Easy Vegan Banana Pancakes
Here’s a little happiness for your weekend: a hearty batch of easy vegan banana pancakes. Truth be told, I’m perfectly happy to use a couple of eggs in my pancakes under normal circumstances, but after our recent visit to Austin we came home to find I’d done too good a job cleaning out the fridge before we left. It was the same impulse, opposite result, as hoarding at the grocery store before a snowstorm. We were gone for five days, and eggs stay good for like a month. But don’t worry, I used them all before we left. Along with everything else.
Vegan banana pancakes are a great use for your overripe bananas. You can use them straight from the counter or frozen and defrosted.
Vegan baking skills come in handy
One of the more satisfying parts of being a grownup is learning — and remembering — to take the long view on the choices you’ve made and the ways you’ve spent your time. If you step back far enough, all (okay, most) of the meanderings on your path start to look like they move in a reasonably straight line. Case in point: the abundant time and energy I’ve spent learning about vegan cooking and baking, even though I still can’t give up steaming live lobsters. (For what it’s worth, I do, in all honesty, say, “Thank you for your service,” to each of them, just as I whispered to Jon Stewart from my car the other day when I caught him driving behind me.)
It’s great to know how to cook with what you have, even when what you have is a big bag of flax seeds.
The flax egg
The “flax egg” is a surprisingly convincing egg substitute in a variety of heartier baked goods. This isn’t news, I know. But if you haven’t tried it in muffins, pancakes, or quickbreads, I recommend you do, whether it’s to avoid a trip to the grocery store or to be a little more plant-based from time to time. Or to impress Jon Stewart — how do I know what your motivations are?
How to make a flax egg
Simply take a tablespoon of flax seeds and grind it very finely in a clean coffee or spice grinder. Stir it into three tablespoons of water and wait about 15 minutes for the mixture to get a little bit gelatinous. Then use it to replace one egg. (But don’t try it in an omelet or a meringue! No duh, as we used to say in fourth grade.)
Hearty vegan banana pancakes
Even though these pancakes were a result of total improv, the family and I thought they turned out really well, and I’ll definitely make them again soon. It’s worth noting that we’ve never been a Bisquick family, though — we like a little heft to our pancakes. These rise beautifully but won’t melt like the holy eucharist/ send you in a blood sugar rocket to the moon. Just letting you know, one earthling to another.
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup soy or other non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
- Maple syrup, for serving
- Using a clean spice or coffee grinder, pulse the flax seed until it is very finely ground. Place in a small bowl and stir in the water. Let sit for 15 minutes or so, until the flax has soaked up some of the water and turned a little bit gelatinous.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Mash the bananas and add them to the dry ingredients along with the flax mixture, milk and vanilla. Stir gently until combined. Then pour in the melted butter or oil and stir until combined.
- Melt some vegan butter or coconut oil on a skillet over medium-high heat. Dollop batter onto the skillet a scant 1/4 cup at a time, leaving plenty of space between pancakes. Cook until tiny bubbles begin to pop on the tops of the pancakes and they are lightly browned on the underside. Flip and cook a minute or two more. Continue cooking pancakes in batches until batter is gone.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup.