I’ve written previously about how important I think breakfast is and why you need to start your day off properly. And thinking back I’m sure my parents instilled this in me from a young age, and in particular one style of breakfast conjures up vivid memories.
I was a keen tennis player when I was little and my mum and I got into the ritual that if I got to the final of the tournament, I’d always have pancakes for breakfast. I’m pretty sure munching my way through as many lemon and sugar pancakes as I could muster on those mornings made the difference between me keeping going in that final set. At Nationals the pancake van was always hugely popular and I was always first in the queue.
I think it’s obvious that I’ve clearly loved pancakes from a young age which has only continued through to my thirties and that I secretly wish it could be Shrove Tuesday every Tuesday. I even went as far as going out and buying a second pancake pan because mine was in storage when Shrove Tuesday rolled round this year. There was no way I was missing out!
I’m normally a total traditionalist when it comes to how I like my pancake; with a good squeeze of lemon and a heaped teaspoon (or two if I’m honest) of sugar.
However, with a trip to Florida coming up this week, I was thinking about how the Americans make their pancakes compared to us Brits. An American pancake is thicker, fluffier and spongy; served all stacked up and covered in maple syrup with some streaky bacon criss-crossed on top. Whilst I love the idea of this, I’m not quite up for a breakfast so heavy when I’ve got a bikini to get into at the weekend.
I liked the idea of making an oat based pancake that follows a similar theme as the bircher muesli that I enjoy so much. I did some research and read a few different ways to make them before adding a few different recipes together to make the one below.
I wanted to keep them as sugar free as possible with the sweetness coming from the banana, almond milk and the maple syrup. I’d also look at using whole wheat flour next time to provide additional goodness but I didn’t have any to hand. The blackberries were added to cut through the sweetness of the pancake rather than the usual blueberries you might normally serve them with.
The pancakes were light and fluffy but had that oaty texture I was looking for that meant just four pancakes was actually pretty filling.
The banana and cinnamon were such a great combination with the nutty oaty undertones that I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to put these together before. I was worried that they might be a bit dry with all the oats, but actually the almond milk kept the mixture nice and moist.
The pancakes just mopped up the yoghurt beautifully.
The blackberries were such a nice change to using blueberries and provided a satisfying sharp contrast.
I felt like I should have been feeling a little guilty about eating pancakes as I always view them as a bit of a treat, but these were full of goodness and kept you full for hours afterwards. I’m looking forward to trying some American Pancakes this weekend and seeing how they compare to my new favourite pancake; Cinnamon Banana Oat Pancakes.
Totally guilt free and ready to take the day on… just minus the tennis match these days.
Cinnamon Banana Oat Pancakes served with Blackberries and (low fat) Yoghurt
(serves 8 small pancakes, so 4 each)
125g all purpose flour
1 large mashed banana
100g rolled oats, coarsely ground
235ml almond milk
1 large egg
¼ cup rapeseed oil (or I might use coconut oil next time)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Handful of blackberries
Few dollops of low fat yoghurt with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired
Coarsely grind the oats, but not too fine as you want the pancakes to have some of the texture of the oats. Combine the oats with the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and, nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, mash up the banana and add the almond milk, rape seed oil and large egg and whisk vigorously.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix together well so that the dry ingredients are properly incorporated. Drizzle in the maple syrup and mix through.
Heat a large non-stick pan and lightly oil the pan using a tablespoon per pancake. Ladle a small spoonful of batter and cook until a few bubbles burst, which takes just a couple of minutes. Flip the pancake (do it quick!) and cook until browned on the undersides, again just a couple of minutes.
Serve the pancakes stacked and ‘dolloped’ with low fat yoghurt and drizzled with maple syrup.