It might officially be “winter break,” but I’m pretty sure whoever coined that term didn’t have to deal with college applications and the mountains of essays and deadlines that hitch a ride with them. Couple all of that with the massive amount of rain outside preventing me from going most anywhere except to the other end of the house, and it’s understandable that there’s a possibility that I might get a little stir-crazy and end up going a wee bit mad under the stress of applications.
Gladly, things never came to that. You want to know why? That other end of the house that I can walk to happens to have a kitchen, a kitchen where I made these little mounds of sunshine:
Oh, but I forgot to mention: these aren’t your run-of-the-mill pancakes. No, not even close. These pancakes have magic in the batter.
…Well, they don’t quite have any magic in them. However, they are mini pancakes, and the amount of flavor in such small packages is pretty darn close to magical.
Now, some advice to my fellow seniors who are trudging through their respective applications or to anyone who is having a bit of a down day: Make these. Now. From personal experience, I can tell you that these pancakes are enough to stave off the gloom for a whole day and then some.
In fact, even if you are feeling absolutely elated, you need to make these. Heck, why are you even reading this post anymore? You should be in the kitchen right now getting…oh, right, I need to tell you how to make these. Well, I’ll be happy to oblige!
P.S.: Would you have guessed that these pancakes are very healthy? Surprise!
Pumpkin Pancakes with Bananas and Pecans
Based on a recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen. Makes 4 mini pancakes or 2 regular, slightly less-magical pancakes
1/4 cup (canned) pumpkin
1 egg white
1/4 cup milk (I used nonfat)
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda (I substituted 2 tsp baking powder, for I had no baking soda on hand)
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (or 1-2 tsp sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 banana, sliced
Handful of walnuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
Stir dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg white, pumpkin, and milk. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just enough to moisten everything (there will still be a few lumps, which is totally fine that’s fine).
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and grease with nonstick spray or butter. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the preheated pan. Place 1-3 slices of banana and a sprinkling of walnuts onto the batter. Cover with a bit of extra batter from bowl, and cook until bubbles appear on top (about 2-3 minutes). Flip and cook an additional minute or two. Repeat with remaining batter.
Top with remaining walnuts and sliced bananas. Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Note: The original recipe called for sugar, but I added the unsweetened applesauce for two reasons: a) applesauce is naturally sweet, so I wanted the chance to swap out refined sugar if I could; and b) applesauce thickens the pancakes, making them that much better.
Now, how could any college app possibly tarnish the joy I get from these suckers?