I’m sure that sometimes, you must have to wonder if I have a thing about bananas. Every week I post yet another recipe using bananas – banana muffins, banana whoopie pies, banana bread – this blog is awash in bananas.
While I actually love a great piece of banana bread, the reason why I bake with bananas all the time is much more practical. No matter how green they are when I buy them, the bananas I buy from the Safeway on Columbia Road go bad, like, immediately. I always want the bunch to last the whole week, but inevitably by Wednesday they’re covered in brown spots and are only suitable for baking. But oh, they’re so very, very suitable for baking.
That’s why I ended up making these whole wheat banana pancakes – well, that, and I was out of eggs, my go-to breakfast food. I’m actually not a big fan of pancakes for breakfast – they’re so sweet and carbohydrate heavy that I end up feeling sick and sluggish all day. So I tried another tact with these – I threw in some whole wheat flour with my regular flour, which helped temper the sweetness of the mashed bananas and gave them a hearty note. The end product was actually perfect for breakfast – I love the pairing of the sweet banana and nutty whole wheat flour, and I added some sour cream to keep the pancakes moist and fluffy.
Rather than dousing these in maple syrup – probably another reason why pancakes have a tendency to make me feel ill after eating them – I served them with some strawberry rhubarb compote that I had sitting in the fridge. The compote was left over from making some lemon and strawberry tarts for the Moment offices for Passover, and the recipe couldn’t be simpler – just throw some strawberries, a little sugar, and orange juice in a pot, briefly simmer, and you’re done. I find the sweet-tart combination of orange and strawberry addictive – the compote is great on the pancakes, but it would be fab on yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or pound cake. Or, even just drunk. Out of a mug. On its own. Not that I did that today. Not at all.
Whole wheat banana pancakes
Makes approximately 7 5-inch pancakes
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
6 oz very ripe banana, peeled and mashed (about 2 medium bananas)
1 tbs melted butter + more (un-melted) butter for frying
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the mashed banana, melted butter, sour cream and milk.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the banana mixture. With a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined (the batter will be lumpy – this is fine).
Heat a saute pan or griddle over medium heat. Place 1/2 tbs of butter in the pan and heat until the foam subsides. With an ice cream scoop or ladle, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Cook each pancake 1-2 minutes per side – each side should be a nice golden brown color. Serve warm with strawberry orange compote (recipe follows), powdered sugar, or any topping of your choice.
Strawberry orange compote
2 lbs strawberries
2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Wash and hull strawberries, and slice into halves (or quarters if they’re especially large – you want your strawberry pieces to be about the same size). In a medium sauce pan, combine with sugar and orange juice and set aside to macerate for about 10 minutes.
Heat strawberry mixture over medium low heat until simmering. Gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced. Take off heat and let cool. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.