Make Me Banana Pancakes

Editors Note: For most of August I am on vacation, spending some much needed time recharging my batteries and enjoying time with the family. I knew I was going to be away from my computer for some time so I went out searching for some great guest posters to help keep this blog active while I am away. I am so excited to welcome my good friend Latitia. Latitia has been known to blog from time to time at The Doctor’s Wife. She is a mom of two wonderful girls, a clean eater and easily the best cook and baker I have ever met. I am so thrilled that she is sharing some of her culinary wisdom with us. 

I have a confession to make:

I meal plan.

As in: every week I sit down, plan out my meals for the week, make a grocery list, and then shop for those groceries. Quite honestly, I do not function very well without a meal plan. Quite honestly, it blows my mind that everyone does not meal plan. On the rare occasions that I have rebelled and gone meal plan-less it has been an epic failure. It somehow gets to 5pm without my noticing and then there is nothing left to do but order pizza. Because I can’t think of a single thing I want to make or have ingredients for in the house. Seriously. That’s what happens every time.

And so, because I like variety in our diet, I tend to plan for the following for each week:

  • 1 chicken meal
  • 1 lean beef meal
  • 1 vegetarian (bean) meal
  • 1 pasta meal
  • 1 ground turkey meal
  • 1 seafood meal
  • 1 breakfast for dinner meal

pancakesBreakfast for dinner is one of my favourite things (isn’t it everyone’s?).  I rarely have time to make a big breakfast in the morning, so having a breakfast-type dinner once a week is fun, and somehow seems like less work than a regular dinner. Everyone should do it. Some of our favourite options are: whole wheat waffles or crepes with lots of fresh fruit and real maple syrup, breakfast burritos, or eggs and local sausage with toast.

Today I bring you two of my favourite pancake recipes for your next breakfast-for-dinner occasion:

Oatmeal Pancakes

These are more of a mix between an oatcake and a pancake, and are much more dense and filling than their fluffy cousins.

  • 1 ½ cups oat flour *
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together. Ladle about ¼ cup of the mix at a time over a hot griddle. Serve with fresh berries and real maple syrup. Makes about 8 pancakes.

*Oat flour can be easily made by whirring oats in your food processor (or baby bullet) until the oats are finely ground.

pancake-oatmeal

Banana Pancakes

These are more of a traditional style pancake, and my newest recipe creation. My family thinks they are delicious. I tend to agree. I also have to sing Jack Johnson’s ‘banana pancake’ song every time I make them.

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or milk soured with 2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana

Mix together eggs, milk, baking soda and baking powder. Add flour and then oil, stirring only until blended. Fold in banana. Ladle onto hot griddle or frying pan. Serve with fresh fruit and real maple syrup. Makes about 12 large pancakes.

pancake-banana

Baked Spiced Donuts

I love donuts. I don’t eat a lot of them mind you because well, they are donuts. But boy could I. A little more than I year ago I tried my hand at making baked donuts without the use of a donut pan. This was a mistake. Even the most solid dough just spread out in the pan and came out of the oven looking all together undonutlike. After a few unsuccessful attempts I shelved the idea of making my own delectable treats. Then came Father’s Day. My lovely wife presented me with silicon donut molds.

My New Equipment

My New Equipment

I am pretty excited to try some pinned recipes again now that I am better armed. My first stop was the Spiced Donuts from allrecipes.com. Here is the recipe;

1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup butter, melted

The site says this recipe will make 12 donuts but I ended up with 24, and I could have had 36 had I made the first batch right.

Step 1-. Preheat the oven to 400 and mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a medium bowl (I think 2 teaspoons of cinnamon is overkill so I went with 1 1/2). Then mix both sets of ingredients together.

DSC_0954

Step 2-. Shape the donuts into the molds. This took me two tries. On my first batch I made the rookie mistake of filling the molds all the way to the top. That produced something that looks like a bizarre cross between a muffin and a donut. The second time I properly filled the molds only about half way up.

DSC_0956

Step 3- Bake the for about 9 minutes or until golden brown. The original recipe called for a baking time of 12 minutes but I assumed since mine were smaller they would need less time. At 9 minutes my donuts came out nice and golden.

DSC_0957Step 4- Enjoy. You might have noticed that the picture above only has 11 donuts. Meghan managed to get one before I snapped my picture.

In the end these donuts came out really well and taste pretty good. I am certain I will make them again. But I can’t help but think that I haven’t found my go to donut recipe just yet. Though Simeon seems pretty taken with them. He has eaten two already and just announced to me that he is a donut monster. Like father like son I suppose.

My Donut Monster

My Donut Monster

Agave Sweetened Hot Chocolate

I have been trying to make some minor health changes in my life lately. I’ve;

1. stopped taking sugar in my coffee

2. started only drinking one coffee a day

3. switched from cream to whole milk in my coffee

4. drastically reduce the amount of pop I drink

5. drastically reduce the amount of potato chips I eat

7. been more mindful of refined sugar in my food and am trying to use more healthy substitutes when possible

8. been drinking more water

Ok so this has a lot to do with what I drink. And all and all I have been doing pretty well. But as I cut back on coffee I have wanted to substitute it, ideally some other hot drink, like hot chocolate. Of course hot chocolate is so sugary I wasn’t really helping myself out at all so I decided to look and see if I could find a homemade hot chocolate recipe that uses agave.

I was please to say I found one here at stephcupoftea.blogspot.ca.The recipe is very simple and very tasty. So tasty in fact i think you should give it a try right now.

First you need to gather your supplies. For every serving you’ll need;

1 cup milk (I used skim the first time and 3% the second and I liked the 3% better, but I like my hot chocolate creamy)
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp agave nectar (I think it could use about 1 1/4 Tbsp myself)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

What can I say; I'm a Costco shopper

What can I say; I’m a Costco shopper

Second mix everything in a pot on the stove

Don't mind the mess.

Don’t mind the mess.

Finally just stir away for five minutes or so until everything is nicely mixed and properly heated then voila, you have yourself a nice refined sugar free hot chocolate to enjoy.

Agave Hot Chocolate

Now if I only could find a sugar free marshmallow

While I still get the coffee withdrawal shakes from time to time this much healthier hot chocolate is a very tasty substitute. If you are looking to cut down your refined sugar intake, or are just wanting to try a simple homemade hot chocolate I would strongly suggest this one.