Banana Protein Pancakes

Back in June when I had given up bread for the month, I pinned this recipe as something to try if I was absolutely craving pancakes. I didn’t end up trying it that month, and perhaps it will feel somewhat out of season, but after a ridiculous amount of ice cream over the last two months I was looking for something rather less decadent to share with you. Originally a vegetable dish was on the docket, but after a surprise visit from M two weekends ago, and driving to Michigan with my best friend this week, I ran out of time to give it the effort it really deserved. This seemed like a great time to try such a simple recipe and with all the hot weather we’ve been having, a few minutes in front of a griddle is way more appealing that turning on the oven for half an hour.

Banana Protein Pancakes {{Baking Bytes}}

The first time I made this recipe 100% as directed and although it was delicious, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. Substantially more moist and less fluffy than a normal pancake, I attempted to lighten it up a bit. I increased the dry:wet ratio with more oatmeal and nixing the applesauce, and decided to add a bit of baking powder like a regular recipe would. This definitely improved the experience for me, but it’s certainly not necessary.

Banana Protein Pancakes {{Baking Bytes}}

Very filling, no added sugar, high protein, and with a wonderful banana flavor, these pancakes are super quick and guilt-free meal – great for nights when you just need to eat something, pronto. I enjoyed mine with peanut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon because that’s how I always eat pancakes (and also so I wouldn’t have half a banana left over), but they are also delightful with real maple or berry syrup if you’re looking for a sweeter treat.

A few disclaimers: are these light and fluffy like normal pancakes? No. Do they stay rather more wet than your favorite recipe? Yes. Are they super delicious anyway? Absolutely. While they’re not a substitute for a true pancake experience, they are excellent in their own right. They are also gluten-free if you use uncontaminated oats, which is probably useful for some people.

Banana Protein Pancakes {{Baking Bytes}}

I added chia seeds and peanut butter powder to mine, but these items are both optional. I think chia is a great way to get a little extra protein without compromising flavor and texture, but you can absolutely reduce the amount or leave it out entirely. Same with the peanut butter powder; I bought some at Costco on a whim and have found it great to use in smoothies and quick breads, but it is also completely optional, especially if you’re going to top your pancakes with peanut butter anyway. I will say that if you are ditching the peanut butter powder, you probably want to use the higher amount of oatmeal if you don’t like pretty moist pancakes.

Banana Protein Pancakes {{Baking Bytes}}

Below find the recipe for one serving. I don’t expect the batter would keep super well, so make just enough for that time. It is so fast to make there’s no need to make it ahead, I promise. The three small pancakes (with peanut butter) was perfect for me, but it’s easily scaled to feed more people. Goes great with sides of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, etc. For the athletes out there, I think these would be great pre-run if you have enough time, or as a fantastic post-run recovery meal, particularly with a cup of coffee to go with it.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Pancakes

Adapted from Liz Heather
Serves 1 (three ~4″ pancakes)

Ingredients

1/2 ripe banana, well mashed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional, I used 1 Tbsp)

1/3 cup oatmeal, finely ground
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-3 Tbsp peanut butter powder (optional,  I sometimes use 2 Tbsp)

Blueberries, raspberries, sliced banana (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together banana, egg, vanilla, and chia seeds. Allow to rest until chia seeds have softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat electric griddle to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (or medium heat on a stove).
  3. Retrieve banana mixture and add oatmeal (use a blender to grind it first if you haven’t already), baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and peanut butter powder (if using), and mix until well combined. Mixture will be fairly thick.
  4. Add about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle, manually spreading to about 4″ in diameter.  If desired, gently press fresh fruit into the top of the batter. Cook 3-5 minutes each side, until nicely browned. They will be a bit darker than normal pancakes; that is expected. Repeat with remaining batter (I was able to barely fit all three pancakes on my small griddle at one time.)
  5. Serve immediately with remaining sliced banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, blueberry sauce, cinnamon and sugar, or your favorite toppings.

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream {National Ice Cream Month}

 [Welcome to Frozen Friday! In honor of National Ice Cream Month, I am sharing a new ice cream recipe each Friday morning. In case you missed them, be sure to check out the previous recipes, s’moresmimosablueberry cardamom cheesecake, and matcha!]
 

My final Frozen Friday flavor is inspired by Biga Pizza in Missoula, MT. Last April I spent a Saturday with a couple coworkers and a bunch of middle school girls doing a STEM workshop. Since we are software engineers, we had the girls write down a “program” telling us how to build s’mores, and then we acted as computers and ran the program. The results were quite delightful and it was a lot of fun, despite being a long day.

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

In any case, we arrived the night before (it’s a 3-hour drive) in time for dinner, and opted to get pizza at a popular local spot. The one we chose was sweet potato, bacon, hazelnut, something else I’m forgetting, and topped with a maple chipotle drizzle. The sweet potato + maple + chipotle combo really stuck with me and I’ve been using the trifecta quite a lot recently. (Related post pending…still practicing to make it pretty enough for pictures.)

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Although I have a very low spice tolerance, it turns out that maple and chipotle are a beautiful, delicious combination and I am super glad I was introduced to it. During one of my practice rounds at the aforementioned post-in-the-making, I had the idea that it might work well as an ice cream flavor, and promptly did a bit of research on how to make it work. Last May my mom randomly gifted me an awesome book of ice cream recipes and though I’ve still yet to specifically make any of them, I recalled maple being a flavor in there. That recipe calls for maple extract, so I immediately ordered some off Amazon and impatiently waited for it to arrive.

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Fantastically, my first attempt turned out perfect for me. Smooth and creamy, full of maple flavor and with an unexpected chipotle kick, this ice cream is unusual without being too crazy (like matcha). It reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate, in that it’s a fun twist on an otherwise standard treat.

I used a half teaspoon of ground chipotle which was perfect for me, but it is easily tailored to your personal spice preferences. The maple extract is optional, but it does really boost the maple flavor and I highly recommend using it. I always use pure extracts, but I’ll only judge you a little if you go the imitation route. (They are admittedly much less expensive.)

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

As a bonus, this ice cream is less sugary than other flavors, being purely sweetened by the maple syrup. If you’d prefer a sweeter experience, feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to the mix, although I think it’s perfect as is.

Kick your summer up a notch and make a batch of this spicy ice cream for your next Taco Tuesday!

Maple Chipotle Ice Cream 

Inspired by Molly Moon
Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp maple extract (optional but highly recommended)
1/4 – 1 tsp ground chipotle

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients, starting with 1/4 tsp chipotle. Taste and add additional spice to your preference. (I used 1/2 teaspoon and I thought it was perfect, but I also have a pretty low spice tolerance.)
  2. Transfer container to the fridge until completely chilled, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight.
  4. Serve plain or topped with a sprinkle of extra chipotle powder.

Meyer Lemon Raspberry Spinach Salad

I feel a little silly even posting this as a recipe, and I don’t normally post recipes that require possibly hard-to-find ingredients, but I love this so much I just have to share it.

Last week I took a cooking class at Olivelle, a local store in Bozeman that sells olive oils, vinegars, salts, and spices. I’d never actually been in the store before I took the class on making crepes, and I’m guessing that was a solid financial decision as it’s very easy to spend a lot of money there.

Lemon Raspberry Spinach Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

One of the recipes in the class used a Meyer lemon balsamic vinegar, and it is possibly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tried. Sweet and tangy, I knew it would be delicious all on its own as a salad dressing. Although I managed not to buy the crepe pan (yet), I did walk out with this Meyer lemon vinegar and a caramelized garlic olive oil.

Lemon Raspberry Spinach Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

I always buy giant bags of spinach for my breakfast smoothies, and I recently discovered Costco carries pretty reasonably priced sliced almonds as well, which are perfect for salad toppings. All that wonderful flavor and crunch without the giant pieces or the tedious chopping.

As my raspberry bushes are finally producing in abundance this year, I can’t just eat them all straight off the bush before they get overripe. Although I will probably freeze some, mostly I enjoy them fresh as a topping on salad, yogurt, ice cream, and probably soon, waffles. They add a wonderful burst of color and flavor to a salad, and change it up from my normal mandarin oranges or strawberries.

Lemon Raspberry Spinach Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

This salad is bright and tangy, and would go great as a side dish for almost any summer meal. I wrote out measurements for one, as that’s what I am usually making, but you can obviously increase it to feed several people at once. Make sure your spinach and your raspberries are reasonably dry and you are good to go for whatever quantities you like.

If you’re looking to make this into an entree, I think some chopped chicken or fish would be an excellent addition. I’ve eaten it as a side dish most days since I bought it, but if I ever bought chicken I’d certainly give the entree a try. If you do, let me know what you think!

And if you’re a local Bozemanite, get thee to Olivelle, pronto.

Lemon Raspberry Spinach salad
Serves 1

Ingredients

2 cups spinach, rinsed and dry
2-3 tsp Meyer Lemon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and dry
1 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine spinach and vinegar, and use a rubber spatula to gently stir until spinach is well coated.
  2. Gently fold in raspberries and almonds (or add them after it’s plated if you want to make sure they are visible.)
  3. Enjoy immediately.

Matcha Ice Cream {National Ice Cream Month}

 [Welcome to Frozen Friday! In honor of National Ice Cream Month, I am sharing a new ice cream recipe each Friday morning. In case you missed them, be sure to check out the previous recipes, s’moresmimosa, and blueberry cardamom cheesecake!]

Okay so it’s not Friday, but since I missed the first Friday of July, here is my make up post. Hopefully you’ll forgive me.

Five years ago (can’t believe it’s been that long) I went on a 6-week trip to Japan through my university. It was a fantastic experience and I would love to go back someday. The beautiful shrines, friendly people, amazing food, and historic sites make it a wonderful country to visit.

Shrine in Japan {{Baking Bytes}}

The things I most wish America (that includes you, Canada) would adopt from Japan are the vending machines full of coffee instead of soda, and the rice bowl fast food you order by pressing a button and then wait for them to bring you freshly made food. Amazingly delicious, super cheap, and perfect for those annoying tourists (me) that don’t speak more than about 8 words of Japanese.

I was there during the spring and early summer, and when I wasn’t wandering around the shops and festivals, I was probably eating something. The food scene there is, obviously, substantially different from the United States and it was super fun to try things. Often I had no idea what I was eating but it was almost always super delicious. As the weeks passed and the summer grew hotter, one of the things I enjoyed the most was the abundance of soft-serve ice cream stands. Giant sugar cones heaping with glorious flavors you never see here like white peach, black sesame, and flavors that to this day I still have not identified. I rarely chose a “normal” flavor like chocolate or vanilla, opting instead to try all the exotic flavors you don’t see around here.

Ice Cream in Japan {{Baking Bytes}}

One of my favorites, and one I ordered several times, was matcha ice cream. Admittedly, it sounds pretty terrible. Matcha in tea form is incredibly bitter and definitely an acquired taste that I am still not convinced even the Japanese have mastered. Seriously terrible stuff. However, mixed with cream and sugar and frozen, it becomes a surprisingly amazing dessert.

Matcha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

With its distinctive green color, this ice cream won’t be mistaken for anything else. It reminds me of the spinach smoothies I often make for breakfast, except obviously it doesn’t have quite the health factor. Smooth and creamy texture punctuated by matcha green tea, it’s unlike quite any other ice cream flavor I’ve tried. It is almost savory instead of the overwhelming sweetness often associated with frozen desserts.

Matcha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Mine is fairly strong (and ergo quite green), but you can easily tailor it to your preferences. Start with a teaspoon, and just blend in a little bit more at a time. It does strengthen as it chills in the fridge and so the flavor will be decently stronger once it’s in ice cream form. It is probably better to error on the side of subtlety if you’re new to the flavor, and make a note to yourself to add a little more next time.

Matcha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

I hope you give this unusual flavor a try, and definitely let me know what you think!

Matcha Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup egg substitute
1-3 tsp culinary grade matcha powder

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer blender container to the fridge until completely chilled, or overnight.
  3. (If you don’t have a blender, use a hand mixer or KitchenAid; whisking by hand will not properly integrate the matcha powder.)
  4. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight.
  5. Serve in small portions for a sweet treat.

Notes

1 I used 3 tsp the first time, and 2 tsp the second time. I enjoyed both versions but the latter is definitely more subtle and probably a good place to start.

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {National Ice Cream Month}

 [Welcome to Frozen Friday! In honor of National Ice Cream Month, I am sharing a new ice cream recipe each Friday morning. In case you missed them, be sure to check out the previous recipes, s’mores and mimosa!]
 
Is it just me, or is July flying by? I feel like May was only a few weeks ago and here it is with August right around the corner. Insane. At least until I take the weather into account. Montana has been met with somewhat of a heatwave this week, and I’m super grateful we don’t get much humidity along with it.
 

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

With hot weather comes extra cravings for cold treats, so hopefully you’re ready for a new flavor. The world is full of cheesecake ice creams, usually strawberry, and today we’ll had one more to the mix. I chose blueberry due to the abundance in my freezer, but you could definitely substitute blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, or whatever your favorite is.

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

The ice cream itself is a mild cheesecake flavor made more interesting with the addition of cardamom. Although I actually really love the flavor of cardamom, it rarely occurs to me to use it outside of my Christmas krumkake-making sessions with my family. It’s a wonderful spice with a bit more intrigue than cinnamon, and is ready to up the ante in your baking adventures. A few years ago I discovered cardamom cream cheese frosting, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

This is a pleasantly spiced and cream cheesy ice cream to add to your repertoire, and is excellent on its own. The blueberry sauce swirl not only adds wonderful flavor, but a gorgeous color as well. You can stir it in as much or as little as you like, depending on whether you prefer it streaky or entirely purple.

Although cheesecake ice cream often contains a Graham cracker crust component, I opted not to add one. Personally it adds a level of sweetness I am not looking for, and it alters the texture as well. If you’re missing it, however, you can certainly crumble your favorite Graham cracker crust into the ice cream, or use it as a topping.

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

I’ve included recipes for both cardamom cheesecake ice cream and a blueberry sauce below. If you’re in a bind, you can substitute canned blueberry pie filling, but I promise this sauce is quite simple to make, just remember to allow for chilling time. You likely will not have any leftover sauce, so make an extra batch (with extra cornstarch! see note) if that saddens you. Not a fan of cardamom? Substitute cinnamon or nutmeg, or leave it out entirely. If you’re looking to pump up the cream cheese flavor, you can try adding extra cream cheese to the base, or you can add a tablespoon or two of dry Cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix.

Blueberry Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

This is a lovely recipe for these hot summer days, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Cardamom Cheesecake Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup egg substitute

1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp ground cardamom1

1-2 Tbsp dry Cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (optional)2

Directions

  1. Warm cream cheese in the microwave until easily stirred (if it isn’t already), about 30 seconds.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until mixture is smooth.
  3. (If you don’t have a blender, use a hand mixer. Alternatively, mix cream cheese and sugar first, then slowly whisk in liquids until completely combined and smooth. Whisk in vanilla and cardamom.)
  4. Cover bowl (or keep it lidded in the blender container) and store in the refrigerator until completely chilled, or overnight.
  5. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight. Or, follow Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe below.
  6. Top with crushed Graham crackers or Graham cracker crust for extra flair and crunch.

Notes

1 I used 1.5 tsp, but I think I’ll use 2 next time because I like a pretty strong flavor. If you don’t like cardamom, you can leave it out or substitute cinnamon or nutmeg, adjusting quantities to your preference.

I did not add this, but if you want it super cream cheese tasting, this is the easiest way to pump up the flavor.

Blueberry Sauce3

Borrowed from My Baking Addiction
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine blueberries, 1/2 cup water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture comes to a low boil.
  2. Mix cornstarch and 1 Tbsp cold water until completely combined. Slowly stream into the blueberries, stirring constantly but gently, and simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and zest, mashing blueberries a little.
  4. Serve on your favorite French toast, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or mix in to Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (below).
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat slightly as necessary.

Notes

This is the same recipe I use for topping waffles and Overnight French Toast, but with less cornstarch for a thinner sauce, which keeps it smoother when frozen in the ice cream. If you want to make it as a topping, use 2 Tbsp cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 recipe cheesecake ice cream, chilled but not churned (or *just* churned)
1 recipe of thin blueberry sauce, chilled

Directions

  1. If you haven’t churned the ice cream already, place a freezer-safe bowl in the freezer.
  2. Freeze ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  3. Remove bowl from freezer, and drizzle some blueberry sauce on the bottom.
  4. Gently spread about one cup of ice cream into the bowl, and top with another drizzle of blueberry sauce. Avoid stirring if you don’t want your ice cream to be completely blue/purple. Repeat with remaining ice cream and sauce. If desired, gently swirl with a table knife.
  5. Return bowl to freezer for about 3 hours, or until ice cream is firm.
  6. Serve solo or topped with extra sauce and crushed Graham crackers (or crust.)