Food & Drink

Pancakes a sweet treat for breakfast

A weekend breakfast of pancakes can be a treat with mini chocolate chips and mashed banana, and a little more healthful if you use a base of 100 percent whole-wheat flour.

If you want to experiment with different types of whole grains, replace up to 1/2 cup of the whole-wheat flour with cornmeal, oats and/or buckwheat flour. Or add extra fiber and healthy omega-3 fats by adding up to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or chia seeds.

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating. Find more online at www.eatingwell.com.

Banana-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see notes)

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (see notes)

1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 medium)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk flour, chocolate chips, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk, banana, oil, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. Resist overmixing – it will make the pancakes tough.

Let the batter sit, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. As the batter rests, the baking powder forms bubbles that create fluffy pancakes and the gluten in the flour relaxes to make them more tender.

Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Without stirring the batter, measure out pancakes using about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and pour into the pan (or onto the griddle). Cook until the edges are dry and you see bubbles on the surface, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining batter, coating the pan with cooking spray and reducing the heat as needed.

Notes: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup nonfat milk; let stand about 10 minutes.

Per serving: 230 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 29 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 6 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 334 mg sodium; 270 mg potassium.

YIELD: 7 servings, with 2 (4-inch) pancakes each.

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