A wholesome, naturally gluten-free version of the perennial favorite quick bread, these light and fluffy pancakes incorporate heart-healthy oat flour (or oats) and can be prepared as waffles, too.
Sometimes we just need a stick-to-our-ribs breakfast – and, happily, we can have it in a deliciously wholesome way!
The first banana bread I ever made was this slow baked version. The recipe caught my eye when I was barely out of college. Even then I appreciated a good kitchen experiment, and the 250℉ oven temperature caught my eye.
For the record, that bread is foolproof. I’ve used small bananas, big bananas, added mix-ins and left plain and never had anything but a tender, delicious loaf. (The recipe actually makes two very large loaves that freeze well and make delightful gifts.)
Lately, I’ve been working on a loaf that’s sweetened entirely by overripe bananas. I’m excited about that recipe, too. Stay tuned!
But why not enjoy the classic banana bread flavor in other ways, too?
I’ve cooked countless batches of the following banana bread pancakes and waffles, both for every day breakfasts and holidays brunches. The wholesome recipe is an ideal way to use brown, past-their-prime bananas, which provide more natural sweetness than vibrant yellow, perfect-for-eating bananas.
Often, I prepare a big batch of these pancakes in the afternoon and let them cool. Then I freeze a portion and refrigerate the rest for easy breakfasts over the week ahead.
Of course, a drizzle of maple syrup is the traditional way to enjoy pancakes, but we have a few other favorite toppings.
Note that the natural sweetness and great flavor in these pancakes makes a little syrup go a long way. (This from a person who can use pancakes as a sponge for good maple syrup!) When I do use syrup, I dip each bite into a puddle of syrup on my plate, which cuts down on sugar consumption without sacrificing flavor.
But what about those other toppings? One of my very favorite ways to eat pancakes is to spread them with peanut butter and press them into a shallow bowl of granola. Eaten this way, one or two pancakes make a satisfying meal that supplies a wholesome balance of whole grains, filling protein and healthy fats.
You could use almond or your favorite nut or seed butter in place of the peanut butter, or you could sprinkle the granola over top. The pressing method simply coats and makes the granola adhere a little better.
Either way, you shift the carb-to-protein ratio, stay full longer and end up with pancakes that can be eaten like toast. They’re creamy, crunchy, salty, sweet and so very satisfying. And they’re fun!
To give you a visual, I looked for some photos and found these two－from 2012! The top one incorporates my homemade Bisquick, while the bottom photo shows a grain-free baked pumpkin pancake. Though not shown in these photos, I often top with banana slices. Optionally, a sprinkle of raisins offers an extra hint of natural sweetness for those who enjoy them.
My sons enjoy the peanut butter-granola topping as much as the customary drizzle of maple syrup, but they are equally delighted by a thin spread of Nutella.
Though Nutella may not seem like the healthiest alternative, I find that they are satisfied with fewer pancakes (2-3, with a banana or other serving of fruit as opposed to a stack or two) when eating this way. Also, based on the amount of syrup they tend to use, I’m certain that the thin spread of Nutella delivers far less sugar.
Don’t have Nutella and want to try something chocolatey? Sprinkle some chocolate chips over the warm pancakes, wait a few seconds and then spread the melty chocolate evenly over the surface. You may even find this worthy of dessert.😋
As I note in the recipe, the thick batter lends itself well to waffles, too. The moisture-rich bananas make for a slightly less crisp waffle than a traditional batter does, but they’ve still garnered rave reviews whenever I make them.
For those who don’t have a waffle iron and may be considering a purchase, a waffle iron actually cooks a batch faster and with little monitoring. The model we have chirps like a bird when the waffles are cooked to golden brown perfection.