October 22, 2012

Collegetown Cooks: Banana, Oatmeal and Walnut Buckwheat Pancakes

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It has been a longstanding tradition (well, starting as of last week) for me to come home from my long Sunday run and whip me up a nice batch of pancakes. But not just any pancakes: Buckwheat pancakes. I’m a nutrition major, but buckwheat flour, usually found in any major grocery store, doesn’t make me feel guilty in the slightest for my small Sunday feast. A bit of a misnomer, buckwheat does not actually contain any wheat and is gluten-free.  Buckwheat flour also packs in the fiber at six grams for a quarter cup, aiding in a feeling of satiety. With no saturated fat, no sodium and no sugar, I have found buckwheat flour a great alternative to making fluffier, richer and earthier tasting pancakes.  However, it’s not just the consistency of the pancake itself that makes my Sunday morning so looked forward to, but also what I put in them.  Every pancake I make has a unique identity with various combinations of antioxidant and nutrient dense foods that ensure both flavor and nutritional quality.  One of my favorite creations thus far has been a banana, oatmeal and walnut combination drizzled with agave nectar.

Banana, Oatmeal and Walnut Buckwheat Pancakes

IngredientsVegetable oil or cooking spray for coating the pan¾ cup buckwheat flour1 egg1 cup buttermilk2 tbsp sugar2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted¼ tsp salt1 banana, sliced thinly½ cup dry oatmeal¼ walnuts, halved

DirectionsMix the dry ingredients — the buckwheat flour, sugar and salt — in a large bowl. Pour the butter into the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg into the buttermilk and pour this mixture slowly into the dry ingredients.

The consistency of the batter should be somewhat viscous and able to be poured, but not overly runny where it won’t hold its shape on the pan. If too thick, try adding some water or more buttermilk. If too runny, add some more flour.

Add the accessories: The sliced banana, oatmeal and walnuts. If I’m doing a variety of pancakes, I’ll add the accessory toppings right after I pour them onto the heated skillet. But if you are only making one kind of pancake it’s easiest just add it all right to the batter.

Coat the pan or griddle with vegetable oil or cooking spray and turn the stove onto a medium heat. Pour the batter onto the pan for your desired size; whether it be mini-pancakes or holy buck those are the hugest pancakes I have ever seen in my life pancakes. Use a spatula to flip the pancake once you start to see bubbles form on the top layer.

Drizzle with agave nectar (a sweeter, lower glycemic index option) or maple syrup to finish your pancakes off and they’re ready to enjoy!  This recipe makes about 6-7 medium sized pancakes.  Make some extra and put them in the fridge, and they will stay pretty well for a few days so you can indulge on a quick, healthy breakfast later in the week.

Food For Thought:If you’re not sure you are ready for the transition from traditional flour to buckwheat, you can split the flour half buckwheat and half white or wheat flour. In my pancake making ways I have developed to not adding salt, sugar, and butter and also use a combination of low-fat milk and water to get the proper batter consistency. It all depends on how healthy you desire your ‘cakes to be. I find with the addition of fruit and agave nectar, I really don’t miss the other ingredients.

Some of my other favorite ingredients I use in various combinations for pancakes are:

Although pancakes often get a bad rep in the nutrition world, by using buckwheat flour and nutritious add-ons for the batter and toppings you’ll wonder why (the buck) you hadn’t started this breakfast combination sooner.

Original Author: Casey Carr