Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oat Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Here's another goodie from the Whole Life Nutrition cookbook. It's a good recipe for anyone who is gluten intolerant or who doesn't eat eggs. Elspeth was a little dubious until Evan gave her a bit with a jammy blueberry in it. After that, she couldn't be stopped. Since she did greatly prefer the 'bluble' bites (as we jokingly call blueberries), I would significantly bump up the blueberries in this recipe. The original calls for one small banana; I had half of a large one and used that. The banana flavor was subtle, so I would be tempted next time to use a whole banana of whatever size. Because have no dairy issues in our house, I used whole cow's milk instead of rice milk. The trick to using any kind of milk is that it can't be refrigerator cold or else the coconut oil will harden after you've gone to all the troubled to melt it. If you're using a fresh box (at room temp) of non-dairy milk you can skip the warming step. I found that a 1/2 cup pancake was rather large and also dropping it from a measuring cup onto the griddle made the pancake a bit thick and difficult to cook through. Instead, I just used a large deep spoon and spread the batter onto the griddle to ensure a slightly thinner cake.

I'm editing this post on February 21st to say that the greater quantities of blueberries and whole large banana worked well. The other thing that was really nice was that I replaced 1/2 c. of the oats with 1/2 c. of ground almonds to add more protein and other nutrients. This made the batter much thinner so we didn't need to add more milk. The addition of an extra 1/4 c. of ground flaxseed helped the texture even more and was tasty. I also added 1/4 tsp salt and I think the pancakes were lighter as a result. However, it's still very important to spread the batter onto the griddle instead of forming a pool of it. Otherwise, the edges cook but the middle does not and so the cakes are impossible to flip.

1 1/2 c. rolled oats (she specified thick-cut but I used medium) OR 1 c. rolled oats plus 1/2 c. ground almonds (almond meal)
1/4 c. ground flaxseed (optional for extra texture and Omega 3)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt (as opposed to kosher or coarse salt)
1 1/4 c. rice milk (or other non-dairy or cow's milk)
2 TBSP melted coconut oil plus more for the griddle (I use non-virgin coconut oil which doesn't give a pronounced coconut flavor)
1 TBSP maple syrup or agave nectar
1 banana
1/2 to 1 c. blueberries--thaw first if using frozen and make sure they're not too cold

  1. Make a flour out of the rolled oat by grinding in a coffee grinder or other such device
  2. Combine oat flour, ground almonds, ground flaxseed, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl
  3. Mash the banana in the bottom of a medium microwave-safe bowl (in case you need to warm your milk)
  4. Add the milk and maple syrup to the banana
  5. If using 'milk' from the fridge, be sure to warm it to at least room temperature before proceeding (40 seconds in the microwave on high worked for me)
  6. Now, add the melted coconut oil. If it seizes up because the coconut oil gets too cold, microwave again for 40 seconds or so
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until just moistened
  8. Fold in the blueberries and add more milk if the batter is too thick
  9. Heat a large skillet (I actually use our cast iron griddle that straddles two gas burners) over medium-low heat
  10. Brush with coconut oil and ladle the batter onto the skillet or griddle (no more than 1/2 c. per pancake, smaller if little tykes will be eating them; the second time I made these, I used a 1/8 c. measure). Make sure to spread the batter out well, even if it's very liquidy
  11. Cook for a few minutes on the first side. You can tell they're getting done in a similar way to traditional pancakes. You won't see bubbles forming, but the sides of the pancakes will start looking a little dry. If you're worried, lift up a corner to see if it's your desired brownness
  12. Flip the pancakes and cook for an additional few minutes. Remove to a warming plate or serve
  13. Brush the griddle or skillet with a bit more coconut oil and continue with the next round. I made 7 decent-sized pancakes with this amount of batter. When I did dollar-sized pancakes, the recipe made more like 16-18 pancakes.

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