Breakfast/Brunch

Blackberry-Banana Pancakes

Blackberry-Banana Pancakes

Every day is the perfect day for pancakes.

Especially when there’s bananas and fresh blackberries involved.

And butter. And syrup.

Blackberry-Banana Pancakes

I recently caught up with some girlfriends over brunch at The Naked Cafe in Solana Beach. It was a gorgeous, sunny day overlooking the beach –definitely the perfect backdrop to a scrumptious meal.

I ended up ordering a bunch of random à la carte items but the most memorable dish were their buttermilk banana & blackberry pancakes. HOLY MOLY–they were the fluffiest things ever! And why have I never made this fruit combination before in a pancake?

Blackberry-Banana Pancakes

The situation needed to be rectified….immediately! I turned to my tried and true Blueberry Pancakes recipe from Cooks Illustrated and did a little tweaking. An extra splash of vanilla extract here and some lemon zest there –heavenly!

Blackberry-Banana Pancakes

And don’t hesitate to make a double batch! Pancakes freeze quite well –just place a piece of wax paper between each cake and throw them into resealable freezer bags. You can have a pile o’ pancakes whenever your heart desires.

Or your tummy.

But really, aren’t they the same thing? 🙂

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Blackberry-Banana Pancakes
Makes approximately 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh blackberries, sliced
2 cups sliced bananas
vegetable oil
Serve with butter, extra fruit, and maple syrup

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk milk, and melted butter. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently just until combined. The batter will be quite lumpy.

Heat about 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a ¼ cup measure to portion the batter and pour into the center of the pan. Top each pancake with a layer of blackberries and sliced bananas, gently pressing them into the batter. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, more oil to the pan if necessary. Serve pancakes with tabs of butter, additional fruit and maple syrup.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

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Desserts/Pastries

Ch-ch-ch-Chia Seed Pudding!

Chia Seed Pudding

Ch-ch-ch-Chia!

Terra cotta statuettes sprouting into fuzzy green pets?!  What’s not to love? Of course if you’re not into the responsibility of having to care for a Chia lamb, Chia Hello Kitty, Chia Scooby or even Chia Obama, you can always jump on the chia seed healthy bandwagon instead.

Since they’re bountiful in Omega-3s, fiber, antioxidants and all that jazz, I like to sprinkle chia seeds into my morning smoothies, muffin batters, or over greek yogurt. And since they take on somewhat of a “gel-like” consistency when mixed into water, they’re the perfect little ingredient to make a cheat pudding with.

There are so many variations on Chia Seed Puddings out there but I like to keep things simple with just a few ingredients: ripe bananas, almond milk, agave or honey, a dash of vanilla and of course–chia seeds. The actually consistency after it sets is like tapioca pudding and is delish when topped with fresh fruits, nuts or even granola.

And if you really want to get a little crazy, add a bit of cocoa powder to the party for a Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding. Because chocolate makes EVERYTHING better!

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Chia Seed Pudding
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 medium sized ripe bananas
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon agave
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons chia seeds
fresh mango slices (or other fresh fruit)

In a blender, add the bananas, almond milk, agave and vanilla extract. Puree until smooth and then transfer to a resealable container. Stir in the chia seeds and cover. Refrigerate the mixture for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Spoon the pudding into two cups and top with fresh mango slices. Serve chilled.

Breads · Desserts/Pastries

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

I’m Bananas…..

For Nutella.

Shocking— I know.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

So why not add Nutella to Banana Bread? Seemed like a Win-Nguyen Situation to me.

And it sure was 🙂

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Nutella Swirled Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Nutella

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Spoon 1/2 the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 the Nutella on top and lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and repeat with Nutella swirls.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Breakfast/Brunch

I’ll Make You Red Velvet Banana Pancakes….

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

 

Because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and because Jack Johnson is so darn dreamy, I’d like to give you all this yummy Valentine—

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes.

 

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

I mean, c’mon now. Doesn’t this just scream L-O-V-E???? And the only thing that could possibly make this breakfast even better would be delish mimosas.

And maybe some Bacon. But that’s a whole different Valentine Story. 🙂

Red Velvet Banana Pancakes

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!

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Red Velvet Banana Pancakes
Makes approximately 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ Tablespoon Red Food Color
2 Cups Sliced Bananas
Vegetable Oil
Maple Syrup

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk milk, melted butter, and food coloring. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently just until combined.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a ¼ cup measure to portion the batter into the pan. Top each pancake with a layer of sliced bananas, gently pressing them into the batter. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, adding the rest of the oil to the pan if necessary. Serve pancakes with additional banana slices and maple syrup.

 Adapted from Cooks Illustrated