Ok, so I’m not a fluffy pancake person, but truth be told, I’m not a fluffy anything person. I’m hardly known for my cavalier use of throw pillows — much as I appreciate their comfort (that fluff) and pop of color, liberal scattering would only crowd my aesthetic. I’ll only hug you if there’s a really good reason for it. And we have a lone fish — no fluffy dogs or kittens to speak of, except for a particular cat from next door who has taken to exploring our back yard (and our roof).
And when it comes to food, I’ll take rich over airy any day. Gelato instead of soft-serve. Truffles rather than meringue. I like my cakes good and dense, my brownies rich. You get the idea.
The same goes for my breakfast.
So consider yourself fully warned, prepped, apprised — The pancakes that follow are of the hearty variety. I created them for the Energy Food Challenge over at Hopie’s Kitchen. Her mom is taking part in a 109-mile bike ride, and because she’s doing it somewhat close to where I live, I almost feel personally responsible that she get the nutrients and calories she needs for the journey.
I happen to keep company with bikers and runners, and the energy foods they swear by are bananas and peanut butter toast. As I’m personally afflicted with a compulsion to hike at 5:30 a.m. three days a week and engage in kickbox and cycle classes at the gym, I’m also acquainted with the importance of food as fuel.
Hence, these power pancakes, full of whole grains (for fiber), peanut butter (for protein) and even bananas (for sweetness and staying power). And while they won’t score high on the fluff factor, they are nevertheless satisfying without being heavy. In fact, these babies have supplanted my daily oatmeal and fueled my workouts for three days running. Enjoy the ride, Hopie’s mom!
Power Pancakes with Peanut Butter & Bananas
I grew up spreading peanut butter on pancakes. These pancakes make good travelers because I’ve put the the peanut butter in the batter. And the bananas and brown sugar mean they don’t need much in the way of sweet embellishment, so they’re a great anytime snack grab.
2 C milk
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 C quick-cooking oats
1/2 C hot cereal grains (such as Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain High Fiber Hot Cereal)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C natural peanut butter, well-stirred
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 C white whole-wheat flour
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large bananas
Combine milk, yogurt, oats, cereal and vanilla in a small bowl with a whisk. Let stand 10 minutes. Whisk in peanut butter and eggs. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add oat and peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Mixture will be thick.
Cut bananas into quarter-inch-thick horizontal slices. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto skillet heated to medium-high (don’t forget butter or cooking spray, as necessary). Press banana slices into uncooked tops of pancakes. When tops are starting to puff up and tiny bubbles begin to form, flip pancakes, cooking opposite side until golden. Repeat with remaining batter and bananas.