De-Liteful Vegan Whole Grain Banana-Pecan Pancakes
Who says you can’t make a light whole grain pancake? These pancakes are melt-in-your-mouth light and delicious. They also have no additional oil, just the healthy kind found naturally in whole nuts. Whole wheat pastry flour adds fiber and creates a lighter pancake than regular whole wheat flour. Add lots of fruit for antioxidants and more phytonutrients. What’s not to love?
Whole wheat pastry flour is made from white wheat groats, a whole grain with all its nutrients intact. It is a softer variety than hard winter wheat, the grain used in making whole wheat flour. White wheat performs like a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, but it is more nutritious since all-purpose flour has had most of the nutrients stripped from it.
I like to mill my own flour whenever possible. That way I have flour that I know hasn’t been sitting in some warehouse or grocery store shelf for months becoming stale and rancid. It is also much less expensive if you mill your own. If you choose to go this route, mill only what you think you will use in a day or two and freeze what you have leftover. This will keep your flour in good shape for your next baking project. Keep your grain in the freezer as well if you have the room for it. If not, keep it sealed in large canning jars. I use half-gallon jars for this. You can find organic white wheat groats, hearty winter wheat groats (sometimes called hard red wheat groats), spelt groats, rye groats, buckwheat, and more at specialty whole foods markets like Whole Foods or EarthFare.
If you are milling your own flour for this recipe, mill one cup of whole white wheat groats. This will give you about 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour. If you are buying your flour, King Arthur is a reliable brand, though you can’t always find it organically grown. Bob’s Red Mill carries organic whole wheat pastry flour but it is comparatively expensive. You can usually find organic whole wheat pastry flour in the bulk sections of Whole Foods Market or EarthFare. Refrigerate or freeze it to maintain flavor and freshness.
De-Lite-Ful Vegan Whole Grain Banana-Pecan Pancakes
For the pancake batter:
- 1 large banana (113 g)
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (260 g)
- 2 cups filtered water, divided (450 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon (I prefer ceylon)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For garnish any combination of fresh fruit, nuts, and maple syrup – for example:
- 1/4 cup sliced banana
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
- 1/8 cup pecans chopped into medium-sized pieces
- 100% maple syrup as needed (optional)
- Preheat grill to 315º to 320º or use a preheated nonstick skillet over medium-high heat on your stovetop.
- Wash berries if using. Chop pecans. Slice bananas and strawberries.
- Warm plates in a microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or warm oven (200º) while preparing pancakes.
- Heat maple syrup (if using) in a microwave in a heat-proof measuring cup for one minute or a small saucepan until warm. Do not boil.
Make the pancake batter:
- In a blender, puree banana, 1 cup water, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt).
- Stir banana water into dry ingredients. Add additional cup water slowly until you have a batter consistency. You should be able to stir it with a whisk, but it should not be runny. Take care not to over-mix! Mixing dough batter too much will make your pancakes gummy and/or rubbery by over-developing the gluten content.
- Fold in pecan pieces.
- Pour three six-inch pancakes onto an electric grill preheated to 315º-320ºF or a large skillet (stovetop pancakes will have to be smaller or prepared one or two at a time) on medium to medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the pancakes begin to firm up in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes. The edges should be more firm.
- Turn and cook another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned.
- Transfer to warm plates. Garnish with plenty of blueberries, sliced strawberries, and banana slices. Serve with warm maple syrup.
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