Although undoubtably delicious, the health benefits of pancakes are questionable (especially when stuffed with Nutella). When you’re as big a pancake fiend as I am, you have to get clever about what goes in to them so you can eat them on the reg. Banana pancakes or ‘protein pancakes’ as they are now known, were made Instafamous by gym bunnies who were after a starchy sugar fix; minus the starch and sugar. I mean they’re fine, if you enjoy eating banana omelette, but I think these are a lot better. Roasting the butternut squash low and slow, with the skin still on really brings out the natural sweetness and that, combined with a small amount of flour, gives the pancakes their body. You could get away with leaving the flour out but come on, live a little, one tablespoon isn’t going to hurt. Unless you’re celiac, in which case ignore everything I just said! If you want to add any flavourings like vanilla, cinnamon or nut butter then go ahead, chuck them in the blender with the other ingredients.
Makes 4 small pancakes or two large
1 butternut squash
2 large eggs
1 tbsp plain flour
1 – Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Top and tail the butternut squash and slice in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and cut each half into an equal 1cm dice, leaving the skin on.
2 – Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the diced butternut squash into one even layer. Bake for around 35-45 minutes until softened and lightly brown. Set aside until cool. This recipe is for one portion so there will be a lot of squash left over! This can be used in salads or blended into soups, however I store mine in the fridge in a sealed container for future pancakes.
3 – Peel and roughly chop the banana and add to a NutriBullet or liquidiser. Add in the two eggs and 2 tbsp of roasted butternut squash and blend. Keep blending until all of the squash is fully processed and you have a very thick and emulsified mixture.
4 – Add in the tbsp of plain flour and blend again. The texture of the mixture should be extremely thick and almost mousse like from the blending.
5 – Heat a properly non-stick pan on a low/medium heat. These colour quite quickly so you don’t want a searingly hot pan. Spoon the desired amount of mixture into the pan and smooth out with the back of the spoon. They should be roughly 1cm thick and I prefer to make four small pancakes rather than two big.
6 – Fry the pancakes on one side for roughly 2-3 minutes or until crisp and lightly coloured and flip over using a fish slice.
7 – Fry on the other side until completely cooked throughout.
8 – Serve with the topping of your choice! This can be anything from plain and simple with a drizzle of honey, to roasted rhubarb or stewed berries with natural yogurt.