A friend of mine recently shared a recipe for flourless banana pancakes and I was so excited, I immediately tried it out. The recipe called only for one mashed banana and two eggs, mixed together and fried like a pancake. It did work, rather to my amazement, and my kids loved them, but the resulting “pancakes” were very light, difficult to flip, and not really pancakey enough for me.
I wanted to improve on the recipe without adding, well, flour. Even gluten-free flour makes a mess and I wanted to pancakes that were easy and quick enough to make on a weekday morning, with minimal clean-up. I also wanted to make something satisfying but healthy that my kids would still like. That’s how I came to add oatmeal and flaxseed. The addition of oatmeal gives the simple banana-egg mixture a satisfying solidity. The resulting texture is pretty much that of a traditional fluffy pancake. (Earlier in the development of this recipe I respectively added not enough and too much oatmeal but I believe I’ve now come to the perfect proportions.) The ground flaxseed gives these pancakes a nutritional boost and a little more structure, while the banana keeps them sweet and moist enough to eat without syrup, butter, or any other additions. (That’s true at least as far as I’m concerned, though my kids would beg to differ. Actually, make that whine to differ.)
I made these babies this morning, before I had to go to work and my kids to school and nursery, and I still had time to do the washing up before I left. My kids ate like a small but ferocious army (in pinafore dresses) and I was satisfied in the knowledge they weren’t eating crap. Here is my miracle recipe.
Update: Because I can’t resist tinkering, I also tried adding a tablespoon of fine ground psyllium husk. This made the pancakes even better and easier to handle, as well as adding a good source of soluble fibre. I recommend it.
Update 2: This recipe also works with the oat-free Alara Luxurious Gluten-Free Porridge, which features rice, buckwheat, millet and flax. I couldn’t really tell the difference from using oatmeal. I would imagine other hot cereals would work too.
Flourless banana oatmeal pancakes (gluten-free, low-FODMAP)
- 2 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup gluten-free porridge oats, AKA quick oats (not instant, not large-flake rolled oats) – or another gluten-free porridge
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk (updated ingredient, recommended)
- Pinch of salt, optional
- Butter or oil for frying
- Mix together all ingredients except butter/oil in a large bowl. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least five minutes, so the oats soften.
- Preheat a frying pan to medium-high and add a small pat of butter or spray/drizzle of cooking oil. (I like to use salted butter to add a little rich taste but if you want these pancakes dairy-free, vegetable oil works just as well. You might want to add a pinch of salt to the batter if you’re not going to fry in salted butter.)
- Pour spoonfuls/ladlefulls of batter into the pan to produce pancakes of the size you desire. When they’re browned on one side, flip and brown the other side.
- Serve plain, with maple syrup, or with sweetened yogurt (my older daughter’s preferred way). If you’re going to do syrup but want to limit the amount of sugar you or your kids consume, pour a little syrup onto the side of the plate to use as a dip instead of pouring it directly on the pancakes. You’ll get easily enough sweetness to be satisfying but you’ll wind up using a lot less.