A long day of classes. Piles of essays to write and upcoming midterms to study for. And a near-empty fridge. What's a college celiac to do but whip up a pancake and nana ice cream feast for dinner?
Traditionally, coconut yogurt has always dominated my pancake topper throne. One day, though, I looked in the fridge and - gasp! - was out. Banana ice cream to the rescue!
And why not? Fluffy, gooey pancakes. Cold, creamy (and veggie packed!) nana ice cream. Sprinkle a little nut butter, sautéed berries and seeds on top and you can gorge on a (totally healthy) sundae for dinner!
To get started, gather up your edible ammo:
For the Pancakes:
You can either use your favorite pancake mix or whip up my recipe for GF, vegan pancakes, which includes:
5 TBSP coconut flour
2 TBSP buckwheat flour (I grind my own from buckwheat groats in my Nutribullet or my Dad's coffee maker)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-1 very ripe banana (depending on your desired sweetness)
1 chia seed egg (1 tbsp ground chia seeds and 3 tbsp water)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk (I've used rice and coconut before with wonderful results!)
2 tbsp water (plus any extra required as mix thickens)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mixed fruit (I prefer blueberries, strawberries, grapes, pomegranate seeds, apple slices, etc).
Coconut oil (or alternate cooking oil)
For the Ice Cream (or adapt my recipe for traditional banana ice cream):
1 banana, cut up and frozen (without the peel!) ahead of time
1/2 a zucchini, chopped and frozen with the banana
A couple handfuls of leafy greens (such as chard, spinach, or kale)
Enough liquid (coconut milk, dairy substitute, water, etc) to get the blender going
Optional: Maca powder, other flavorings (mint or cacao stevia anyone?) or spices
A high speed blender, Nutribullet or food processor
Begin by transforming your frozen veggies and fruits into ice cream! Load your ingredients into a blender. I like to layer my greens and flavor add-ins between my frozen components - at least for me, that seems to get the most evenly mixed texture with the least actual mixing. Add your liquid last, beginning with the smallest amount possible and adding more until your blender whirls to work. The less liquid = the thicker ice cream!
After your magic wand (or blender) has done its thing, place the ice cream in the freezer for safe keeping (either in a new freezer-friendly bowl or your blending cup). Now it's time for the pancake party!
Create your chia egg, letting it sit for a few moments before adding the rest of your ingredients. If your banana isn't super ripe, try microwaving it for 30 seconds or until it easily mixes into the batter. After cutting up your fruit, start the cooking.
Heat up your pan with a dab of coconut oil inside at med/high heat. Once the oil melts and starts sizzling, add scoops of batter (I use 1 heaping TBSP per pancake), and fruit toppings. Cook the pancakes at medium heat for roughly 30 seconds, then at low for around 2 minutes. Then flip and repeat. And keep repeating until it the entire batter has been cooked! (While trying to resist the urge to eat - more than a couple bites, anyway.)
Once your pancakes are arranged on the plate, sautée any leftover pieces of fruit in a little coconut oil for about 30 seconds on low heat. When lightly scorched and tender, set the fruit pieces aside to cool while you rescue your nana ice cream from the freezer.
It should have become even thicker from its time in the freezer, so feel free plop it in scoops onto your plate. Now for the decorations! Spoon your sautéed fruit over the pancakes and nana ice cream, also adding optional treats like seeds, cacao nibs and drizzles of nut butter. If you're feeling really decadent, whip up some homemade chocolate sauce by mixing melted coconut oil with cocoa powder - it'll form a magic shell over the nana ice cream. Beautiful and delicious? Sign me (and my taste buds) up!
The best part of this recipe is its adaptability (I think that's my cooking trademark by now!). Have lots of frozen berries to use up? Make berry ice cream to go on top! You can add even more veggies - like celery, cucumber or beets - for an even healthier ice cream. Who says you can't have pancakes and vegetables in the same meal?
As for the pancakes, you could add extra super foods - acai, maca and cacao powder I'm looking at you - or extracts like mint or pumpkin pie stevia. Your imagination - and taste buds - are the limit!
Between the essays, my upcoming midterms (next week!) and lots of classes, sometimes going grocery shopping falls on the bottom of my to-do list. With a recipe like pancakes and banana ice cream for dinner, though, I know I'll survive. And so will my stomach!
What's your favorite topping for pancakes? Do you ever do breakfast for dinner? Comment below!