Nourishing Oaty Banana Pancakes
With more time at home this year my guess is that many people have their own "lockdown recipes' that they've tweaked, have had more chance to make and consider which foods they enjoy given that extra bit of time in the morning. And for me, those are definitely pancakes. I can honestly say in the height of lockdown I developed a routine of early morning pancakes and coffee as a way to slow-down, nourish the senses and add variety to what was otherwise a blurry, somewhat monotonous yet super busy time with working and my 4 children and their school books at home.
These pancakes are made with a super easy blitz-in-one batter with all ingredients likely to be in a cupboard and fridge nearby. Loaded with fibre from bananas, oats and pumpkin seeds they offer a diverse dining experience for your gut bacteria too! I'd love to share some facts about the amazing properties of bananas- often demonised for their high-carb contours and derailing our blood sugar levels. But as anyone who is familiar with my work- I do love context, particularly when it comes to nutrition.
One medium sized banana show cases 3g of dietary fibre with 0.6g being soluble fibre and contributes about 10% of our daily potassium needs. It has been recommended that we aim for 25-30g of fibre per day with 6-8g coming from soluble fibre. But that's not all. When we look closer at bananas, depending on their cultivar they contain decent levels of a type of starch called arabinogalactans. These plant compounds are being researched for their immune supportive properties and prebiotic functions. Prebiotics are specific types of fibre that selectively feed our gut bacteria and in turn producing further beneficial compounds for our digestive system and wider health.
So firstly I'd encourage anyone to not label any food as "good" or "bad". Nutrition science, being either health, behavioural, social or environmental, is far from being quite as black and white. Secondly I'd also encourage anyone to remember context is crucial; considering what are all the other actors involved. And finally (although i could go on), we are all unique with individual nutrition requirements, responses, preferences and skills (etc!) All all that with the view to making breakfast pancakes :-)
And so before we launch into our recipe let me suggest some toppings- because lets face it, they are the pinnacle of texture, flavour, additional nutrition and all round meal time joy! I love adding plain full fat live yogurt, honey and fruit or more seeds and nuts. I was recently gifted a coconut yogurt starter which has been going steady for the last few weeks and adding such good tang and probiotic love. Ideally use what you have or maybe you feel inspired to try something new. As its currently fig season in Ireland those have been my choice fruit topping with lots of coconut yogurt and hemp seeds.
And so to make these delicious gut supportive pancakes you'll need some kind of blender/nutri-bullet type thing to smoosh all the ingredients before frying on a hot plate or a pan with a little butter or oil.
Makes 4 pancakes:
1 medium banana
couple tablespoons milk-of-choice
4 heaped tablespoons porridge oats
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
handful of blueberries (frozen works great)
Simply blitz the oats and pumpkin seeds to a rough flour-like consistency. Empty into a bowl to use the same container for the wet ingredients; egg and milk in first, then banana broken in bits and finally top with the flour and baking powder to blitz into a batter.
Pour your desired sized pancake on a hotplate or
a frying pan with a little oil. Scatter a few blueberries on top and wait a few minutes for the bubbles to appear. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so. Put on a plate and top with lovely things or leave them to cool and pop in the freezer for another day.
This recipe is excellent for doubling up. If you are planning on a batch-cook I would suggest omitting the blueberries and that way you can simply pop the pancakes in the toaster straight out of the freezer. You can always add the blueberries and any other delicious fruit as part of your selected toppings.