There is nothing quite as quintessentially "Saturday" as pancakes and bacon. Maybe it's because they take a little longer to make than a normal weekday breakfast, maybe it's because my husband and I make this breakfast together at a little slower pace, or maybe it's because we linger at the table after breakfast, chatting and enjoying our coffee. There's something about pancakes that just feels cozy and relaxed.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up eating Bisquick pancakes or some other pre-packaged mix, which frankly isn't really food.
Here are the ingredients in Bisquick pancakes mix: Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Dextrose, Salt.
Does it sound harsh for me to say this isn't food? When was the last time you bought and ate partially hydrogenated soybean oil, leavening, or dextrose? Would you even know what to do with those ingredients if you could buy them at the store? If (like me) the answer is no, it's a safe bet that those ingredients aren't really food.
This is a great litmus test for whether or not to eat something: Do I know what all the ingredients are, and would I buy them to cook with? If no, it might be a good item to pass on.
But on the flip side, do you ever get overwhelmed by the number of foods you grew up eating that you are learning are really not the best for your health? Do you ever feel like if you were to remove all the foods (or fake foods) from your diet that might give you cancer or heart disease, that you'd be eating soggy broccoli and broiled fish 3 times a day? OK, that might be a tad dramatic but sometimes it can be totally overwhelming to eat healthy, right??
We live in a predominantly unhealthy culture so choosing to eat real food that nourishes us can make us feel like we're all alone, the only one not having dessert at the party, the only one passing on the bread basket, the only one choosing differently. It's true, sometimes eating differently can feel isolating, lonely, and like a total bummer.
If you feel that way, you're not crazy OR alone.
I'm here to tell you, YOU CAN eat healthy, nourishing food that is delicious and fun... starting with these pancakes.
I love these pancakes and enjoy them about once a week - they are such a weekend treat! And I made this recipe two ways so that both the chocolate / Nutella lovers and the more traditional pancake eaters can all be happy.
Regarding the bacon and kale chips - obviously, these are not necessary but are delightful accompaniments to the pancakes. These pancakes are a little bit sweeter and denser than your average pancake due to the bananas and coconut oil, so having the salty and crispy bacon and kale chips is a perfect complement. Also, kale chips are a very unconventional addition to pancakes, but I dare you to give it a try! It's a really fun way to get some veggies into a pancake breakfast.
Traditional Banana Pancakes (Makes 8 x 4-inch pancakes)
2 unripe bananas (unripe for lower sugar content, especially good if you're trying to improve blood sugar balance)
1/4 c coconut flour
2 T coconut oil
1/4 t sea salt
Butter (or other oil for cooking pancakes)
- Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl with a potato masher.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small pan on the stove.
- Whisk the eggs, coconut flour, coconut oil, and salt into the bowl with the bananas.
- Heat a griddle pan over medium heat on the stove. Melt some butter in the pan to avoid sticking. You want the butter to be bubbling and lightly sizzling.
- Use a 1/4 c to scoop the batter onto the pan.
- Cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top has bubbles, then flip the pancake. Cook for 2 minutes on the other side.
Meanwhile, cook your bacon and kale chips and serve those on the side. As a bonus, the recipe for the kale chips is also below! I usually eat these pancakes with just butter on top to add a little moisture, they're plenty sweet for me without maple syrup. If you do want to add maple syrup, try adding a little less than normal... you may find that you just need a touch of sweetness.
Kale Chips (serves 2)
6 large kale leaves (I prefer Lacinato / Flat Leaf / Dinosaur Kale for kale chips, but you can use any kind)
1 T Olive oil, melted butter, melted coconut oil, or grease from the bacon you just cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions 1. Set the oven to a high broil.
2. Chop the kale into larger bite-sized pieces, perpendicular to the stem so each bite has a small bit of stem.
3. Lay the kale on a cookie sheet, drizzle cooking oil of choice over top, and season to taste.
4. Broil the kale for several minutes, until crispy. It is tough to approximate the time for this because every oven is different - mine took about 5 minutes. Go until the leaves are darker green and crispy, but pull them before they start to smoke.
Chocolate Hazelnut Pancakes
These are a fun twist on the traditional pancakes, and you can still serve them with the bacon and kale chips (phew!). Use the exact same recipe as above, but add in 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter. Then instead of butter or maple syrup, top these pancakes with hazelnut butter for that Nutella-esque flavor. If you can't find hazelnut butter at the store, just buy raw hazelnuts, roast them in the oven at 350º for about 5 minutes until golden brown, and put them in the food processor until you get a smooth butter. YUM!