One overripe banana sitting on the countertop really isn’t enough to bake a whole loaf of banana bread. It is, however, enough to make a batch of banana pancakes with and that is exactly what I decided to do with my last overly-speckled banana this weekend. A mashed banana adds flavor, moisture and heartiness to a batch of pancakes. To complement it, I decided to take these pancakes even further towards the hearty side of the pancake scale by using white whole wheat flour for it’s nice nutty flavor and the fact that it is a little more substantial than regular all purpose.
These are the perfect pancakes for a cool morning. They are easy to make, smell great and give you a great excuse to use lots of maple syrup. I tossed in a little bit of ground flaxseed, but that is optional and you don’t need to use it if you don’t have any on hand. Walnuts are usually paired with bananas in banana bread, but I have a thing for pecans and decided that the nut in this “banana nut” would have to be toasted pecans this time around. Feel free to use walnuts if you prefer, or even hazelnuts if you have them!
These pancakes rise up to be thick and fluffy. With all the banana and nuts in the batter, you may have to help the pancakes spread a bit when you dollop the batter into the plan. Thicker batter makes for a thicker pancake, which I like for hearty whole grain pancakes. If you prefer yours to be a bit thinner, add a tablespoon or two of water to the batter to thin it out a bit to get the thickness you prefer.
Whole Grain Banana Nut Pancakes
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana (1 med-lg banana)
1 large egg
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground flaxseed. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed banana, egg, maple syrup, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
Working in two or three additions, alternate adding some of the flour mixture and some of the buttermilk to the banana mixture, ending with an addition of the flour. If you prefer your pancakes thinner, add in a tablespoon or two of water, too. Stir in chopped nuts.
Heat a lightly greased or nonstick skillet over medium high heat until a drop of water will skitter over the surface (if it immediate evaporates with a sizzle, the skillet is too hot). Drop 1/4 cup-sized dollops of batter onto skillet. Cook until the edges look “set” and dry and the bottom is golden brown, then turn and flip until the second side is golden brown.
Serve immediately with maple syrup and more chopped nuts, if desired.