banana oat weekday pancakes

My favorite buttermilk pancakes are tall, fluffy, buttery show-offs. I make them on the weekend because my mom always made pancakes on the weekend and it feels as weekend-y as cake for breakfast should. But does Thursday morning deserve a pancake, just for being Thursday? I realized recently that a weekday pancake is different to me — fork-mixed, one-bowl, and fairly nutrient-packed, something I could make the kids before school and feel like I was sending them out armed with essentials — and also that my existing recipes left me short. Even these very beloved oatmeal pancakes require you to have or to make oatmeal before you begin, and then use two different flours and two different sugars. I love them… it’s just not happening on a weekday. [See also: complex thoughts or even a bare modicum of functioning before 9 am; alas, I live with two charges who disagree.]

fighting over whose turn it is to help

I found what I was looking for in an old recipe from Gourmet that uses only whole wheat flour plus quick oats, but it somehow not dry or heavy or even overly wholesome-tasting. From there, despite that, the whittling began. I made them with thinned yogurt instead of buttermilk, which I figure more people keep around, and they were great, but then, on a whim, I decided to replace the yogurt in part, and then in full, with mashed bananas and was delighted with the results; the resulting pancakes no longer needed sugar or melted butter to work. I nixed the nutmeg, because: laziness. And, as promised, mixed the whole thing in one bowl with a fork. Sometimes with help, I mean, “help.”

cooking assistants
quick banana oat weekday pancakes

You can make these pancakes as thick or thin as you want. With less milk (dairy or non-), I’ve made them as thick as crumpets. With more, they spill out in the pan and cook up thinner. It’s only a few spoonfuls of milk apart. The main thing, though, is that they’re great with whatever toppings you like — almond butter and honey, yogurt and pomegranate, dried fruit or toasted coconut chips, or your favorite syrup — or just gnawed on plain in your stroller on the way to school after you insisted you didn’t want pancakes and then changed your mind because you’re 2.5 years old. They also reheat well, and make a really good afternoon snack with a schmear of Nutella on them, but maybe don’t tell my kids that part.

quick banana oat weekday pancakes
quick banana oat weekday pancakes


One year ago: Chocolate Dutch Baby and The SK FN Digital Series
Two years ago: Cabbage and Sausage Casserole and Leek Ham Cheese and Egg Bake
Three years ago: Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake, Key Lime Pie and Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
Four years ago: Pear and Hazelnut Muffins and Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
Five years ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Garlic and Chard
Six years ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Seven years ago: Baked Potato Soup and Chocolate Peanut Spread
Eight years ago: Poppy Seed Lemon Cake, Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema and Cranberry Syrup and an Intensely Almond Cake
Nine years ago: Light Wheat Bread, Clementine Cake and Mushroom Bourguignon
Ten years ago: Fried Chicken and Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
Eleven years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake and Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
1.5 Years Ago: Blackberry Cheesecake Galette
2.5 Years Ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
3.5 Years Ago: Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles and Grilled Peach Splits
4.5 Years Ago: Hot Fudge Sundae Cake and Avocado-Shrimp Salsa

Banana Oat Weekday Pancakes

If you don’t have or wish to use bananas, they can be replaced with 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, a half-half mixture of yogurt and milk, or with a non-dairy milk. You will not need the 3 to 5 tablespoons milk a the end. You may, find, however, that without the banana, that the recipe tastes better with 1 tablespoon each sugar (brown, white, or a liquid sweetener) and melted butter or oil added too.
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas (will yield 1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed)
  • 3/4 cup (80 grams) quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • Milk, dairy or non-dairy, as needed (about 3 to 5 tablespoons)
  • Butter or oil, to fry pancakes
In the bottom of a large bowl, mash bananas well with a fork. Stir in oats and salt. From here, for softer oats, you can microwave this mixture for 30 seconds (just to warm it through) or let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature, but you can also skip this and keep the oat texture more intact. It works all of the above ways.

Use fork to stir in cinnamon and egg, then baking powder until thoroughly combined. Stir in flour, then add milk as needed; I found 3 to 4 tablespoons just right (but thickness of batter will vary with banana size, so for medium bananas, more liquid will be needed) to create a thick but not cookie-dough like batter.

Heat griddle or frying pan over medium-low. Once hot, add a good pat of butter or drizzle of oil, and add pancakes in 1/4-cup mounds. You can flatten them a bit if they’re particularly thick. Cook until lightly browned underneath and bubbles appear in pancake surface, flip, and cook on the second side. Lower heat is better on these pancakes; they brown fast and cooking them more slowly ensures the centers are set when the edges are the right color. Repeat with remaining batter. Eat immediately.


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