Banana-Protein Pancakes!

Another beaaautiful variation of banana pancakes. I made a similar recipe a week or so ago, but felt like protein pancakes again. This version has more protein in and tastes less like banana though, so is probably a better version. Unless you reaaaaally like the taste of banana, in which case, reduce the amount of protein powder you use.

The recipe is identical to the previous one, I just changed two things. I used more protein powder, so the mixture was thicker and less runny. And I swapped out for my smaller non-stick pan and used no oil.
Using no oil and using a non-stick pan makes a huge difference to how the pancakes look. When you use oil, I have found that the surface of the pancake is more spotty and a mixture of golden brown and pancake colour. This is likely due to how oils react to heat. When you use a non-stick pan and take out the oil, on a low heat, the pancake cooks evenly, and the whole surface becomes one solid golden brown colour.

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This recipe will give you fluffy, thick, soft HEALTHY pancakes that honestly feel so moreish and decedent. In my previous pancake recipe, I topped it with raspberries, banana, walnuts and cinnamon powder. This time I used blueberries and almond flakes. I prefer almond flakes to the walnuts. But I like blueberries and raspberries equally.

I remember when I first made american style pancakes, they burned because the heat was too high and they weren’t so fluffy (I didn’t understand how baking powders/baking sodas worked back then) Note: You want to use baking POWDER in this dish, not soda. Only ever use soda if you’re adding an acidic element to the dish such as vinegar, lemon, yoghurt or buttermilk, or you’ll get a strong metallic taste.

 

This recipe is really easy and I love making it because the low heat means I’m not panicked when preparing other things in the morning, because the window between being just right and over cooked is quite large. Because I used the small non-stick pan this time, I did them one at a time and then heat them up in the microwave altogether for 30 seconds at the end to make sure they were all hot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 scoop, flavourless protein powder (if you didn’t get a scoop with your protein powder, then roughly 4 tablespoons will do)
  • half teaspoon baking powder
  • tablespoon vanilla extract
  • blueberries
  • honey/agave/maple syrup
  • almond flakes
  • cinnamon powder

Method:

  1. Chop one banana up, put in a bowl and begin squishing that bad boy with a fork.
  2. Crack one egg into the bowl and mix again. At this point I like to blend it a bit with a hand blender to get rid of any banana lumps. I mean, If that’s your thing, then that’s cool, you do you boo. I just like my pancakes smooth.
  3. Now you want to mix in your protein powder, baking powder and vanilla extract. Carry on mixing until smoooooth as a baby’s bum (- that’s not a good way of describing pancake mix, but whatev)
  4. Turn your pan to medium heat for like 30 seconds, then turn it right down to very low.
  5. Pour in your pancake mix. The size of your pancake is really to do with taste. How big do you want it? I leave the power in your hands here. I usually pour in about 2 heaped tablespoons or something.
  6. My mix was very thick, so I used he back of my spoon to spread the mix out a little bit more.
  7. I’m sorry, I didn’t time it again. I promise, I’ll make more effort to do so when my timer arrives this week! BUT, it takes roughly 5 minutes each side. I kind of just wait a little while, several minutes, flip it over, if it’s not golden enough I just flip it again at the end.
  8. When you flip the pancake, I suggest using your spatula to flatten it out a bit. I do this just to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
  9. After another 3-5 minutes plate up or if it needs flipping again, do so.
  10. Repeat until all the pancake mix is used up.
  11. Here, I had already microwaved my frozen blueberries for 45 seconds. I microwaved my pancakes for another 20 seconds to heat them all, as the first ones I made where now a little cooler.
  12. I topped the pancakes with almond flakes for a nice crunch, the blueberries, sprinkled a bit of cinnamon over them and drizzled some honey over them.

Tips:

  • Agave, maple syrup and honey are all interchangeable. There are very little differences between the three in terms of nutrition, as they are all natural sources of sugar. Personally, I prefer maple syrup for pancakes (I didn’t have any in for this recipe) but it’s just about taste.
  • KEEP THAT HEAT LOW! I put it up to medium to begin, just to get the pan hot, then lower it to the lowest it will go. To be honest, even this way cooks the first side of my pancake a little too quick, but after that, they all cook perfectly.
  • If you have a non-stick pan, use that, with NO oil. This is the only way you will get a lovely golden smooth surface. If you see my first pancake recipe, that was with oil on my larger pan, that isn’t non-stick. You can clearly see the difference.
  • I’ve read that to replace eggs in baking, you substitute in with flour, oil, baking powder and dairy free milk (to make fully vegan) – I’ll be trying this next time and let you know how it compares. If any of you have already tried this recipe with the method for replacing eggs, that I will post below, let me know how it turned out for you.

Egg replacement:
To replace 1 egg: 2 tablespoon flour + 1/2 teaspoon oil + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 2 tablespoons liquid (milk, cream, buttermilk, diluted yogurt, or dairy free alternatives like coconut milk, soy milk, etc) beaten together until smooth.

Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love
C xx

Start the day right, protein pancakes.

American style. I’m British, so American style means small, fluffy and thick. AND STACKABLE! Our pancakes are flat, the size of the pan and you role various ingredients in them – think crepes. Well, yeah… they are crepes basically.

But I like thick fluffy stackable pancakes. And they’re pretty easy to make.
I’ve made healthy protein pancakes many times before, but I’ve never made it with bananas. so I was a bit apprehensive to be honest. I didn’t want it lumpy and I didn’t want to flavour of banana to be the only thing I could taste – even though I do like banana flavour a lot.

My main issue with pancakes is I can usually only make 3 at a time in my large pan (this is the pan that I need to use an oil with as it is my only non-stick pan) my other non-stick pans are much smaller and I can really only do one pancake at a time, meaning some go cold by the time I’m finished stacking (Don’t tell anyone, but if I use those smaller pans, I microwave them all at the end for like 15-20 seconds) – Also, use coconut oil. I mean, olive oil works too, but I think coconut obviously just goes better with sweet pancakes. You can use butter too but that’s not as healthy.

So, batter!

I spent a fair while crushing the damn banana – I keep my bananas in the fridge so that contributed to it not being as squishable…. squishable? Is squishable a word? Well it is now. Anyway, persevere my friends, it will end up gloopier as long as you do not give up with the squishing! When it was mostly squishy, I cracked the egg into it, added a teaspoon of vanilla extract, mixed it up and then decided I wanted it more like pancake batter, so used a hand blender to get rid of the rest of the lumps.

I then added 2-3 tablespoons of unflavoured vegan protein powder. This replicated flour perfectly and is also one of the purest protein powders I’ve found. I then added a quarter spoonful of baking powder to make it fluffy! “IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE!”
I spooned the mixture into the pan that had been placed on the hob a couple of minutes ago on low-medium heat.
I discovered after half a dozen attempts at american style pancakes, two years ago do not cook on high heat. This just burns the outer layer and leaves the inner layer raw. Always cook on low-medium heat.

Cook each side for around 3-5 minutes. There is no set time as each hob varies. I usually cook for several minutes, flip and squish the batter down to ensure they’re cooked through. If the it doesn’t seem very golden, I’ll flip again.

Toppings are really up to you, but I went with banana, to compliment the banana taste – can’t have enough bananananana B-A-N-A-N-A-S! A couple of chopped up walnuts for crunch and I microwaved like 4 raspberries for 20 seconds to make a little raspberry coulis. Drizzled with a bit of hone/agave/maple syrup. Any of the three is fine as they’re all a natural sweetener! Oh! I also sprinkled a dash of cinnamon powder over it. ooh how very fancy!

Ta-daaaaa!
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Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 medium egg (egg substitute for vegans)
  • 2/3 tablespoons of unflavoured protein powder
  • quarter teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 raspberries, 3 walnuts and half a banana (optional)
  • Drizzle of honey/agave/maple syrup (optional)

Directions:

  1. break a ripe banana into several pieces and start mashing it up with a fork. This make take a few minutes.
  2. Break the egg into the bowl and mix it all up.
  3. Put a large pan on the hob, and set to low-medium heat. If you have a non-stick pan, there is no need to add oil, if yours is a bit old like my pan, I suggest adding coconut oil, rather than olive oil (or any other kind of oil)
  4. Depending on whether you want your pancakes smooth, like I did, or lumpy with chunks of banana, this part is optional – whizz together for a minute with a hand blender.
  5. Add the protein powder and baking powder and vanilla essence – mix together.
  6. Tilt the bowl over the pan, and spoon out a little bit of mixture. About two table spoonfuls should do. This should make you three or four pancakes.
  7. After around 5 minutes, flip the pancake over and flatten with your spatula. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Flip again to check the shade of your pancakes (this is all about your own personal taste really. I tend to lightly flatten the pancakes again, a bit. Just to make sure the heat has reached the middle and it’s cooked through.
  8. Garnish with all your chosen toppings. If you want the raspberry coulis, like me – I highly recommend this, if you like raspberries, then just microwave a couple for 20 seconds (fresh or frozen)

This recipe really turned out well, for my first time (using a banana int he mix). I highly recommend it. It felt like I was having something unhealthy – but there is nothing bad in this recipe. So it’s nice knowing that, despite tasting naughty, it really wasn’t!

Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love.
C xx

Homemade healthy granola “parfait”

Parfait traditionally uses ice cream. And is very unhealthy.  And usually looks more like this:

yogurt with muesli and berries in small glass
Source: http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/fruit-and-yogurt-partfaits

It’s traditionally a granola layer, yogurt/ice-cream layer, granola layer, then fruit (i.e berries).

I decided to make my own that involved no refined sugars. This is a really good make-ahead breakfast that is easy to have on the go, or if you can’t handle a big breakfast in the morning. Or like something sweet.

I like a cooked breakfast – you know something that involves eggs, bacon… sausages…toast… mushrooms… beans… all that greasy good stuff. HOWEVER. I’m unfortunately trying to be healthier than my usual lazy, greedy self. Summer is looming – Summer is here actually, but I’m actually starting a new job in a month – my first office job, with office clothes. And I WANT TO WEAR TIGHT PENCIL SKIRTS AND CUTE OFFICE DRESSES GODDAMMIT! So I’m trying to tone up and lose a bit of weight for then.
Honestly, as much as I like to disagree with my logic, my logic tells me I don’t actually have a great deal to lose, I’m generally in the size 12 region, give or take depending on the shop and type of clothing article. But I’m not happy with my body (Who is?!) and I like cooking, so, as I did a few years ago, I take my will to lose weight, my likeness for cooking and combine them to learn new ways of cooking and new exciting meals to taste.

And as they say, “losing weight is 80% the food you eat and 20% the exercise you do” – and I suck at working out. Like really suck. My stamina is dreadful and I have asthma so have that glorious extra challenge to work through. And I tend to make excuses for myself, like “I have asthma… so I can’t do cardio”. I do prefer weights though, I feel like you see results faster in terms of progress with weights, and I find them more fun.

So the first core ingredient of this recipe is DATES. -pause- I hate dates. And raisins and currants (but we only need dates for this recipe so that doesn’t matter). So dates blended!  Well they become this fabulous natural sugar syrup thing that is perfect for baking.

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The very appetizing date syrup. Dates are a horrible colour anyway.

The next core ingredient is oats. Bleh! Boring oats. Oats are used for everything these days aren’t they? Pancakes, porridge, cookies, brownies… granolaaaaa. Oats though, really are an amazing ingredient. They do all sorts of great stuff for the body, such as: Lowering cholesterol (don’t buy the expensive Holland and Barrett rubbish, any oats will do (there are two different types of oats, steel cut and standard? or something? I don’t know, I just get whatever is available). They lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, enhance immune responses to diseases, stabilize blood sugars and more. They also contain a lot of fibre, meaning you’ll be fuller for longer (pst – I don’t find porridge keeps me full for longer though, which is weird, but meh. Maybe I just miss my greasy fry up whenever I only have porridge for breakfast)

So the rest of the ingredients are all really up to you. Here’s my recipe below.

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Ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Dates
  • Neils wholefood yards dried cranberries
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Onken 0% fat probio yoghurt
  • Ground chia seeds
  • Agave nectar

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°
2. Blend up the dates in a blender. Blend with water. The amount of water used depends on the amount fo dates you’re blending and the consistency you want. Add half a cup of water to begin and keep adding half a cup till you get the consistency you want.
3. When it’s all blended to your liking, pour the oats in a bowl and pour in half the amount of date syrup in with them. Mix with a spoon until fully coated.
4. Layer the oats evenly onto a baking sheet covered oven proof dish. Cook for 25 minutes. Mix half way through.
5. In the mean time, if you want to eat this straight after you’ve cooked the oats, cut up and prepare your fruit. This bit is entirely up to you what fruit you want.
6.When the oats are cooked and crunchy, I layered some pro-bio yogurt at the bottom of my dish, layered some oats on top, added my cut up fruits, a sprinkle of ground chia seeds and a drizzle of agave nectar for taste.

Notes:

  • I added grounds chia for added antioxidants, added fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other health benefits.
  • I added the agave for a bit of natural sweetness. That’s everything really. I always have left over oats granola and date syrup. So I stored these both in jars and popped them in the fridge for another time.
  • For the yogurt, look on the pack and make sure it says “live/active cultures” somewhere, this means that it has live healthy bacteria in it that is very good for digestion.

 

Enjoy what the world has to offer.
C xx