On Saturday I brought Roman and Amelia to go see a lecture at Colby College on comic book illustration by Lincoln Pierce, the illustrator/author of Big Nate. It was a bit of a hike north, so we had to leave early, and there wasn’t time for our usual weekend family breakfast. Instead, we settled for earl grey tea (me) and muffins (them) on the way. The talk lasted about an hour and the kids, of course, wanted their Big Nate books signed afterwards. I was happy to buy the kids each a new book for the ride home, in which they hopped back in line to get their new books signed, as well. Everyone had a great time. Amelia, who wants to be a graphic novelist, was absolutely smitten with the whole thing. I’m most certain I saw stars in her eyes. We were all hungry again when it came time to leave and the kids wanted to stop for sandwiches. I was keen to get back, since Ryan was home with the Littles. Perhaps I could make a late breakfast after we got home? A brunch? As we settled into the car, we agreed on buckwheat banana pancakes upon our return home.
Since Roman and Amelia are homeschooled, and Fiona only does two days a week at school, there aren’t many mornings where we are rushing out the door. Weekends are especially slow, but intentional, in our household. Are you a lazy weekend person or a productive weekend person? Or are you one while wishing you were the other? While I do relish in weekend productivity, lazy weekends are my favorite weekends. I love having zero commitments. Getting up early (but slowly) and taking my time to make a family breakfast is one of my favorite weekend ventures. These buckwheat banana pancakes are a perfect addition to whatever weekend plans you have- whether an early breakfast or a late brunch.
These pancakes are gluten free, of course, but also vegan friendly if you have multiple guests coming to visit with varying diets. For a long time I struggled with my gluten-free recipes being dry, crumbly and dense. These pancakes were one of the first revelations I had into gluten free being really good. They are quite moist and airy. The banana make them naturally sweet, so they’re delicious on their own, but even better with peanut butter or maple syrup. Buckwheat has been my go-to gluten free flour lately because I can get it from local Maine farmers, but I also love the flavor. Since the banana in these pancakes acts as a binder, you don’t need to use eggs.
Buckwheat Banana Pancakes
Bananas– For one batch you need about 3 medium bananas or 4 small bananas. This recipe calls for mashed bananas, not sliced, so ripe, brown-speckled bananas are preferable!
Buckwheat flour– Buckwheat has been my choice of gluten free flour lately. I use the light buckwheat flour from this farm since it’s local to me, but any kind works and is delicious! There are light (processed without hull) and dark (processed with hull) buckwheat flours and the color will vary depending on the type of flour you use.
Baking Soda– This leavening helps give the pancakes an airy lift so that they are not dense.
Almond Milk (or your choice of milk)- You can use almond, oat, soy, cows milk- it’s your choice! Anything will work here.
Salt- Brings out the flavor of everything
Vanilla (optional, but recommended)- For flavor
A couple of tips when making these:
-If you’re using a cast iron skillet, be sure to preheat it for a while. You want the pan you’re using to be nice and hot when you start cooking- not heating up as you start cooking. A hot pan helps prevent the pancakes from sticking to the pan.
– Be sure to add a little bit of butter or olive oil between each round of pancakes you’re cooking, again, to prevent them from sticking.
– It probably goes without saying, but these are so delicious with a few chocolate chips sprinkled in! Add to the batter just before cooking if you want to try it!
Buckwheat Banana Pancakes (Gluten Free)
- 3 Medium Bananas
- 1 1/2 Cups Buckwheat flour
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Milk (your choice of milk is fine)
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Butter or oil for cooking
- In a smaller mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas into a puree.
- Add the milk and the vanilla to the banana puree and until completely combined.
- Whisk the flour mixture into the wet mixture until there are no dry spots.
- Set a large cast iron skillet or pan over low-medium heat.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to keep the pancakes from sticking. Using a ladle or large spoon, spoon a few tablespoons worth of batter into the pan to form one pancake. Depending on your pan size you should be able to fit about three pancakes. Allow them to cook until they look like they are cooked around the edges- about 3-4 minutes. Flip them over and allow them to cook on the other side another 2-3 minutes. Repeat this step until you've used up all the batter.
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