Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cooking and baking calms the soul

A Facebook friend recently posted a link to a pancake recipe with the mention that it might become a new Sunday breakfast ritual in their house. Well, how can you refuse a testimonial like that?! I immediately printed it out with the hopes of trying it out soon. Well, soon came very quickly!

It all starts with near rotting bananas. I've mentioned before that there is only a 2 or so day window in which I find a banana acceptable to eat by itself - it's the stage right when there is a little tiny but of green left on it and absolutely no brown. Once the brown comes I let it get super brown and then throw it in the freezer in a plastic bag.

Well, yesterday I was rummaging through my freezer for something and I realized I had THIRTEEN bananas awaiting their final destination: banana bread.

And in order to make banana bread you need buttermilk.

And Raley's didn't have the small carton of buttermilk.

And this pancake recipe called for buttermilk.

I felt it was a sign.

What I was most impressed with about the pancake recipe was whole ingredients for the most part. No bleached flours or sugars (although I guess some would argue brown sugar is just as processed, but whatever).

Here is the outcome:

They were very, very good. Slightly chewy and dense, but not super heavy and good flavor with real maple syrup and butter on top. Definitely went in my recipe book!

So make yourself a batch of banana bread and pancakes and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

3/4 cup oats (I used regular, recipe called for quick oats)
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp buttermilk, divided
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (heck, I say used regular butter and just omit the salt)
1 tbsp brown sugar (I used light, will try dark next time)

  1. Soak oats in 3/4 cup buttermilk for 10 minutes (since I used regular oats I mashed them slightly once they had soaked for a bit
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  3. Stir in egg, butter, remaining buttermilk and brown sugar into the flour mixture until just combined
  4. Heat griddle on high and then turn to medium high when ready to cook the pancakes

Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (I use 4, see note below*)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together sugar and butter. Add in the eggs. Add in bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Pour into loaf, mini loaf, muffin or mini muffin pans. For 9" loaf pan, cooking time is approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bread is done when a knife comes out clean but still a little moist - don't over cook!

*I mentioned before the bananas I use come from the freezer. I think these make the best banana bread. Let them thaw (they thaw rather quick) and literally squeeze them out of their skins. Looks gross, but tastes great! If they weren't frozen, just make sure they are super, super ripe and always use 4! 


  1. Oooh, I'll have to try the banana bread recipe! I haven't had banana bread in a long, long time.

    Aren't the pancakes good? Really good w/ real maple syrup!! And they filled up my boys for hours (which is great considering how much and often these kids eat!).

  2. I have 4 bananas in the freezer waiting to be used. I need to defrost the freezer anyway and I've been on a clear out frenzy, so it seems banana bread is in order as well! I'm just not sure what I am going to do with all the excess buttermilk and I don't have enough bananas for pancakes....



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