Is there such a thing as healthy pancakes? Probably not, especially when you factor in the typical amount of syrup most people use. But there is something you can do. Make healthier pancakes—start by switching out the white flour for a better flour. I love to experiment with different flours, especially ones that are whole grain. I can easily adapt standard white-flour recipes to use whole grain flours.
Buckwheat is one of the flours I've come to like the most. It has an earthy flavor and a dense, hearty texture. Unlike regular wheat flour, buckwheat does not have gluten, making it safe to eat for those who have celiac disease. But even if you're not on any diet restriction, buckwheat flour is worth adding to your cooking/baking repertoire.
Buckwheat flour is great in many recipe, including baked goods and pastas or dumplings. If you've ever had Japanese soba noodles, French galettes, or Russian blitzes, then you've had buckwheat before. With this recipe I make pancakes to show how easy it is to replace your average pancake recipe or boxed mix with this recipe using buckwheat flour. It also includes orange zest, bananas, and walnuts for more flavor. If you're all for for trying something new, try buckwheat flour.
Orange, Banana, and Walnut Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for pan
1 medium banana, peeled and chopped, plus 1 sliced banana for garnish
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish
maple syrup, for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add orange zest, egg, milk and oil. Whisk to incorporate. Mix in chopped banana and walnuts.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot skillet for each pancake. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on first side. When edges are brown and bubbles come to the surface, flip and cook an additional 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve pancakes topped with sliced banana and chopped walnuts along with maple syrup on the side. Yield: 10 to 12 pancakes.