Monday, June 9, 2014

Breakfast...the most difficult meal of the day

I love breakfast. If I could marry a meal, it would be to the "most important" one of the day. I dream about waffles and cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy......and unfortunately none of those things are even remotely healthy. So, rather than risking becoming a house-sized old maid that no one other than a plate of French toast would want to marry, I try to limit myself to eating only paleo/whole30 breakfasts. (Unless it was like last week when I was at 4-H Camp and I had to eat biscuits and gravy and French toast sticks in order to not starve to death, and in return gained five dang pounds. Grrr!!!)
 
So usually, this means eggs. I eat a lot of eggs. They are such an easy source of protein, and are really the quickest to prepare. No defrosting, no preheating, just throw them into boiling water or a skillet and boom, it's meal time. But, there are only so many days that I can handle eggs for breakfast. Scrambled or fried or boiled....after a certain point I'd rather just be hungry than eat one more egg.
 
When I get to that point, I like to treat myself with something a little different, a little sweeter, a little more similar to the breakfasts I dream about: banana pancakes.
 
 
The picture above shows the basic formula. It's pretty simple: bananas, eggs, coconut oil, and almond flour. My recipe is a slight variation of that though. And maybe I just make my pancakes a little bigger than they do, but I only get about five pancakes per batch.
 

I still use those base ingredients, just in different amounts and with an extra flavor boost. All you need for one serving of paleo pancakes is a banana, an egg, a tablespoon of almond flour, and a teaspoon of coconut oil to grease the pan and keep them from sticking. I also add a few shakes of cinnamon for an extra little kick of flavor.

Note: This recipe calls for almond flour. This is something that the powers that be in Wal-Martland assume we don't need here Tompkinsville, and they don't sell it here. The last time I was in Lexington, I stocked up when I went to Whole Foods. I got Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour. You can get it on Amazon if you aren't looking to make the journey to Louisville, Nashville, or Lexington soon just to buy a bag of ground up almonds. Or, you can make it yourself. It's super simple, I've done it before, and you can find a recipe here. It is a staple in my paleo/whole30 cooking, so I really recommend getting or making some because it really comes in handy as a thickener or a coating for meats.


First, mash up the banana. I suggest using an over-ripe banana for this recipe. You know, the ones too black and ugly to eat. These are the sweetest and easiest to squish up to make your perfect pancake batter. Using one that isn't at that point just doesn't make very good pancakes. Trust me, I've tried it.

The perfect tool to mash up banana (and ground beef, sausage, eggs, the list goes on and on) is the Mix 'N Chop. In these pictures I am using the pink mini Mix "N Chop that was only available in May because it's pink and adorable, but the regular size works just as well too. It's perfect to get the banana all mashed up into a paste. It's ok if it's a little chunky, though, if you want some bits of banana to add texture.

 Into the mashed banana, add the egg, almond flour, and cinnamon. Stir it up, still using the Mix 'N Chop, and then you're ready to pour into your preheated and greased pan.


This picture is terrible, but I wanted to show why the Small Batter Bowl is the ideal bowl to make pancakes in. I'm not sure that you can even see that, though, without having a seizure or your eyes crossing, thanks to my top-notch iPhone photography.) It has a pouring spout which makes is ridiculously easy to pour the batter into the skillet. I recommend making small, silver dollar sized pancakes, because this batter likes to be a little tricky and fall apart on you, especially if you're making big pancakes. The smaller ones are just easier to flip.


Cook the pancakes for a few minutes on the first side, until they are brown and firm enough to flip. Then cook for a few on the other side. Also, try not to eat all the pancakes as soon as you get them out of the skillet. I'll warn you: that's the hardest part of the recipe!

 

Scoop them out of the pan with the Mini Nylon Serving Spatula (it won't scratch the non-stick coating off of your pans!) and eat them up!! You can thank me later :)

And maybe this isn't even necessary to say, but yes, you should skip the syrup. You don't need it and won't even miss it.

Banana Pancakes
Serves 1 (2 if you're feeling generous)| Prep 2 min | Cook 8 min | Paleo compliant
 
Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 large egg
1 tbsp almond flour
Cinnamon, a few shakes to your liking
1 tsp coconut oil
 
Directions:
1. First, mash up the banana.
2. Mix in the egg, cinnamon and almond flour, stirring until well blended.
3. Heat skillet to medium and coat with coconut oil.
4. Pour in batter. Cook the pancakes for a few minutes on the first side, until they are brown and firm enough to flip. Then cook for a few on the other side.
5. Try to wait until they are cool enough to eat without melting your mouth, but I'm telling you, that's gonna be tricky! 
 

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