved
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
A few basil leaves
 
Bechamel Sauce
 
Big knob of butter – 80g or so
40g plain flour
900ml milk
Salt to taste
 
1 pack of bacon lardons
 
Grated Cheddar Cheese to top the dish with
 

Pancakes

  • Put flours and salt in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl beat together egg and milk until smooth; add the oil
  • Whisk the egg mixture into the flour
  • Pour the batter into a jug and let stand for 10 minutes to collect itself
  • Grease a non stick frying pan with some oil (using a paper tissue works well) and heat
  • While the pan is heating up give the batter a quick stir. If it feels dense add a little bit of milk
  • When pan is hot and ready, pour on a small amount of batter – the first pancake always turns out dreadful – don’t worry about it! Flip the pancakes when the sides start to go golden and fry on the other side for a minute or two
  • Keep flipping your pancakes and place them in a pile on a plate

Spinach Sauce 

  • Defrost spinach by putting it over low heat in a saucepan with the cream (or milk). Stir frequently. When combined to a sauce season with nutmeg and salt and leave

Tomato Sauce 

  • Open your tin of tomatoes and pour into a large, deep, frying pan
  • Place the peeled and halved garlic clove into the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat – stirring frequently as it reduces and thickens
  • Once thick, turn off the heat, add sugar and salt as well as the olive oil and basil leaves –  allow to cool

Bechamel Sauce 

  • In a saucepan gently heat the milk
  • In a separate saucepan melt the butter gently – don’t over-heat it or let it brown, as this will affect the colour and flavour of the sauce. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and, over a medium heat and using a small wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously to make a paste
  • Begin adding the warm milk a little at a time – again stirring vigorously. As the milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. When about half the milk is in, switch to a whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, always whisking briskly
  • You will soon have a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce – if it is lumpy simply remove from heat and stir a lot – this removes the lumps

Fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan (no oil) and place on a piece of kitchen tissue using a slotted spoon once slightly crisp but not black! Let oils soak into tissue and then remove onto new plate

 
Layering!
  • Pre-heat oven to 225C
  • In a deep oven proof dish, start with a layer of bechamel sauce, then spinach sauce, then pancakes – break them to fit into the dish
  • On top of this you then continue layering – bechamel, spinach, tomatoes and a sprinkle of bacon lardons – finishing off with another layer of pancakes!
  • Keep going until you run out of ingredients! The prettiest finish is with bechamel sauce as the last layer.
  • Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top and pop in oven for 25 minutes at 225C
  • You can easily prepare the dish in the morning or even the evening before and simply put in the oven just before serving. Hope you enjoy it!

Pancake Day #1 – Traditional Crepes

Bring on Shrove Tuesday!! It has to be the best day in the culinary year….great for young and old – there are so many ways to incorporate pancakes into the day! This year it falls on the 21 February – 6 days and counting!

What is Shrove Tuesday all about?  The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began. Lent, for many, is a time of abstinence, of giving things up, and being the last day before the period of Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration (indulging!) as well as penitence.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day, and throughout the United Kingdom the day used to be (and still is) associated with pancakes because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. (read more on Wikipedia)

To start – a simple crepe recipe! The trick is to keep the batter runny, and to pour it on thin! These pancakes should be crisp and delicate. You can add a few tablespoons of beer to the batter to increase crispness but this is not a must.

We love them with lemon and sugar – or try with a dollop of Greek Yogurt, a scatter of blueberries and a drizzle of honey! Yum! A great breakfast or pudding.

Traditional Crepe

150g flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
375ml milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
Grated zest of a small lemon
1/2 tsp cardamom (can be omitted but does give a lovely flavour)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
 
Veg oil for frying
Icing sugar and lemon to serve
Greek Yogurt, Honey and Blueberries another option
 
  • Put flour and sugar in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl beat together egg, vanilla paste, lemon zest, oil, cardamom and milk until smooth
  • Whisk the egg mixture into the flour
  • Pour the batter into a jug and let stand for 10 minutes to collect itself
  • Grease a non stick frying pan with some oil (using a paper tissue works well) and heat
  • While the pan is heating up give the batter a quick stir. If it feels dense add a little bit of milk
  • When pan is hot and ready, pour on a small amount of batter – the first pancake, for some bizarre reason, always turns out dreadful!!!!! If anyone has the answer to this please let me know – therefore just use a small amount of batter. Flip it when the sides of the pancake start to go golden and fry on the other side for a minute or two
  • Keep flipping your pancakes and either serve them up straight from the pan (if you, like me, have quite a few little hungry faces staring at you!) or keep them warm in on a plate in the oven and serve once you have used all the batter
  • Enjoy with icing sugar and lemon or yogurt and berries….or maybe nutella?!
  • Oh and don’t forget that after the indulgence bit you are supposed to give up something….what will it be for you this year??

Happy cook – less than happy subject of photography!