Wednesday, July 18, 2012

'Better Than The Real Thing' Pancakes

Okay so I know that one of the most difficult meals in the Paleo diet is breakfast. Eggs get boring fast, having a hamburger is a bit heavy, and there are so many great breakfast items we grew up loving that don't quite make the cut (sorry Cap'n Crunch).

We each have our own weaknesses when it comes to the kitchen. In my case, pancakes. That fluffy wheel of heaven, lathered in butter and Canadian maple syrup makes the fat kid inside me drool. Fortunately, there is a way we can leave the Bisquick in aisle 4, taking a healthier (and in my opinion tastier) rendition of an American classic.

The fresher the better!
What you'll need for this recipe:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 egg- 1 heaping tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 handful fresh blueberries
- Real butter (toss the margarine)

When mixing your ingredients, I've found its really important to have ripe yellow bananas with no green on the peel. Using these will yield a much sweeter batch.

I usually start by breaking up the bananas into smaller, more manageable chunks and then adding the egg on top. I use an old-school mash potato smasher (I'm sure this has a technical name but you know what I'm talking about, right?) to squish the bananas, making sure that I leave it a bit clumpy (see the clumps above?). If you make the batter too creamy the pancakes won't bond together as well, making them almost impossible to flip cleanly. Then I add a big spoon of almond butter, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and mix it all up with a spoon.

As with cooking normal pancakes, its important for the pan to be so hot that when you flick water on it, it sizzles and evaporates immediately. Then add butter to the pan and let it melt shaking the pan vigorously like you're starring a Carraba's commercial. I like to pop the blueberries in each pancake as soon I'm done pouring the batter, making little smilies which I will later dismember with my face.

Your pancake will be ready to flip when you see little bubbles forming throughout the batter. I personally like to over cook them a tiny bit on the bottom because it makes them a bit crispy. If you try to flip it too early the pancake will rip. Don't sweat it though, just sneak your spatula back out and let it cook a little bit longer. If  you managed more damage to your pancake, you can mix it up like a scrambled egg, just don't photograph it for Gourmet magazine.

I've always found that cooking pancakes with a metal spatula is considerably easier. The plastic ones are a bit bulky and hard to maneuver. Just be very careful if you are using non-stick pans, as you don't want to scratch the Teflon coating.

Now I must admit, I didn't come up with the idea of these banana pancakes on my own, I found them in the user-created cookbook at I did however add the nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and blueberries. I found when I made them with out these ingredients, the flavor was lacking a bit. Also I wasn't getting the sweet to my butter that is typically facilitated by syrup, hence... blueberries.

If you're really feeling rebellious (perhaps on a 20% day) maybe try adding some dark chocolate shavings in lieu of the blueberries. Mix and match, experiment and let me know what you come up with!


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