Start the weekend with a wholesome stack of pancakes–and don’t miss the crunchy, salty-sweet topping suggestion!
I adore pancakes. I also adore maple syrup.
So much so that I often have a dull headache after eating this favorite weekend breakfast fare. Likely because the pancakes act like a sponge, and when the syrup disappears, I pour more!
When I realized that too much refined flour and sugar in the absence of other ingredients to balance them didn’t make me feel so great, I began experimenting with whole grain options.
As it is, I do prefer a hearty, nutty flapjack–ideally one that fills me up without sitting like a rock in my stomach. My kids were immediately sold on the following version, and it didn’t occur to them that I made their usual pancakes a touch more wholesome.
Note: The one banana is this recipe does not create a strong banana flavor but does provide good moisture and sweetness. Add the optional chopped banana for a more pronounced banana flavor.
The pecan meal, which lends a subtle nuttiness could be subbed out for flax or almond meal, oat bran, wheat germ, or almost any grain of your choice. Other tips follow the recipe.
New topping idea:
If you’d enjoy an alternative to the usual syrup topping (on any pancake or waffle), and like a salty-sweet-crunchy variation, I highly recommend the following:
Sprinkle some granola in a shallow bowl that is wide enough to accommodate the pancake. Spread the pancake with peanut butter and then press the peanut butter side of the pancake into the granola.
Enjoy with a fork and knife or eat it like toast. My kids also love to do this with Nutella and sometimes top with thinly sliced banana. I frequently toast leftover pancakes and serve this way for a speedy, before-school breakfast.
As you can see from the following photos, I’ve done this with a variety of pancake and waffle recipes!
The following photo shows how the concept has morphed into “loaded waffles.” Because of the holes, I gently mash banana slices into the waffle, sprinkle it with granola, and then drizzle with melted peanut butter and just a touch of pure maple syrup. It’s crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and so very satisfying.
Prepared this way, one waffle with a side of fruit makes a filling meal. With pancakes, two 4- to 5-inch pancakes is our usual serving size.
But back to these pancakes, which offer a hearty, wholesome alternative to the traditional stack, no matter how you top them!
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup pecan meal (could substitute almond or flax meal)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed
- 1 6-ounce cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
- 1¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil or melted butter)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 chopped banana, optional
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Add wet to dry and stir until just combined, folding in chopped banana.
Heat a cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. I often grease the pan with coconut oil to play up the nutty flavor–butter or oil work well too.
Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls, spreading with the back of a spoon as necessary. The batter will be relatively thick. You could thin with more milk, but I enjoy the thicker pancake a thicker batter creates. Cook until golden brown on bottom, then flip and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through the center. Since the pancakes are thick, you may need to turn your heat down to low so that the insides cook before the outsides become too brown. Avoid pressing down with spatula in order to maintain the pancakes’ lightness.
Serve with maple syrup, fruit, or topping of choice.
- Could substitute vanilla, honey, or other flavored yogurt of your choice.
- I often make the pancakes the evening before and pop in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast. They freeze well, too.
- Keep warm in a 200 degree oven if making for a crowd.