Pancakes are a specialty in our house. Sometime during college, we started making pancakes on the occasional weekend. Any time someone came to visit us, we would end up making pancakes for breakfast. Every once in awhile, we'd have pancakes for dinner. During our senior year, we had a pancake party at our apartment where we fed over twenty of our friends (true story). J is the official pancake maker-- I'm responsible for a majority of the cooking but J has a few designated duties, including this one. We used to always use a Bisquick mix- nothing special, but guaranteed delicious. Recently, we have been branching out- last fall, J made pumpkin pancakes almost every week under my insistence (we'll have to share that recipe this fall!). She also started always making them from scratch and incorporating extra ingredients such as flax meal and granola.
A few weeks ago, I was home alone and had a major pancake craving and no twin to make them for me. I was also missing a few key ingredients, but I figured I could whip up something that would satisfy. Somehow, they ended up being utterly fantastic, and I couldn't wait to share the new recipe with the official pancake maker. After receiving her blessing, I decided I needed to share it with you! The recipe isn't all that original, but the combination of ingredients makes wonderfully dense delicious cakes.
Vegan Banana Pancakes (serves two hungry people, can EASILY be doubled or tripled if needed)
1 cup Bisquick HeartSmart pancake mix
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 ripe banana
1.5 T flax meal
4.5 T water
2/3 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
Not being the pancake expert, I resorted to using the mix. However, at the time, I also had a ripe banana that needed eating. I despise ripe bananas by themselves, but they are great for several uses: smoothies, banana bread, and smooshed into oatmeal. I have a semi love affair with oatmeal mixed with banana and peanut butter, so using this as an inspiration, included oats and the ripe banana (mashed) in the mix. The key ingredients I was missing were milk and eggs but had solid backups: almond milk and flax meal. You may think this is odd but hear me out. First of all, J and I don't drink cows milk. We aren't lactose intolerant or vegan but the only thing we use milk for (for the most part) is cereal. We find that "alternative" milks have a much sweeter flavor that helps spruce up our usually boring/healthy cereal (not hating on these, we truly enjoy them). Almond milk, soy milk, whole grain milk (from TJs), rice milk... extremely delicious. These milks are also perfect substitutes in pancakes- although they are a bit lower in protein than cows milk, apparently this is not important.
Eggs on the other hand- how can you take out the egg?? We have been consuming flax meal for a few months now (great health benefits and easily added to cereal or oatmeal for a little extra boost of fiber and healthy fats) and we originally bought the Bob's Red Mill brand from our grocery store. On the side of the bag, a helpful hint instructed us to use flax meal instead of eggs for baking purposes! I'm not sure how this works but.. just trust me. It does. As well as serving as a substitute for eggs it also adds an extra touch- it provides the pancakes an additional nutty wholesome flavor. The trick for flaxseed "eggs" is to mix 1 tablespoon of the ground meal with 3 tablespoons of water and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes. This makes one egg. Need an egg and a half? Totally possible.
To make these pancakes, first start by mixing up your "eggs" and allowing them to sit while you continue with the process. Combine the Bisquick and oats with the banana and use a fork to mash it and stir it together. Depending on the size of the banana, you may or may not be able to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into the banana. If you CAN do this, I would suggest cutting down on the milk-- just add until it gives you a thick consistency. Remember, you still have to add the flax, which is quite watery in itself. If not, then the recommended proportion listed above should work just fine. However, this recipe will probably give you quite a thick pancake. J and I prefer our pancakes to be more of a "biscuit" consistency, fat and doughy. If that's not your thing, add your choice of milk until you get the batter the way you want it. You can also always add more Bisquick or oats if it's looking a little too liquidy.
Over medium heat, coat your pan with your choice of oil/butter (we used a small smear of Smart Balance butter-- unveganifying the pancakes, but oh well!). Ladle on small pools of mix, usually about 1/3 cup per pancake. They will begin to fluff up and when the edges begin to look solid, it's time to flip (this really doesn't take long- perhaps a minute or two). Depending on how doughy you like your pancakes and how thick your batter is, finish cooking on the other side.
Serve immediately, if possible. We like to eat them with maple syrup or just plain- the banana gives superb sweetness all on its own. If you're looking for an extra boost of nutrients/calories, these are also fantastic with peanut butter (like I said, love affair...). We hope you like these oat-y thick delicious pancakes as much as we do- they are almost like banana bread in pancake form. The lack of cows milk and eggs make these vegan-friendly AND allow you to eat the batter without worries ;)