White Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberries

“You’re like the hoarder of light bulbs.”

“You never know, this may be a collector’s item one day.”

“Really,” as I reach for the lightbulb to toss it into the trash.

“Hey. Hey! Don’t touch my lightbulb!”

“Roo, it’s garbage!”

“No, it’s my precious.  PRECIOUS.”

This is what I have to deal with.  But there’s an upside.

We’re having pancakes for dinner.

Sure, you can have your *King Cake, but you know what?  That little plastic baby Jesus freaks me out.

Seriously, how can you enjoy your cake when somewhere, lurking inside is little plastic baby Jesus, waiting to choke you.

And technically, is today called King Cake Day?  No, it’s Pancake Tuesday, and eating this

is way more fun than having this,

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Recipe Redo – Banana Pancakes

Many people are worrying what the heck they’re going to cook for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m worrying about what I’m going to eat before that meal, to keep me fueled for a long day of cooking.

Traditionally, my mother would wake up early to put the bird in the oven and then spend the rest of her day cooking; hungry, cranky, and maybe a little light-headed after having a glass of wine once the rest of the family started to show up.

That is not how I want to spend my day, especially because I’ll be cooking with my mother this year.  That’s all my dad needs: two hungry, cranky, not-all-there women trying to figure out how to relight the pilot on the stove.  Explosive is an understatement.

As I was going through my old recipes I found that a lot of my favorite cakes were up to date with the plant-based diet Roo and I are now on, but classic breakfast items like pancakes were a bit lacking.

These banana pancakes are a new take on a previous recipe, but honestly, I think I like them more.  Ground flax seed and white whole wheat flour give it a substantial, nutty base, only to be topped with gooey, sweet and an ever so slight crunch, caramelized bananas, making a pancake that (gasp!) doesn’t really need maple syrup.

I love that after eating two or three I feel full, energized but not weighed down from the usual weekend breakfast fare one may get at a IHOP.  (Seriously, all you can eat pancakes? Why IHOP, why must you challenge me like this?)

While it may take some convincing to sit my mother down and make her eat something before we get our multiple sides, loaf of bread and two pies started (we prep like we’re feeding an army yet there’s only five people…strange), I think she’ll be happier about not feeling so light-headed after sipping on some Pinot Gris.  Hopefully you’ll take a little time for yourself as well, before starting on your Thanksgiving meal.

Adapted from Apple Topped Pancakes

Makes About 9 – 10 Pancakes

Ingredients

Wet

2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds

1 cup of almond milk (I used “original” which is sweetened) or any other non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Quarter cup of water

Quarter cup of pumpkin puree (unsweetened applesauce may work)

2 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce (or, if you’d like something richer, 2 tablespoons mild flavored olive oil)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Dry

One and a quarter cups of white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

Eighth of a teaspoon of fine sea salt

And the rest

2 very ripe large bananas, cut into quarter inch slices (It should work out to about 4 slices of banana per pancake)

Olive oil, butter (like Earth Balance) or cooking spray; whatever you prefer to grease your pan with to cook the pancakes (if you want to be a healthy rockstar, go with the cooking spray)

Equipment

A small sized mixing bowl

A medium sized mixing bowl

A whisk

A clean quarter cup measuring cup

A large skillet

A cookie sheet (optional, just to keep pancakes warm)

If you’re using your cookie sheet, place it on a rack in the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 250F.

In a small sized mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients.  Whisk the dry ingredients till well combined, so that there are no lumps visible.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Mix everything together till combined.  Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Add your olive oil, butter or cooking spray to your skillet.  Place the pan over a burner on medium heat.  Add the batter in a little less than quarter cup scoops to your pan.

Cook the pancakes for about three minutes, then add some sliced banana to the uncooked side (side facing up at you).  I like to add about four slices of bananas per pancake.  Cook the pancakes for another minute (or until the underside, side facing down on the pan, is well browned), then flip over.  Cook the pancakes for another two to three minutes.

As you finish cooking the pancakes, place them in the oven on the cookie sheet, if using.  If not, set them aside or serve them up as you go.  Just be sure to serve the pancakes caramelized banana side face up (ooooh! novelty!).  Offer maple syrup, but Roo and I find that the pancakes are plenty sweet enough from the caramelized bananas, ie deliciousness.

Apple Topped Pancakes

With there being 31 days in October, today marks the halfway point for LLN in VeganMoFo!

I’m happy to say that I haven’t been very tempted this month to stray from the plant based diet that Roo and I decided to do.  However, it never felt like we were really alone in this, as The VeganMoFo community is incredibly informative and supportive.  There are so many people who are eating plant based meals for the same reasons Roo and I are.  Also, I came to learn that the authors of some of the most popular vegan blogs, are actually more accessible than others (omnivore) that I have read. @Mama_Pea and @IsaChandra of Peas and Thank You and Post Punk Kitchen, have always replied back to my questions on Twitter, and get this, were nice about it.  While I’ve received replies back from authors of other types of blogs, the majority, have been from the vegans, who responded, every time.

I can honestly say that I can only hope my blog can become even half as popular as theirs.  But it should be noted that their work ethic of always getting back to the people who visit their blogs, is something to be admired, blog stats aside.

On that note, this morning I saw that @IsaChandra tweeted her Apple Pie Pancake recipe.  I had just rolled out of bed, fed the cats (because they wouldn’t let me get onto my laptop without a proper “exchange”)

and in a pre-coffee haze, started to scroll through my emails and twitter account.

“Apple pie for breakfast?” I asked Roo.

“When have I not wanted pie for breakfast?” he replied.

It was true, how could I not make it.

Unfortunately when I went through my cupboards I realized that I didn’t have everything.  Not to be one to endanger the shoppers of Market Basket with my pre-coffee state, I hoped that I could get away with adapting the recipe a bit.  While I was nervous, as pancakes, in my opinion, are a hybrid of baking and cooking, with baking being oh-so-finicky in adjustments, and cooking, the forgiving, almost begging to be done on the fly, I figured if that they didn’t work out, Roo could defrost the sweet potato spice cake I had squirreled away in the freezer.

People, let this be the reason to do your breakfast making pre-coffee.  It worked.  And it was awesome.

The apple topping wasn’t oh-so-sweet that you felt like you needed an insulin shot after (which I has been a common complaint from my friends who still worship the Ihop every weekend…why???).  There were even hints of citrus, as the apples were able to cook down into the apple juice, simmering, stewing, creating an incredibly lush, soft, warm, reduction-like topping.

The pancakes were slightly nutty from the ground flax seed, and full of spice, as I piled on the cinnamon, nutmeg and spice into the flour-mix.  I also loved that in Isa’s original recipe, she mixes the apple cider vinegar into the almond milk, which creates a pseudo-buttermilk, if you will.  This added to the lightness of the pancake, which I just loved.

If you’re looking for a great breakfast to properly introduce you to fall, this is it.  Grab your apples and start peeling!

Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

Makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients

For the Apple Topping

2 apples, peeled and diced into easily edible pieces

Half teaspoon ground cinnamon

Half cup of apple juice

Half tablespoon of cornstarch

For the pancakes

Half cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non dairy milk)

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds

Three quarters of a cup of white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour if that’s what you have)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Half teaspoon of ground ginger

One eighth of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Quarter teaspoon of fine sea salt (I use Diamond)

1 tablespoon of mild tasting olive oil

One third of a cup of apple juice

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Grease for your pancake pan (I like 1 tablespoon of olive with 1 teaspoon of butter, like Earth Balance, melted and then swished around to coat the pan)

Equipment

One medium mixing bowl

A 1 to 2 cup measuring cup (Like a pyrex with a spout that can sit on the counter and hang out)

A whisk

A spatula

A Quarter cup measuring cup, cleaned and saved for batter pouring

A sharp knife

A medium pot (about 3 quarts)

A large saute pan

A cookie sheet, warmed in a 250F oven to keep your pancakes warm

Place a cookie sheet onto an oven rack, in the middle position of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 250F, to keep your pancakes warm.

Now start with your topping, as while it cooks, you can prep the pancakes.

In a medium pot, add the apples, cinnamon, apple juice,and cornstarch.  Mix till combined with a spatula.  Place on a burned over medium heat.  Bring the ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes.  Basically by the time you’re done with the pancakes, the apples should also be fork tender.  Remove from heat and serve generously over pancakes.

While your apples cook down, pour the almond milk, apple cider vinegar and ground flax seeds into your measuring cup.  Stir ingredients together till combined.  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together till combined.  Scoop out a little well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the milk mixture, olive oil, apple juice, vanilla extract and maple syrup.  Stir till just combined (a couple lumps are ok).  It’s going to look like a mess at first, but it’ll come together.  Set aside.

Add your preferred grease to your pancake pan (some people are devout to oil, some think if you don’t use butter (like Earth Balance), you’re insane, and some, like me, use both, because they love both).  Place the pan on a burner over medium.  When the grease starts to shimmer, use your quarter cup measuring cup to scoop out the batter, and pour it into the pan.  My pan can fit 3 pancakes at a time, so this is what I work with.

When the pancake starts to bubble (and you can peek to see how brown the side faced down in the grease is with a spatula, I won’t tell anyone) and the sides start to set, flip your pancake.  This takes about 2 to 3 minutes.  Cook the second side for about 2 to 3 minutes more, depending on how crazy-hot (yes, I said it) your burner is.  I always peek at the side face down on the pan, so I can control how brown the pancakes get.  There is no shame in this.  Seriously.  When the pancakes are done, set aside on your cookie sheet in the oven, to keep warm.

Repeat the above process until you run out of batter.

When ready to eat, serve with the apple topping.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

I think I’m the only female on earth that doesn’t like Jack Johnson’s song, Banana Pancakes.  I like Jack Johnson, and some of my male friends – even some I’ve dated – have an eerily strong love for the man that loves to repeatedly tell me “we’re better together.”

No Jack, no, we are not.

I do love actual banana pancakes.  (I also love the concept of eating breakfast for dinner, also known as “Brinner.”)  I came across this recipe one Saturday morning when I was craving a warm breakfast, but with minimal effort.  This recipe is great as the ingredients can put together in five minutes and within a half an hour, we were sitting down at our kitchen table to eat breakfast.

Not listening to Jack Johnson.

I also love that everything about it seems healthy but it tastes indulgent.  If there’s anything I can suggest is please, please, use the bananas.  Sure, blueberry pancakes are also delicious, but the bananas.  The bananas caramelize.  How can you go wrong with a somewhat slightly crunchy on the outside, sweet – hey, maybe that could be creme brulee in my mouth, if I really think about, wait, why is he staring at me? –  incredibly creamy, caramelized banana slice?  You just can’t.

Adapted, a little, from Gina’s Skinny Recipes

Makes about 9 pancakes

Ingredients

Dry

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt (I used Diamond fine sea salt)

Wet

3 large egg whites

1 cup milk (I used 1%)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste this time as I ran out of extract)

2 teaspoons olive oil (I use a very mild flavored one, such as Filippo Berio)

Other

3 ripe bananas sliced quite thin, for about 6 – 9 slices per pancake (I love caramelized bananas on the bottom of my pancake.  If you think that may be overwhelming, cut up one banana, and decorate your pancake from there.)

Set aside some olive oil to coat your pan

Equipment

2 small – medium mixing bowls

A whisk (maybe a spatula as well)

A medium saute pan

*Save your 1/4 cup measuring cup to ladle out pancake batter

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl with a whisk.  I don’t use a sifter as I feel whisking the components together evenly distributes them as well as gets rid of any possible lumps.  Also, I don’t own a sifter.

Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  I do this in two increments.  Mix together till combined.  Using your whisk to do this is fine, but if you’re worried about over mixing and can’t bear doing this without a spatula (my mother is one of those people), then grab a spatula.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your medium saute pan, just enough to coat the surface.  Today I used my “super huge,” (yes, that’s an official term) fry pan, and perhaps overdid it with 5 tablespoons (I was singing along to Coldplay, I can’t be held accountable with the turmoils of multi-tasking).  But you know what?  It was still delicious.  So do what you want.

Heat the saute pan on medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, scoop up a 1/4 cup of pancake batter.  Trying not to overcrowd the pan (I have “Martha” moments and don’t like to see my pancakes touching/fusing), scoop out as many 1/4 cup portions that will fit.  (In the “super huge,” this is three, in my medium sized saute pan, it’s only two.)  When the pancake batter starts to bubble, add the slices of banana.  I can fit about 6 – 9 slices per pancake.

When the bubbles of the pancakes get quite large and the edges begin to set (or you can cheat and peak underneath to see how brown the pancake is getting in the oil), flip the pancake.  I have to say that the larger the bubbles get, the easier the flipping is.  Also, it takes me about 6 pancakes in (which is sad because this recipe only makes 9) for me to gain the confidence to flip the pancake quickly enough so that it doesn’t turn into a amoeboid-pancake (or worse, looks like Java the Hut’s cousin…it happens).  Thankfully Roo never judges and eats the ugly pancakes.  Yes, boys usually don’t care, especially when it comes to caramelized bananas (…and carbs).

I’ll admit that I’ve flipped the pancakes (in lack of patience) to get them to that right amount of doneness that I want.  I have yet to see the pancake deflate because of this.  If I really was Martha Stewart, I’d probably discourage you from this, emphasizing “must,” and cutting at the air with my spatula saying, “not,” but I’m not Martha.  Make these pancakes in your pre-coffee state the way you want them.

When your pancakes are fully cooked, repeat adding the pancake batter to the pan, with the rest of what’s in your bowl.

You may find that you’ll have to add a bit more olive oil with every batch.  That’s ok, whatever it takes to prevent your pancakes from sticking to the pan.

Lastly, Roo and I have found that these pancakes do not need maple syrup.  But, before you call me un-American, give it a try.