Banana Bread Pancakes

Before I even begin to tell you about this week’s post, I have exciting news to share with you.

It’s Not Easy Eating Green is now part of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection. Joining this community of talented bloggers is a huge honor, and I am delighted that It’s Not Easy Eating Green was chosen to be part of this group.

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Two years ago, when I first quit my job to stay at home with Little Guy I went through a phase where I did not know quite what to do. After two years of working long hours and then coming home to take care of my family, I found myself lost in a sea of free time. Eventually I started this blog that was not only satisfying, but it also filled my time nicely and kept me thinking.

I had tried rigorous house cleaning (which is really funny if you know just how much I cannot stand cleaning house), and then I settled in to cooking – a lot! Those first few months I found myself making banana bread all the time. I cooked loaf after loaf (and yes, I gained a few pounds those months). Slowly a recipe emerged which I deemed healthy yet tasty enough to eat without loads of butter. I published that recipe on Food.com and it still can be found there. More importantly, it was the beginning of my journey to take my family from too many convenience foods to homemade and wholesome, earth-friendly foods.

Fast forward two years. I don’t bake banana bread anymore. It’s not that I have anything against banana bread, but I have a personal goal to be the healthiest I’ve ever been when I turn 40 this year. While I certainly don’t deprive myself of anything, I do try to control my access to foods I know I’ll overeat, like baked goods. These days I avoid making a whole loaf of banana bread, which is likely to become nothing more than a prolonged, gluttonous, banana-bread-eating frenzy. Instead, I opt for making smaller portions of things, or different versions.

Maybe its a dream of slathering on gobs of butter, or addictive sweet flavor, but banana bread is on my mind a lot lately. Not wanting to give in to my evil carb-loving sugar cravings, I decided to turn my banana-bread fixation into something more useful; a new recipe. Starting with my banana bread recipe and tweaking it, I came up with banana nut bread pancakes. They taste just like a super moist banana bread, but with less sugar and they are gone in one meal with nothing to gorge on later. I’m safe!

Beside these pancakes there are two other pancake recipes I make frequently. One is the Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes which I posted ages ago (my fifth post of all time so if you click the link ignore the terrible photography). The other is the spelt pancakes from The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook.

I highly recommend both. My banana bread pancakes borrows ideas from both recipes. As in the yogurt pancakes, I use yogurt to add acid and flavor to the cakes. This replaces the buttermilk in my original banana bread recipe. From the King Arthur pancakes recipe I take the spelt flour. Spelt flour makes the best pancakes I have ever had. You can get it anywhere they sell Bob’s Red Mill products, and I buy it by the case! You do need to let spelt flour sit for awhile before cooking so that it has time to absorb the liquid.

One of the biggest advantages to making banana bread as pancakes is that if part of your family likes nuts, and the other part does not, you can add nuts only to the pancakes of the nut lovers. That means I get my nuts, and Hubby doesn’t have to suffer the nutty pancakes that he hates!

My life is full of things to do, and there is certainly no excess time to schedule cleaning my house, but I’m happy knowing I can still enjoy banana bread, one meal at a time. Enjoy!

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Banana Bread Pancakes
makes 12-5 inch pancakes

These super moist pancakes need to cook longer and at a lower temperature than normal pancakes. Keep your pan on medium-low and let them stay on the griddle as long as possible without letting them get too dark. Use only two bananas if you prefer a drier texture.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup milk (I use low fat)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

In one bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.

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In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas.

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Add the yogurt, brown sugar,  milk, vanilla, eggs and butter.

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Stir in the flour mixture.

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Let the pancake batter rest for 15 minutes to allow the spelt flour to expand and soften.

While the batter is resting, toast the chopped nuts (if using) in a 400 degree oven for four minutes (I use a toaster oven set to the light toast setting, stirring the nuts twice during the time. After 15 minutes of resting, the batter will be thick. Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium-low heat. Brush with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the pancake batter onto the hot griddle in about 1/3 cup circles.

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Allow to cook until the bubbles break and do not re-fill and the edges start to dry slightly.

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If you are using nuts, sprinkle a tablespoon of nuts on the pancake before flipping.

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Use a large spatula to flip the pancakes over. Cook for about an additional three minutes or until the bottom is deep brown but not burned. Keep warm in an oven until ready to serve. Serve with syrup and additional toasted nuts.

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