Quick and Healthy Banana Pancakes

Banana PancakesThis recipe was originally a Pinterest find.  I love Pinterest and can easily lose a day just browsing recipes and photos of food but this particular one intrigued me.  I have been making pancakes forever – traditional English pancakes, savoury Dutch pancakes and American style pancakes but none of them claim to have only 2 ingredients.   Yes, that’s right, 2 ingredients.  I am not even sure that 2 ingredients constitutes a recipe.

These pancakes are made using just eggs and banana which is fantastic if you are following a gluten or dairy free diet.

To be honest I wasn’t totally convinced until I tried them.  Eggs and banana?  Isn’t that actually a banana omelette?  Is a banana omelette something I actually want to eat?

Not to be daunted I gave them a go and I was very pleasantly surprised; they are scrumptious.  They are also a really healthy way to start the day.  Your kids will love them because they are naturally sweet.  You will love them because they give a great protein kick plus one of their five a day without them even noticing it.  You could save them for weekends but they are also quick enough to do on a school day and take less time to make than boiled eggs.

If you really want to be indulgent you could drizzle them with maple syrup but they absolutely do not need it.  I am thinking that they might be nice with a handful of blueberries or a pinch of cinnamon but I really don’t want to over complicate something which is the very essence of simplicity.

Whatever you do with them – give them a go.  I guarantee that they will set you and your kids up wonderfully well for the day ahead.

Ingredients (per person)

1 very ripe banana

2 large free range eggs

Method

Lightly oil a non-stick frying pan and place it over a medium heat.

Mash the banana well.  If you like your pancakes very smooth you could blitz it with a hand held / stick blender but I quite like a few little lumps of banana.

Whisk in the two eggs.

Pour large spoonfuls of the mixture into the frying pan and cook until browned.  Flip and cook the other side.

Serve.

It really is that simple.  Enjoy your pancakes.

 

Crumpets Crumpets Crumpets

Last week I posted a picture of an empty plate on the bunscuffle Facebook page and asked what you would most like to see on it. There were lots of wonderful suggestions including cream teas, Swiss rolls, toast and butter and raspberry friands (which I will get around to) not to mention £50 notes, Euros and Daley Thompson! But the suggestion that made me stop and think was crumpets.

We like crumpets at bun scuffle despite years of the kind of jokes you have to expect when your last name is Crump. We like them for breakfast, as a mid afternoon snack or just when we get in from work tired and hungry and dinner seems a long way away.

The little holes in the top of a crumpet are perfectly designed to hold onto melted butter so a little goes a long way. They taste great topped with jam or honey or Marmite or even a little ripe brie which begins to melt over the hot … I’m getting carried away now but the crumpet is a lovely  vehicle for the sweet or savoury topping of your choice.

I have to confess that I have always just bought crumpets in the past but today, especially for all you lovely people who take the time to read my blog, I have made them from scratch. Have a go – it takes longer than just popping them, ready made, into the toaster but it is well worth the effort.

Ingredients

450g / 1lb strong white flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp / 1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

300ml / ½ pint milk

300ml / ½ pint water

vegetable oil

4 crumpet rings or 3in plain (not fluted) pastry cutters

Method

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Mix the milk and water and heat to blood temperature (when you dip your [clean] finger in it should feel neither hot nor cold). Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk / water mix and leave for a minute or two.

Pour the warm milk / water into the flour and beat well to give quite a thick, smooth batter. Cover with a tea towel or cling film.

Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it has a light, spongy texture.

Very lightly oil a non-stick frying pan (use kitchen towel to remove any excess oil) and place over a very low heat. Grease the crumpet rings and place them in the pan then leave to heat up for a minute or two.

Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings about half to two thirds of the way up. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.

These crumpets are best eaten at once but can be kept warm or re-heated in the oven without too many problems.

 

Boxty

It’s years since I last made boxty (bacstaí) but I was inspired to make it again recently by a conversation with my daughter, Megan.  Meg’s flatmate, Theresa, is from Northern Ireland and her homesickness is apparently controlled by regular food parcels as her mum sends her boxty in the post!  I don’t know how she sends it or how it survives but I am in awe of your dedication and ingenuity Mrs Flood.

Boxty is an Irish specialty – or to be more precise is a number of Irish specialties as it comes in many forms:  The classic potato cake, potato pancakes, drop scones, dumplings (bacstaí beag – little boxty) or bread (Arán bocht tí – poor house bread).

I’m going to apologise now to any purists – there are so many different boxty recipes that I am sure mine is wrong but this is how I like it.  Give it a go and tweek it to suit your own taste.

Ingredients

250g (9 oz) mashed potato (left overs are perfect)

250g( 9oz) raw potato

125g (4 ½) plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Salt & pepper.

A knob of butter (or bacon fat)

Approximately 120 ml buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk ordinary cow’s milk will do).

Method

Grate the raw potato into a clean tea towel (next to the sink) and then wring out as much moisture as you can.

Mix the grated potato with the mash, stir in the flour and the baking powder.

Melt the knob of butter and add it to the bowl, along with the milk and seasoning.  Mix to form a thick dough (similar to a scone dough) – don’t over mix or you will make the boxty too glutinous.  Some recipes use twice as much flour as this one – I think that makes for a heavy texture but if it doesn’t seem right to you try adding a little more.

Turn onto a floured work surface, knead lightly, press out to a thickness of about 2.5cm (1”) and cut out neat rounds.

Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter and a little oil.  Fry the boxty on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

If you prefer to try potato pancakes just add more milk to the mix until you get a thick batter and cook spoonfuls of the mix until browned on each side.  These are lighter and thinner and I actually prefer them to the heavier potato cakes.  You can treat them like American pancakes and serve them with bacon and maple syrup – not very Irish but tasty none the less.