Oddly enough, my husband and I had our very first date on Valentine’s Day. I know, I know, not the best day for a first date, but it worked out well I would say. Yet, because we are frugal, we never go out on the actual day of to celebrate. There are no 2-for-1’s and you have to battle the crowds for reservations … simply not our style.
My sweet husband had already given me a beautiful Valentine’s gift earlier in the week (he can never wait!), but I still wanted to make something nice for him on this special day …
Well, it was a nice attempt anyway. You see, while I can come up with ideas that work out well and customize recipes nicely, my execution is often very, very poor. I am super-slow in the kitchen, and lack some of those basic skills … like the ability to flip pancakes. Yep, they turn out like mutants. Sure, they taste good, but pretty they are not.
After attempting to make several “normal-sized” pancakes, I finally realized that dollar-sized were the only way to go for my bumbling spatula skills. That is when my wonderful husband entered. I pointed at one, and said, “See, that one looks kind of like a heart!” He reciprocated, “An internal one maybe!” After we both had a good chuckle, he took the helm, and some nice little pancakes resulted …
That work he did as a teenage burger flipper definitely left him with some solid life skills. Though I must say, that every meal seems to turn out better when we make it together. We make a great team.
So, with a belly full of these pancakes we headed out for a hike in the desert hills to enjoy the sunshine and the first day of our 14th year together.
“Buttermilk” Banana Pancakes
Vegetarian, Vegan / Egg-Free (optional), Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free
This recipe was inspired by one that I saw on Recipezaar. While I love banana flavor, I am not big on pancakes with too much bananal; it is a textural thing. So I just used 1 large banana, which equated to 1/2 cup of mashed banana. Feel free to use more if you prefer, they should still turn out nicely.
- 1 3/4 Cups Original or Unsweetened Milk Alternative (I used almond)
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (can use all-purpose, a combo of all-purpose and regular wheat flour, or experiment with your flours of choice)
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Large or Jumbo Egg (see note below for egg-free)
- 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used grapeseed)
- 3-4 Tablespoons Honey or Agave Nectar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana (1 to 2 large)
In a large bowl, combine the milk alternative and vinegar or lemon juice, and set it aside for just a minute.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set that aside.
Returning to the milk alternative, whisk in the egg, oil, honey or agave, vanilla, and banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just everything is combined, but do not overmix. A few lumps are okay (especially since you are likely to have some banana lumps!).
Heat a small amount of oil (maybe a teaspoon) in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat (my stove can get a little too toasty on medium). Pour about 1/4 cup of batter (or 2 Tablespoons for those little dollars) onto the skillet for each pancake.
Cook until the bubbles break on top of the pancakes (check to ensure they don’t brown too much though), flip, and cook for another minute or two, or until lightly browned on both sides. Serve with maple syrup, berries, nut butter, or other topping of choice. Since I was cooking, I completely filled up on munching them plain as I was going!
Flash freeze any leftovers and toast them up for a quick pastry breakfast anyday!
Vegan / Egg-Free Option: Warning, I have not tried this, but am fairly confident it will work. If you want to omit the egg, either use more banana (aka the whole cup) or up the milk alternative to 2 cups, and add a wee bit more baking powder (perhaps round it out to a full 2 teaspoons).
Yields about 2.5 to 3 dozen dollar pancakes