I never really made pancakes, nor ate them until I had kids. I’m pretty selfish with my calories and never wanted to use them on what seemed like just a filler food to me. Then we had Matteo and Chelsea started making these delicious banana pancakes for him when he first started eating food. We would play the song Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson and eat them together as a family.
Now they are my thing. I make them at least once a week. Whenever we have two ripe bananas I say, Hey Matteo, who is now four, want some banana pancakes? He gets excited and says, YES!
I sneak in a handful of frozen spinach so there is not only a fruit, but a veggie involved. The pancake mix we use is gluten free and has 20 g of protein per serving. Plus the protein from the egg. I’d say that’s a pretty healthy pancake. They are also filling and give a sustained energy throughout the morning.
A note on the frozen spinach. We take a bag of organic spinach and freeze it for smoothies. Here is a life hack… if you put it in your hands and crush it, it shatters like you just finely chopped it. This makes it easy to add to dishes you are cooking without any prep work.
It’s an ongoing challenge for us to get Matteo to eat enough food. When he doesn’t eat enough, like the rest of us, his mood changes. He starts to act in ways we don’t like. So we do our best to help mitigate this by finding things that he enjoys eating, that are also good for him nutritionally. This isn’t necessarily easy, but it is very important to us, so we look for foods that meet this criteria.
Sure I could give him pasta and bread like he wants, like every kid wants, but I want him to eat vegetables and proteins, so that he can grow and develop into his full potential. I imagine this is a challenge for many parents. Therefore this is a recipe every parent should have in their arsenal.
They also make for a healthy snack to take with you on the run.
Chelsea teaches zoom yoga from our home in the mornings on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. So on those days, I need to get the boys out of the house. Usually we go on a morning bike ride. Me riding Owen in the front of my beach cruiser and Matteo, who just learned to ride his bike during quarantine, riding on his bike.
Owen Loves them too, but it kinda looks like he’s pooping in this picture.
I’ll always remember the first time Matteo made it on his bike all the way down to the Bay Club in Redondo Beach. Which is about 5 miles South from where we live.
We were on the bike strand coming home and could see the Manhattan Beach pier coming up ahead of us. We still had about 2 miles left to go and I knew Matteo was going to run out of gas soon. He had been high on adrenaline for having made it that far for the first time on his bike. We were celebrating as we were riding back. He was so proud of himself and me of him, but I knew reality was about to set in.
All of a sudden he says, “Daddy, I can’t make it any further”
In my head I’m thinking, you’ve got no choice buddy. Mommy is teaching a yoga class right now and there is no one else who can come get us. This was during quarantine, so we couldn’t just hop in an uber or taxi like the old days. Luckily we had eaten pancakes that morning and I brought a couple of the leftovers with me. So I said, hey buddy let’s stop here for a minute and have one of these pancakes.
He ate two of them, Owen ate one and we were on our way again. The break and the pancakes gave him all the energy he needed to get back on his bike and ride it all the way home.
This past weekend, Matteo and I went on a camping trip, just the two of us. I had a couple of ripe bananas and I knew he was going to need sustained energy for our day outside. I measured out a 1/2 cup of the pancake mix and put it in a zip lock bag. I also brought 5 eggs. 1 for the pancake batter and 2 for each of us. Along with 3 slices of bacon. Like his mom, Matteo is a vegetarian who enjoys bacon.
The food part of camping is one of my favorite parts of the whole experience. I love being able to make food outside and then eat it surrounded by nature. Once I book a campsite, all my thoughts go to what are we going to make and eat.
For breakfast it was obvious…Banana pancakes, bacon and eggs.
Banana Pancakes Recipe
1/2 cup Flap Jacked gluten free pancake mix
2 ripe bananas
1 handful frozen spinach
dash of vanilla (optional)
Mash up bananas with a fork. Crush up a handful of frozen spinach (optional) and mix together. Sometimes I add a dash of vanilla.
Add 1/2 c flap jacked mix and one egg and mix until ingredients are combined.
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add coconut oil to grill pan or skillet on medium heat
Pour in mixture making the size pancakes you desire. Flip when they start to bubble on top and the bottom slides easily.
Give them a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!