Chocolate Chip-Banana Pancakes

Monday, February 7, 2011

Before I moved home and I was assigned the task to grocery shop and cooking for my fam, in lieu of rent, I grocery shopped, paid rent, and used my love for cooking on Megan. I will remind you that I had just graduated college, could not find a teaching job and was absolutely broke. The kind of broke I remember “grown-ups” talking about when I was a teen. The kind that made me think “that sucks, I’m never gonna be that poor when I graduate.” Oh, little Ali, if you only knew. How much easier my life would have been if I had not been on a mission to lose weight, eat healthy, and shop at New Seasons, in order to save the planet, while on a sub/part time nanny salary.
The two things I remember making because 1. they stifled my cooking cravings 2. were cheap 3. could be made in big batches, were soup and pancakes...chocolate chip pancakes.
Megan, in her senior year, would be up til ungodly hours writing lesson plans, doing homework, and mostly, talking with me about everything going on in her senior year- I had that identical experience one year before. I’m sure Megan would have had a lot more sleep if we hadn’t spent so much time talking. Procrastination was/is our bff. Nevertheless, on some of the late nights, I would get a hankering to cook, and would make Megan and I a batch of chocolate chip pancakes.
There is something so comforting about breakfast food at any time, especially midnight. I’d argue that I enjoy breakfast more when it’s served at the times you’re not supposed to enjoy it- I’m such a rebel.
Breakfast is one of those “I know I should” things that people rarely ever do. In reality, starting your day with bfast really is crucial when trying to lose weight. I know there are so many reasons not to do it- you’re not hungry when you wake up, you ran out of time, you’re trying to save the calories for sushi date night...I get it. I’m not advocating starting your Monday with chocolate chip pancakes, but how about keeping an orange in your desk? Cutting up fruit after you hit the store and dividing it into small tupperwares you can grab out the door? Maybe there is a fridge in the break room where you can store some lowfat yogurts. If you don’t eat bfast, try to eat it every day for a week and document how you feel throughout the day. You might not notice any differences, but you might be surprised about the extra weight you lose, or energy you gain.
And try these chocolate chip pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning. I find breakfast tricky on the weeknds, especially when people want to go out. Since I don’t eat eggs, potatoes, french toast and bacon on a regular basis, when I do have them as options, my mind goes haywire and I want everything. These are a great alternative to that crisis. You can also add blueberries instead of chocolate chips, but why would you do that? Serve them with egg whites, chicken sausage, or by themselves with a glass of milk.
You can choose to serve them without without syrup, but a little syrup is recommended (if you ask me). I’m gonna step on my soap box for just a second. I know you’ll be tempted to buy sugar free syrup, if you’re counting calories, and I’ll caution you. That stuff is loaded with a lot of chemicals and the first ingredient is usually high fructose corn syrup. We all know how I feel about that little friend, so I’ll avoid getting into it, but I’ll say this- have you ever been able to buy HFCS in the sugar aisle? There is a reason the answer is no. Just because something is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s good for you. That’s the disconnect in the American diet. Try to eat real foods, just less of them. That includes a drizzle of actual maple syrup and the small amount of melted butter that goes into these whole wheat pancakes that makes them wholeful, delicious and keeps you from feeling deprives.
These are for you, Megs. Wish I could be standing in our kitchen flipping some for ya while you work tirelessly on your thesis. Actually, forget that part about you having to work.

Tip: When going out for breakfast, make some small choices that make a big difference Rarely do you want to be the person eating oatmeal while everyone else is eating the french toast platter. Try these ideas- order egg beaters or egg whites, or try an omelet without cheese. Also, always ask for your foods to be cooked without oils. Most places are extremely happy to do this. Finally, learn to make some choices. When a place offers you toast and potatoes with your delicious egg white, turkey sausage veggie omelet, choose your favorite and ask them to sub fruit for the less preferred option.
Also, I add the mashed banana to the batter because bananas (and applesauce) are a great oil/butter substitute. Meaning, I was able to cut the needed butter way down because the banana provides the same desired texture an oil or butter would, plus it lends a lot of flavor. Try doing this in all of your baked goods.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Makes 10-14 pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tso baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup nonfat/lowfat milk
1 tblspoon cider or regular vinegar
3 egg whites
1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1 whole banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
cooking spray
Semi-sweet chocolate chips, or blueberries

Set oven to 200.
Pour vinegar into milk- whisk and set aside.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mix eggs, butter, banana. Add milk mixture.
Pour wet ingredients slowly into dry and mix until nearly lumpless, but don't over mix.

Heat a skillet, hit with cooking spray.
Pour batter onto skillet using a 1/4 cup measuring cup
When batter starts to bubble, add several semi sweet chocolate chips, or blueberries.

Flip pancake. Remove when firm and golden.
Place in oven on a cookie sheet.
Repeat process until all pancakes are done. Keep warm in oven, remove when finished and top with maple syrup.


Megan said...

WHOA! Delicious! Who knew losing weight was going to be so delicious and wonderful!? I think I will make these next Monday night for my fiance since instead of having a great date night on Valentine's Day, I will be taking the GRE for four hours that evening. This will be a cute, cheaper date where I can make something yummy and we can spend time together. Love it! I am also excited because starting tomorrow my mom and I are going to run four days a week in the morning, so this will help me get out of bed (a problem area for me) and also getting work outs over with earlier in the day will help counting the calories as I'll want to make my morning work out count instead of assuming I'll work it off later. Thanks for the yummy recipe Ali!

AB said...

YAY. Running with your mom will be such good, fun, bonding, motivation time.
I also find that if I work out in the morning, I eat better throughout the day because I don't want to mess up my hard work.
This would be perf for Vday- I'd suggest adding sliced strawberries as garnish- nothing says vday like chocolate and strawberries!
I'm actually going to make black and white chocolate fondue for our "fake vday"...we have to celebrate on Sun because of my Mon night I feel ya on the gre thing. :)

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