In getting up this morning, I was reminded by my bare cupboards and condiment-only refrigerator that we need to hit the grocery store. With that on my mind, finding breakfast for four kids was no easy feat. There were other things to consider that complicated the matter by quite a bit.
Additional requirements for breakfast this morning:
- Not too messy
- Not something we've had a whole lot of recently
- All the ingredients are in the kitchen
- Must be filling without requiring too many ingredients
- Must be quick to make
- Kid-friendly, from the oldest 10 year old, to the youngest 20 month old and through the picky 5 and 8 year olds in between
That left out all of our "standard" breakfast options: eggs and (faux) bacon, cereal and milk, oatmeal...
So on the way out the door to meet up with friends for bowling, I pulled the overripe, saved-for-bread bananas from the freezer (they freeze well, by the way!), flour and walnuts for ...
Super-Healthy, Portable Walnut Pancakes (syrup optional!)
Makes about 4 small or 2 large pancakes
1 c. flour (I use unbleached "better for bread" flour for just about everything)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (I used a little more - I prefer to eyeball cinnamon a bit, it's so tasty and healthy, just don't overdo it and end up with little fire balls)
1 c. milk/smilk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds (I used walnuts to great success)
a splash of syrup (this will be explained in the recipe)
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 Tbsp. wheat germ
1 Tbsp. wheat bran
- Mix the dry ingredients, including flax, wheat bran and wheat germ, if using, in a mixing bowl. I add the extras because they increase the overall health value and do not affect the texture or flavor of the pancakes. (These are staple ingredients in my house because I also use them to make sandwich bread, as you can see in this recipe: Sandwich Bread)
- (If using syrup in your ingredients, check out instruction #5 before doing this step!) Mix the bananas, s/milk, and vanilla together in a blender, or mash them up by hand.
- Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix together until just blended.
- Fold in the chopped nuts.
- In our case, the pancakes needed to be slightly sweetened because we were taking them on-the-go, so taking a tip from McDonald's, I reduced the amount of milk slightly (I do this anyway because I like my pancakes to be a little thicker than most recipes call for) and added my syrup directly to the batter - about 1/4 c. does it for my family, but yours might like them a little sweeter even.
- Using olive oil or vegetable oil (we use olive for everything just about), cook the pancakes as usual over medium heat. Watch how long they stay on the fire though - banana sugars tend to burn quickly!
These pancakes met all of my initial criterion and have the added benefit of being vegan (no dairy/no eggs) so I can make them regardless of whether my egg holder is bare! Pictures will follow when I upload them from my camera, but for now, enjoy!
You will find protein, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, Niacin, Folate, Selanese, Manganese, Copper, Zinc (and that's just in the banana!), Omega 3's, Lignans, and all in a little pancake. These are low-fat and freeze well too so make extra and keep'em in the freezer.
Here is a great little chart to show you what vitamins and minerals different fruits have: Fruit Nutrient Chart
Info on Flax seeds (I am not endorsing the company - I buy mine in the grocery store, sold by a Washington state company called Bob's Red Mill): Flax info
Info on Wheat Germ and Bran: Wheat Germ info