I had two very lovely houseguests this weekend, one of my very best friends from birth (Amy) and her nearly 6-year old daughter (Miss Elli). We filled our time with plenty of games, a freezing walk to see some Pond Hockey, and lots of girl talk.
One area in which I'm culinarily deficient is in kid cuisine. Even when I try to think ahead, I can not come up with kid-friendly healthy food. Those little buggers are too smart! One time I made from-scratch macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets for my nephew. He wouldn't touch it - he's no dummy, he knew that macaroni didn't come from the blue box! And he even refused my decadent dark chocolate pudding for dessert because he thought I hid broccoli in it. Yep, I've scarred him for life.
When I asked Miss Elli this weekend what she wanted for breakfast, she said "cereal." Oops. I totally forgot about cereal. I had bought bread, bananas, and eggs. But cereal never crossed my mind! I offered to make some granola she could eat like cereal with almond milk, oatmeal, egg-in-a-frame, scrambled eggs, french toast, waffles...all a no-go. Finally - I asked about pancakes and she said yes.
I found a recipe that's simple and very healthy. And the best part? She ate it. Whew.
I made these pancakes vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free, and they came together in about 2 minutes. You can of course sub in regular flour, regular milk, and add sweetener if you don't care about the wheat, dairy, and sugar. They are not sweet at all (isn't that what the syrup is for?), and I think they taste like a bowl of banana oatmeal in pancake form.
I tried adding blueberries but they just fell apart when I flipped them, so I'd recommend just adding blueberries to your syrup if you want the extra antioxidents (just boil blueberries in a little maple syrup until soft then crush with a fork). I did cave and added chocolate chips for Miss Elli (I'm not fooling myself, I know this is why she cleaned her plate!). Oh well, if a tablespoon of chocolate chips gets her to eat all the good nutrients in the oats and bananas, it's worth it.
Banana Oat Pancakes, adapted from Colourful Palate
Makes 7-8 large pancakes
1 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup oat flour (or other flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-3 dates (optional, for added sweetness)
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or other milk)
2 ripe bananas
Add-ins (optional) like nuts, berries, or chocolate chips.
Blend all ingredients (except add-ins) in a blender, or mix together well in a large bowl until bananas are mashed and everything is mixed well.
Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over low and spray with cooking spray, or brush with olive oil or butter. Pour a ladle of batter in a circle. If you dare, sprinkle the pancake with berries, nuts, or chocolate chips at this point.
Let cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes until bubbles form all over top of pancake and edges turn golden brown. Gently flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
Serve hot with maple syrup. Or, I like to spread cold leftover pancakes with with peanut butter and roll them up for a breakfast on the go.
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