Friday, December 26, 2008

Buckwheat Banana Pankcakes

After those intensely sweet sugar cookies, I was more than happy to take the healthy quotient back up today. Another GOOP recipe, this one called out to me because buckwheat is one of my favorite grains. In kasha form, it's a fabulous nutty addition to stews, under curries, or meat or fish. You see this as the grain of choice in Russia as if not more often than rice. Although in Russia kasha can be translated as both grain and oatmeal - it all depends on the preparation. Yes, you can prepare a grain meal much like oatmeal of buckwheat (along with wheat, rice, corn, and just about any other grain you can think of) and Russian's often do. In this instance however, I'm just relying on the flour. It was deliciously nutty and satisfying, without the cloying sweetness your basic buttermilk pancake can give you with syrup. Don't get me wrong, I love a good buttermilk pancake, but it's nice to have something heartier sometimes. While this preparation was delicious, in the future, I'd probably mash the banana and fold it into the batter. The slices got a bit messy, although they did carmelize nicely. I used regular milk with delicious results - but as written, it is entirely vegan (and can also be gluten free).

SERVES: 3 or 4 (makes about a dozen pancakes) TIME: 15 minutes

  • 1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or white spelt flour (substitute rice flour to make pancakes completely gluten-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
Mix all the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a slightly bigger bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir just enough to combine – be careful not to over-mix (that’s how you get tough pancakes).

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat (I love Jamie Oliver’s nonstick cookware – it’s so slippery that I don’t need to use any oil or butter). Ladle as many pancakes as possible onto your griddle. Place a few slices of banana on top of each pancake. Cook for about a minute and a half on the first side or until the surface is covered with small bubbles and the underside is nicely browned. Flip and cook for about a minute on the second side. Repeat the process until you run out of batter. Serve stacked high with plenty of maple syrup.

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