Tropical Blast: Wholesome Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas

As if I haven't waffled on enough about fabulously versatile, endlessly forgiving, scrumptiously winning pancakes! (Can't resist giving in to the inner food pun nerd who begs the obvious:  get it? Waffles on about pancakes? Heehee.) Just wait until you taste these. Provided you haven't any issues with the ingredients and essential flavors, you are going to love them! Today is the first day of summer, and I've had the tropics embedded in my psyche lately. Perhaps because of an inner longing to go somewhere distant during a year destined to be dictated by practicality. Then, there's the simple fact that I've been happily cooking with some really delicious pineapple recently as well. In the kitchen, I keep gravitating to fruity and tropical experimentation, including a pineapple-orange muffin that is presently in round two of trials, and coming soon. These pancakes, however, represent little labor and were appreciatively devoured on the first run.  I had made plans to make something like a pancake breakfast buffet after a Sunday morning triathlon with  Mary,  who has built such a steady presence on this blog that I'm now dropping her introduction as my good friend and cooking buddy henceforth. We were going to cut any potential losses (as if, considering we're talking pancakes!) by making an old reliable whole wheat and berries batch alongside a riskier experiment. I had fresh pineapple, browning bananas, and some leftover light coconut milk from my aforementioned muffin-making, so some kind of tropical pancake was a given. What really made these maddeningly good, however, was throwing together a topping of lightly caramelized bananas. If you're not in the mood for the extra indulgence, these griddle cakes are still superb simply topped with fresh sliced bananas. However, at the risk of sounding boastful as well as enthusiastic over the discovery of this particular ingredients combo, I highly recommend you go with the fancier version. I'm personally not a fan of the taste of butter; I've never liked buttered popcorn, and I never put it on pancakes, toast, or even garlic bread. But just a tablespoon with some brown sugar and cinnamon went a long way with the bananas. They could potentially be your new Belgian waffle, doubling as dessert. : )

Tropical Pancakes

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 medium ripe banana (the browning kind you reserve for baking) plus extra eating bananas for slicing on top
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon organic raw sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup skim milk

1. Combine flours, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, process pineapple chunks, coconut milk, banana, coconut, egg, egg white, raw sugar, vanilla, and oil until well blended.

3. Add pineapple mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Stir in 1/2 cup skim milk, adding more  liquid if needed to achieve desired consistency.

4. Heat a skillet or griddle lightly coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Scoop the batter in approximately 1/4 cup per pancake. Flip when bubbles begin to form on top. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on each side, and serve.

Serve with lightly caramelized bananas: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 sliced banana and stir gently. Mix in 2 tablespoons brown sugar and a teaspoon ground cinnamon, stirring to coat bananas. Let bananas sit on medium low heat for about a minute, then flip and repeat until bananas are golden brown and near bubbly.