It has been a long hard week here. We have successfully completed our move to Victoria last Friday (7AM til 11 PM) and spent the next few days getting settled and unpacked. I was excited to get settled in a new place and finally have all of our belongings together again after being separated for over 2 years (It was a little like Christmas!).
Unfortunately, the excitement of our new adventure had a very sad undertone this week as we also had to make the almost impossible decision to say our final good-byes to my best friend and favourite kitty (Sassy). She made it to a strong 19 years old and has been with me as long as I can remember. I’ve never had to go through this with a pet before so it was extremely hard for me and I was not myself for a few days. I’m happy to report that I am finally coming back to myself and the surprise bursts of tears have subsided. I know she is up there basking in the sunshine and bossing around all of the other cats in true Sassy nature. She will never be forgotten.
I am so thankful that I was (for the most part) able to stay focused on my self care during this hard week. I continued my morning yoga routine and made sure to continue eating good healthy meals. I found great solace in getting my garden set up at the new place. Hands in the dirt, sun on my skin and yummy veggies ready to be planted. Something about connecting to the most basic source of life that helped calm me and remind me that even though she is gone from my physical world, she is still in every ocean breeze and every corner of my heart- and even maybe in my vegetable garden!
Finally with the hardest stuff behind me, I was able to get down to building my new routine and doing some much needed work. I’m not sure how much work I will actually get done with the new view from my desk… one can only hope.
I had stumbled upon a delicious recipe a couple weeks back when I was looking for something new and fresh to make for breakfast. I had been making my go-to protein banana pancake recipe for a few months now and was no longer satisfied with it (they never stuck quite right which made them impossible to flip!). I was inspired and wondered how I could make the recipe one step healthier.
In typical Dani fashion, I began experimenting and putting my own spin on the recipe and making what I can only describe as life changing breakfast pancakes. Not to mention they are vegan, gluten free (if you use gluten free oats), and don’t contain any added sugar. But don’t worry… they are still seriously delicious!
My first attempt at the recipe involved using 1 egg and one flax egg to see if I could ease them into being vegan (and because I only had one egg in my fridge at the time). They were a great success and Ben (my husband) couldn’t get enough of the peanut butter topping.
Waking up late today (after catching up on some much needed sleep) left me inspired to experiment again and go full vegan and no sugar added with the recipe. I am happy to report that it worked wonderfully. Even though Ben is normally the breakfast maker in our household, I was inclined to give him a break today and kick him out of the kitchen all together. He was thankful for the break and excited to have his new favourite breakfast prepared for him.
The bananas are naturally very sweet so there was no need for the splash of honey that the original recipe called for. Making eggs from flax seeds also worked beautifully with the recipe. I could not tell the difference- just as fluffy and moist as the original recipe. Making oat flour from rolled oats was a breeze and makes the pancakes hearty and very filling.
Topped with fresh strawberries, banana, toasted coconut and peanut butter, these pancakes are going to change the way you do breakfast. Don’t be intimidated by the call for oat flour. You can make your own – see notes below.
Healthy Vegan Gluten-Free Banana Oat Pancakes
- 2 medium bananas, mashed (around 1 cup mashed banana)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil , melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 medium lemon)
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 6 Tbsp water
- 1 cup oat flour*
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (I grind my own fresh and it is to die for!)
- In a small bowl mix the ground flax and the water until combined. Set aside for 5 minutes. (You just made a vegan egg! For future reference. 1 Tbsp flax + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg)
- In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, lemon juice, melted coconut oil, and flax egg (when it is ready)
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Gently pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don’t over mix!). Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken
- Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Lightly oil the surface with coconut oil. When a splash of water on the plan sizzles, it is ready to start cooking.
- Using a 1/4 cup scoop, pour batter onto the pan. Once the underside of the pancake is lightly golden (about 4-5 minutes) flip it with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may have to play with the time depending on how hot your pans are. When they are golden on both sides they are done.
- Serve the pancakes immediately or save for a snack later. Make these in advance for snacks at work, during sports or quick pick me ups whenever you need. They also freeze beautifully.
- Peanut butter, banana, strawberries and toasted coconut
- fresh blueberries or raspberries
- thawed and heated frozen berries of any kind
- coconut whipped cream with cacao powder
- melted chocolate and peanut butter
- rhubarb compote (in season at the moment so its on my mind a lot!
Have other topping suggestions? Please share in the comments below!
Happy Lazy Monday cooking everyone!
(p.s. these would be great for any meal… breakfast for dinner anyone??)