There was a delightful period of my life where my Mom would make pancakes for us kids on the regular. She'd even add chocolate chips to mine. Were they healthy pancakes? Eh. This was well before I was introduced to any kind of diet or restrictive eating. It was before the time that I scrutinized my tummy in the mirror several times a day. It was when I could eat whatever the heck I wanted (as long as Mom said it was okay) and I felt no guilt or shame. What a glorious time!
Fast forward 30 years, and here we are. While I'd love to eat my Mom's beautifully thin, crispy on the edges, crepe-esque pancakes on the daily again, that'd be no favor to my mid-30s body in quarantine. So for hubby and my day off together this week, I decided to make us some protein packed healthy pancakes instead.
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My thoughts on boxed mixes...
The rising popularity of healthy pancake mixes has been pretty apparent in the last few years. During my Whole30/Paleo days, we ate a lot of the Birch Benders Paleo Pancake Mix. Apparently they have expanded their line and have Keto, Gluten Free, Protein and Plant Protein versions now. We've also tried the Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes mix when we were not on a restrictive diet. They, too, have expanded their line to include a Carb Conscious, Gluten Free and Plant Based version. It's almost crazy to think that we only grew up with Bisquick as an option!
I can attest that the Birch Benders Paleo mix and the Kodiak Cakes Power Cake mix are great when you're in a rush or just don't feel like messing around with a bunch of ingredients and you want a healthy pancake. I always keep some in the pantry for those mornings. But they're just not the same as homemade.
Pancakes were the start of my culinary journey.
While I'm all for the ease of having a pre-made mix to work with, there's something about making pancakes from scratch that really hits me in the feels. In fact, pancakes were the first thing my Mom taught my brother Luke and I to make. (My kid brother Jake hadn't shown up to the party yet.) She has pictures of us (me still in diapers and topless) at our own stations in our minuscule kitchen. She had set us each up with mis en place, a bowl and a whisk, and she coached us through putting the dry ingredients together and mixing them up, and then adding the wet ingredients and stirring until the lumps were gone.
Bless her patience with the messes we made! Our tiny human synapses were still forming and I, at least, didn't yet have total control of my movements. As a result, the batter got on the counter, on the floor, and on myself. I'm certain, however, that her willingness to let us each make a mess to learn a skill in the kitchen is a driving force in why Luke and I both still love to cook to this day.
And for the record, y'all? My Mom never messed around with pancake mix. She made hers from scratch every time. And her pancakes still reign supreme. I remember ordering pancakes at a restaurant once when I was little and was super bummed when they were nothing like Mom's. And I distinctly remember the joy I felt finding The Original Pancake House in Chicago when I was in college and ordering their Swedish pancakes. They were the closest thing to home I could find.
The new, healthy pancake recipe.
So, since Joe and I only get one J&A day a week, and since I had a bowl of overripe bananas that needed using, I set about to make us a special breakfast. This time, however, I wasn't using Mom's recipe. I wanted to make them a tad healthier, so I opted for whole grain rolled oats, no sweetener other than the banana itself, soy milk and cottage cheese. And the best part? I used my blender to do all the hard work, so there was virtually no clean up to be done.
While they were not at all like the pancakes I grew up with (meaning thin and almost crepe like with crispy edges), they were the very image of what a Denny's ad might run. Fluffy, airy, golden brown, and deliciously light textured. They were a short stack of dreams. And they were healthy to boot! I didn't even feel guilty about pouring on a hefty dose of maple syrup.
So if you're looking to shake up your breakfast routine, give these bad boys a try. They come together with minimal effort, they can be made ahead and frozen, and you can even make the batter the night before if you're really not into mornings and don't want to hear your blender before coffee. I totally get that, by the way. Start your weekend off the right way and make these for the team. They'll surely thank you for it!! Till next time, friends. Hope you enjoy!
Banana Cottage Cheese Blender Pancakes
- Add all ingredients except butter to blender. Blend until smooth.
- Melt butter in sautee pan until bubbling aggressively. Pour about ⅛ of the batter in, swirl pan to level out batter, and let rest until bubbles appear. Flip, smash down with spatula and cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Top with maple syrup, honey, peanut butter, berries, whatever you fancy. ENJOY!