Sunday, February 24, 2008

Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

All you need to make basic pancakes are flour, salt, eggs, baking soda, and some liquid with an acid – buttermilk, orange juice mixed with water, water and a squeeze of lemon, or even just water or milk with cocoa powder. The key is that baking soda needs to react with an acid in order to leaven.

But I want more than “your basic pancake.” I want a pancake that is a little sweet to satisfy the craving, but hearty and filling at the same time. It also has to be simple and doable within my time and budget constraints. My philosophy is that you can make pancakes with whatever you have on hand, and today I have bananas and a huge container of oats. Today is a whole wheat oatmeal banana day. I feel it.

The basic recipe from whence I derive all other pancake recipes is the following:

1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk

(These are the proportions I use when just making pancakes for myself. This recipe is easily doubled—but stick with one egg even in the doubled version.)

And this is how I changed it:

  • My half cup of “flour” consisted of a quarter cup of whole wheat flour and a quarter cup of soaked oats (use warm or hot water – and you don’t need much).
  • I added a dash of sugar for flavor and caramelization.
  • For my half cup of acidic liquid (subbed for buttermilk) I used mostly water with a little orange juice.
  • I also added some secret ingredients, cinnamon and nutmeg—add those or whatever other spices you like.

So here's the final recipe:

Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Banana Pancakes


1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. oats, soaked in warm wate
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. orange juice-water mixture (more water than orange juice)
Dash of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg
1 banana
Butter or oil for pan


Mix together all ingredients except the banana (don’t overmix or the pancakes will be tough). Drop it on your preheated (but not super-hot) skillet and slice the banana on top. Let it cook for a couple minutes until there are lots of bubbles, flip, and cook for another two or so minutes. I topped mine with more sliced banana and brown sugar. They were delicious! All gone. :-)



  1. I'm impressed with this recipe - I'm also a whole grain fanatic, not to mention a recipe substitutions fanatic. I must say, though, that buttermilk pancakes are probably the best pancakes ever. If fresh buttermilk isn't available (or is too impractical), you can buy buttermilk powder, use plain yogurt, or sour your own milk by mixing fresh milk with a wee bit of vinegar and allowing it to curdle. My personal favorite: pumpkin-buttermilk pancakes.

  2. another similar buttermilk trick: a little lemon juice with the milk will do the same as the vinegar, and add a faint citrus touch. anyway, try this recipe - half my house now wants to know how to make them!



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