The not-so-humble pancake.
Breakfast. It happens every single day…
You haven’t even had your morning caffeine fix yet, and you’re expected to think clearly enough to make breakfast for your hungry family. I don’t know about you but I get a bit tired of eating the same thing every morning. The same goes for the kids.
Breakfast, for a lot of families comes in packets. I get it. We’re in a hurry, we haven’t fully woken up yet, and there’s a million things to do just to get everyone out of the house on time.
Even when your kids are little and at home, they usually wake up and want breakfast half an hour ago. There’s nothing quite like a shrieking toddler at your feet while you’re attempting to muster up something slightly more nutritious than a stale biscuit after a broken night’s sleep!
We’re told that it’s the most important meal of the day. Not that we needed any more pressure in our already chaotic mornings, of course.
Imagine a healthy, delicious, and super simple-to-make breakfast. One that you could actually make a load of and freeze, ready just to microwave in under a couple of minutes. (Of course you could reheat it in the oven or frying pan if you don’t own a microwave).
Behold the not-so-humble pancake.
These aren’t just your average pancakes though. The thought of pancakes probably conjures up images of empty carbohydrates, whipped cream, and maple syrup. Not exactly healthy. But hold the phone, these little babies are fully loaded with nutrients and you can add as many extra goodies as you like. Or your child likes.
I can’t be bothered with measuring ingredients most of the time, so bear with my free-range methods of madness in the kitchen. These little pancakes are virtually fool-proof. I say ‘little’, because they seem to work better on the smaller side – about the size of your palm works quite well. Absolutely no fancy flipping skills needed here.
This breakfast is suitable from the time that you have tried your baby on eggs and there has been no reaction to them. The Australian recommendation is to start offering babies cooked eggs before 12 months. You can read more about the guidelines here. I started my baby on solids at 4.5 months, and he was trying known allergens like eggs around 6-8 months. (Speak to your health nurse or a GP if you’re unsure).
So, time for the really quick two-ingredient pancake recipe. Yes, two ingredients.
1 mashed banana
Mix these two ingredients together until completely combined…and that’s the pancake batter. How easy is that! If it looks too runny, add some more mashed banana. Double or triple the recipe to make a huge batch of them to freeze, or for if you have a big family. It will make about 8 small pancakes (frankly, I could probably eat 8!)
Heat a frying pan or pancake griddle, and melt a little butter.
Once the butter sizzles, drop a couple of tablespoons of batter into the pan for each pancake.
Cook for about a minute until golden brown and then gently and slowly flip each one over. They are quite delicate but once the other side browns, they become a bit more sturdy.
Continue to cook on the other side until it’s golden.
Remove them from the pan and continue with the rest of the batter. Keep them warm in a low oven if necessary.
Serve warm and add toppings.
Butter or melted coconut oil
Pure maple syrup or honey
Fresh or puréed fruit (eg. sliced strawberries, stewed apples)
Nuts, nut butters, nut flours (eg. peanut butter, almond meal)
Seeds, seed pastes, ground seeds (eg. tahini, ground sesame seeds)
Dairy or coconut yoghurt
I like to place all of the toppings in the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves. This is great particularly if you have a picky eater. It takes the pressure off them and gives them a bit of independence (and if you have a toddler, you know how much they LOVE to do everything themselves!).
Once you get the hang of making these pancakes, you can even add extras to the batter. I like to make them a bit thicker and fluffier by adding a tablespoon of organic wholemeal self-raising flour, and perhaps a tablespoon of almond meal to the above recipe. A splash of vanilla extract makes them extra delicious too.
You can play around with the recipe, and most importantly, get the kids involved in the process! Let them experiment and have fun with it…if you have the time and the patience first thing, that is. Instead you could make a huge batch on the weekend together when you’re not all so rushed, and then freeze them. You could add them to lunchboxes or pack them for a portable afternoon tea. They are just so versatile and delicious, I probably make a batch of them every weekend.
So that they don’t all freeze together in one big clump, first place the pancakes on a baking tray or chopping board that fits inside the freezer. Spread them out so that they’re not overlapping. Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours before removing the tray and transferring them to a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag.
Remove from the freezer and heat them in the microwave in short 20 second bursts until thoroughly heated through. If they are intended for lunchboxes or as a portable snack, simply pack them frozen. They will defrost within a couple of hours, depending on the weather and if they are packed with an ice pack.