Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes

Imagine It! The convenience of blender pancakes made with just wholesome oats and banana and egg. No pancake mix. No refined flour. No added sugar. No gotta-get-to-Whole-Foods weird ingredients.

But It's For Real! For some, it will matter that these light and tender pancakes are gluten-free and dairy-free. But for real pancake lovers? What matters most is that these taste and feel like honest-to-goodness real pancakes. And for people who mark the Christian calendar's Shrove Tuesday with pancakes for supper? This is your recipe!

Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes ♥

FIRST. Just so you know, this family is downright religious about pancakes. We believe in pancakes, not just for breakfast but for supper. After-church pancake breakfasts are a given but when my sister and I were growing up, our mom also made pancakes (or waffles, yum!) for Sunday night supper, usually topped with soft scoops of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. (Just think of that, melting ice cream pooled with warm maple syrup ...)

Sure, for a dozen years now, I've been the internet's "veggie evangelist." But I'm also the self-appointed evangelist for "pancakes for supper." If you too are a believer, help spread the word! It's a message to believe in, Make Tonight a Pancake Night!

Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes ♥

SECOND. All blasphemy whimsy aside, no question, my almost 91-year old father is a life-long pancake fiend. Given an accommodating short-order cook, he'd happily tuck into a short stack every day. (The only thing that makes him happier? Donuts. And maybe #PieDayFriday.)

So when he first came to live with us almost a year ago, I made pancakes a couple of times a week. The idea was to use familiar comfort food to ease the transition into our new living situation. Pancake bribery persuasion? Maybe.

Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes ♥

THIRD. But truth be told, I do pay attention to nutrition and really wasn't happy with my pancake-a-day (see-the-doctor-every-day) breakfast practice. It put an overload of refined flour and sugar into my father's aging body, let alone Jerry's and mine.

Even homemade pancakes don't measure up to my evolving view of what constitutes healthy everyday eating. (Did I ever tell you about the time someone called my plateful of warm-from-the-oven cookies "junk food"? No, I protested, They're homemade! Yes, I realized later, she was right. Admittedly, it was a shocker. Truthfully, it changed my thinking.)

Banana + Oat Pancakes to the Rescue! I adapted a random internet recipe, combining no more than everyday pantry ingredients of oats and eggs and bananas. Except? I did borrow essential flavor cues from my sister's wonderful Lifetime Pancakes that are the "house pancakes" both in Adanna's home in Texas and here in mine in Missouri. Those cues? A barely detectable underlying spice (nutmeg is my favorite but cinnamon is lovely too) and a tiny splash of vanilla. So simple but what a difference!

Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes ♥

At first, Dad thought he'd like the pancakes with bananas stirred right in the batter but then changed his mind. A few pieces on top, though? A grand idea!

What about a drizzle of homemade banana syrup? It's pure sugar and entirely optional. But for banana lovers, wow, it sure does intensify the banana essence.

And in case it's not yet clear, I'm still conflicted evolving about the rightful place of flour and sugar in our diets. Thoughts, anyone? Where're you on the Refined Flour and Refined Sugar question in the Year 2017?

Lenten Grass ♥, an old Finnish tradition, good way to mark the season of Lent with children.

And one more quick thing. With Lent beginning this week, consider planting a plateful of Lenten grass. This is an old Finnish tradition, a way to mark the Lenten season, especially for children but a tradition I've happily followed since I lived in Finland as an exchange student. I'll be digging out my favorite platter this week!

Here's how! Lenten Grass


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes about 12 small pancakes

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (or more vanilla)
  • Oil, for the griddle or skillet

  • Sliced bananas
  • Banana Syrup (recipe below) or maple syrup

PANCAKES So easy! Just throw all the ingredients into the blender, breaking the bananas into chunks as they go in. Give the blender a whizz until everything's combined. You may need to use a spoon or spatula to move the ingredients around a bit, don't forget to turn off the blender before doing that! Um, experience talking.

Heat a non-stick electric skillet to 325F/160C to 350F/175C or a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Brush the surface with a little oil, not much, just enough so the pancakes will easily release not "fry" in oil. Use a partially filled 1/3 cup measure to scoop and pour the batter onto the hot surface. Let the pancakes cook until the bottom edges begin to brown and bubbles form and pop on top; check the progress underside by lifting a pancake's bottom edge with a spatula. Once the bottom side is done, flip and cook the other side.

TO SERVE Serve asap, hot pancakes topped with sliced bananas and drizzled with a little banana syrup.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes make up zip-zip! But if you want even a few minutes head start, gather the ingredients ahead of time, just don't combine them in the blender until you're ready to start cooking – and eating! If you're making the Banana Syrup, you will want to start it about an hour before eating.

ALANNA's TIPS In my house, with eggs, this recipe for Triple-Banana Pancakes easily serves four, eggs for the main course with small pancakes on the side. Without eggs, the recipe serves two. Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes are more fragile than flour-based pancakes. Do make them small so they'll turn more easily but do know that even small pancakes need to be flipped pancakes carefully, make sure the bottom side is completely done. To be fully cooked, the underside should be more brown than golden, use a spatula to check before flipping. We use our electric pancake griddle all the time, it's small enough for three but large enough to handle grandkids who often come for Sunday-morning pancakes.

Whole Recipe: 542 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 423mg Cholesterol; 966mg Sodium; 91g Carb; 11g Fiber; 35g Sugar; 21g Protein.

Per Pancake, assumes 12: 45 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 35mg Cholesterol; 80mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2 (2 pancakes is 3 SmartPoints, not bad, Weight Watchers people, not bad!) CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 2 pancakes (3g protein).


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes 3 cups

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, in chunks

In a heavy saucepan, bring the water, sugar and banana to a boil and let simmer 1 minute. Off heat, let the syrup rest for 15 minutes. With a fork or potato masher, gently mash the chunks, then let rest another 15 minutes. Mash again, then rest another 15 minutes. Strain and store in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Make the syrup days or even weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. I made a batch back in July, it's still good six months later; the banana flavor really becomes strong after a day or two in the fridge.

Per Tablespoon: 33 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 9g Carb; 0g Fiber; 9g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2

Pancakes for Breakfast & Supper Both!

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