Nat was only two classes in to holistic nutrition school before I started wondering, "are we going to kill the fun of eating? What about treats?"
I love treats. Cake at weddings, pies at Thanksgiving, a cookie with coffee, wings with football, popcorn at the movies, fried dough at a baseball game - life with treats is just more exciting. But a lot of indulgences seem at odds with the goal of eating for health.
The first treat I loved, was the mighty pancake (and it's cousin, the waffle). For at least eight years, it was the only thing I ordered when out to breakfast. Pancakes may have been the first food I ever cooked for myself, the impetus for my culinary journey.
But a traditional pancake has a hard time jiving with the goal of eating for health. Most are made with refined flours, and enjoyed best with butter and syrup.
Would Nat's nutrition knowledge be the end of this lifelong love?
Luckily, this recipe, helped me shed the fear that 'being healthy' might also mean 'being-a-super-lame-no-treat household'.
These pancakes are adapted in a way that keeps the fun, but ditches some of the less desirable ingredients. They taste great on their own (like, even without syrup), but the pluots make an amazing topping, sweet, but slightly tart. Plus, they're as easy to make as their traditional counterparts.
Banana Plantain Pancakes with Pluots
The recipe is based off one by Green Kitchen Stories, an awesome resource for recipes. Our recipe puts an emphasis on texture, and something I call 'flip-ability". Grinding the shredded coconut first, and adding a plantain gives the pancakes enough body to hold together when lifted by the spatula.
If making a batch for one or two people, the leftover pancakes are great as a pre- or post-workout food, too.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 5 eggs
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 ripe plantain (make sure it's yellow/brown, instead of the green variety)
- 1-2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground vanilla
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 pluots (any ripe stone fruits will probably work)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground vanilla
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Wash and cut the fruit into slices.
- Heat a skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil to melt.
- Add the fruit, and sprinkle with spices. Mix well.
- Stir occasionally while cooking the pancakes.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Place a baking sheet inside.
- Place a cast-iron pan on a low heat. (Non-stick works, too. Or a griddle pan, if you have one)
- Place the shredded coconut in a blender. Grind it to a coarse grain. (If it sticks to the sides, scrape the sides of the blender with a spatula)
- Add in the rest of the pancake ingredients.
- Blend into a batter.
- Turn pan heat to medium, and add coconut oil, spreading until coated.
- When pan is hot, pour batter into pan.*
- When bubbles reach the surface, flip the pancakes. I cook about 1 minute on each side.
- When pancakes are done, add to baking sheet in the oven.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Serve pancakes with fruit on top. Yum.
*I always add pancakes in a clockwise direction. That way, it's easy to remember the order they were added, and which pancakes have been on the longest. Counter-clockwise works, too :)
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