Recipe Time! And that means time to enjoy some amazingly healthy, Gluten Free banana bread pancakes. But first… here’s a little background information.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the natural protein found in many grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and spelt. Despite recent uproar and confusion, gluten is not bad for you. Some people however, have an autoimmune form of gluten intolerance known as Celiac disease and cannot digest it. Celiac disease affects nearly 3 million Americans, and those affected must avoid all foods and food products that even come into contact with gluten-containing grains.
Should you go gluten-free?
Many people who are not affected by Celiac disease are making the switch to a gluten-free diet, claiming that it helps them lose weight, gain energy, improve concentration etc. Of course there can be something to that as we are all very different and react to foods in very different ways – some people find that eliminating gluten, or even just wheat makes them feel dramatically better than they did before. Great! But as we all search in vain for the “miracle diet” that will make us feel amazing, look our best, and allow us to take over the world, we must remember that there isn’t one right answer. We have to take time to listen to ourselves, and give our own bodies a real chance to tell us what is best for us. Even if your best friend gives up gluten and feels incredible, it may not necessarily be the right choice for you.
Gluten-free Banana Bread Pancakes
1/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free oats if you have a sensitivity)
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. olive oil
2/3 cup nut milk
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 banana, sliced
a handful of walnuts, chopped
extra-dark chocolate, grated (for a special treat!)
1. In a food processor, pulse walnuts until they resemble a sand-textured powder (do not over process – you’ll end up with walnut butter!). Remove walnut ‘flour’, add oats and pulse until you get a shaggy flour. Place walnut and oats flours in a large bowl. Add baking soda, sea salt and stir to combine.
2. Add all wet ingredients to the food processor and blend to combine.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until the two come together. Let batter sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Heat a little coconut oil (or ghee) in a skillet and drop in 3 large spoonfuls of batter (you are after three, 8 cm / 3 inch sized pancakes). Spread slightly with the back of the spoon to even out the batter. Turn heat down to low. Let cook on the underside until the topside is opaque, which will take more time than a regular pancake. Check to see if the bottom has browned, and if so, flip over to cook the other side. Cook until the underside is crispy and brown (although the middle is a little moist, this is okay).
5. Put pancake on a baking sheet in a warm oven, and cover with some foil while you make more (this will also give them time to firm up a little in the middle). Serve with pure maple syrup, fresh banana slices, chopped walnuts, and grated dark chocolate for a special treat – they are banana bread pancakes after all.
I really liked these pancakes, and I am not ashamed to admit I ate the whole plate you see in the photo (what? – they’re little!) I will mention however, that these are not your diner-style fluffy white pillow pancakes. They are rich, nutty, and quite moist due to the banana holding everything together. The middle is not going to be a sponge, but almost like a just under-done cookie. Once the syrup goes on, who cares anyway? And, I did discover that these pancakes make really great snacks later on in the day. Once they cool down, they firm up substantially and are kind of nice to eat with your hands (hey, can we please remember how lazy I was? I didn’t want to wash another plate.)
If anyone wants to get lazy next weekend and make up a batch, feel free to experiment and get back to me with results. I love hearing what you do to change up and even improve my recipes!