The Food Column: Banana pancakes—and then some

food column

Weekend breakfast at home is the best, and one of my family’s most favorite morning spreads is peanut butter pancakes with all—and I mean all—the fixings.

Now, as a former chef, my vegan husband Jeff isn’t always too keen on sharing his kitchen with me, but he will make an exception once in a while and when it comes to pancakes, I’m all in!

Jeff is the batter maker, sometimes from scratch and sometimes a mix (gluten free and vegan, of course), with one of our most prized box mixes being Trader Joe’s Ube (purple sweet potato) Mochi Pancake & Waffle mix. It’s a limited release specialty item that we always stock up on. It makes purple pancakes that are delicious plain (they are already a little sweet just by themselves due to the sweet rice) or with syrup. 

My favorite way to eat them is with almond butter and jelly—I lather that stuff on it and eat it like an open face sandwich, or folded over taco style with fresh fruit. Go out and get some right now before they sell out, cause once they are gone, they are gone! And by the time you are reading this, they probably already are.

If we don’t have that, we try whatever gluten free/vegan mix we find. Jeff mixes the concoction with almond milk, egg replacer and coconut oil; while he’s making the batter, I whip peanut butter and almond milk together until smooth and fluffy, add it to the pancake batter and, voila, peanut butter pancakes! Yum!

I also put the mise en place of condiments together—normally consisting of chopped bananas, blueberries and raspberries, grated dark chocolate, peanuts, cashews, diced pineapple, cinnamon, marshmallows, cacao nibs, and, um, I think that’s it.

As the griddle cakes are cooking, we each grab the flavor combination of goodies we want, (banana/pineapple is my go-to, followed closely by chocolate raspberry) gently place them on top of the cooking batter and squish them in. The best part is when he flips the flapjacks over and everything is caramelized. Once they are cooked to perfection, they are plated and toppings such as syrup, almond and/or peanut butter, jam, and butter are generously applied and we dig in. 

Now, I tell you, there is nothing better than a pancake with peanut butter, banana and pineapple, unless it’s a peanut butter, banana and pineapple pancake with marshmallows and whipped cream, which we’ve been known to indulge in on occasion. 

By the way, vegan marshmallow pancakes are totally ridiculous; the marshmallows puff up and then melt all over the place, everything gets super gooey and little burnt pieces of marshmallow get all sticky and turn the pancake into a fluffy caramelized disc of sweetness overload.  

We had friends over for breakfast a while ago and made these delectable delights for them. Needless to say, they were impressed, but a bit confused when I asked if they wanted ice cream on their pancakes—sometimes I forget not everyone eats like we do.