Chocolate-Banana-Buckwheat Pancakes

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I love taking the time to make pancakes on Saturday mornings. Even more so than Sundays – maybe that’s because it’s the first day of the weekend and it feels extra relaxed. Most of the time I make a big batch of apple-banana-oatmeal pancakes and freeze the leftovers for quick & easy midweek breakfasts or lunchbox snacks. But a few weeks ago I was in the mood for something different. Something a little richer and more complex. I wanted to try working with buckwheat flour – it seemed like I was the last one to jump on that bandwagon, but better late than never.

buckwheat flour and its seeds (called groats)

Buckwheat isn’t actually wheat. It’s not even a grain – it’s a fruit seed. Little triangle shaped, grain-like seeds from the buckwheat plant. Buckwheat is a very good source of magnesium (good if you suffer from chronic headaches), and is also a complete protein (contains 8 essential amino acids). Buckwheat in your diet can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and get the HDL (good) cholesterol up. It helps with high blood pressure, provides fiber and is digested more slowly, so it keeps you full longer.

Buckwheat flour has a dark grey-ish color so when using just it as the sole flour for pancakes, they don’t come out with the most appetizing color.

Knowing this I wanted to mask that look and added cocoa powder, turning them into chocolate pancakes. Can’t go wrong with chocolate, right?

But I also wanted a natural sweetener to avoid adding sugar, so I mashed up a ripe banana in the mix.

The results were wonderfully moist pancakes with a rich chocolate flavor and sweet bits of banana. YUM!!! I love having a topping for my pancakes so what was on hand that day? Plain yogurt and honey (I think those 2 things are ALWAYS in my house). It was so good. So satisfying! And actually pretty good for you :)

BW choc pancakes closeup


So here’s what you need to make them tomorrow morning:

this makes about 14-16 small pancakes (4″ diameter)

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp butter for the pan
  • Plain Greek yogurt and honey for serving

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana and mix in the egg, 1 cup milk, vanilla, and maple syrup.

Add the dry ingredient mix in the bowl with the wet mix, and whisk to combine. If it’s too thick, add some more milk. If it’s too runny, add some more flour.

Heat your pan or griddle and add some butter, then ladle your batter to make the pancakes.

NOTE: since the batter is really dark, you won’t see the pancakes browning, so check their done-ness by carefully flipping them. If they’re too floppy, let them cook a little longer. If they hold up, good! Flip them (cook about 2-3 minutes for each side).

buckwheat banana pancakes with cocoa

Enjoy them as they are or add some extra love with plain yogurt, honey or (real) whipped cream.

I kept the leftovers in the freezer and popped them in the toaster when needed. Still delicious! They work well to take to work (or for your kids’ lunchbox) as a sweet treat without the guilt or refined sugar.

BW choc pancakes closeup_2


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