Fluffy, sweet pancakes are truly delightful morning treats and my favorite breakfast. Something about it puts a smile on my face every single time and gets me start my day on the right foot.
But what I love even more is banana pancakes. Bananas and pancakes, it just works.
As much as I love pancakes, they have something of a bad reputation. And much of the reputation is sadly well on point.
Conventional pancakes are just a byproduct of white, highly processed wheat flour, refined sugar and unhealthy fats like margarine.
Nutritional values? Hardly existent.
Take ihop pancake recipe for example. According to their nutrition data, their famous buttermilk pancake contains 660 calories, of which 190 calories come from fat and 2280 mg of sodium.
That’s 780 mg of excess sodium intake or 152% of your daily recommended value.
(And if you read our DASH diet post, you know how important it is to limit your sodium intake to protect your health.)
Despite how breakfast can statistically lead to weight loss and better health, if the only thing you are putting in your body is empty calories and a slew of unhealthy ingredients, no amount of breakfast can be of any help to losing weight and achieving optimal health.
In fact, it can lead to weight gain, belly fat, heart diseases and unwanted health conditions.
Let alone, you can suffer from the feeling of bloat, nausea and unexpected hunger hours after gobbling down your pancake.
Now, that’s not the breakfast I get excited about.
According to Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, a nutritionist at Clay Health Club and Spa, in New York City, “You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein.”
The good news: I have a delicious banana pancake recipe collection with recipes so healthy, nutritious and as yummy as conventional pancakes without the unhealthy ingredients.
They won’t break your calorie budget, cause a dent in your health, and undo your weight loss efforts.
Instead, they will fuel your body with fiber, good carbohydrates and some protein to sustain you through the busy morning hours.
As a matter of fact, you can enjoy these mouth-watering banana pancakes even if you are Paleo, gluten-free or dairy-free.
Even if you are on a weight loss diet, you can still enjoy your favorite breakfast meal without the guilt.
All of them are free of very ingredients that give banana pancakes a bad rep and replaced with less processed foods and whole foods that give real bang for your nutrition buck.
That’s one of the reasons I love banana pancakes over classic homemade pancakes.
It’s got one of those smart and healthy ingredient swaps.
While classic pancake recipe uses processed sugar to add sweetness to homemade pancake, banana pancakes use the natural sweetness of bananas.
In the nutrition book, this is a huge difference and nutritional upgrade.
According to Fruits & Veggies More Matters Organization, there is a huge difference between naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, dairy, and other foods and added sugars.
Processed sugar, the type that you put in cakes, cookies and coffee is completely devoid of nutrients. Quite contrary, natural sugar found in fruits contain fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. In short, one is pure sugar; the other is sugar with other valuable nutrients.
This leads to a larger difference in your belly size later on.
Because nutrients have been stripped from refined sugar, it is faster to metabolize.
It gets broken down into glucose and fructose very quickly in the body (since nothing is slowing down the digestion of sugar), leading to insulin spikes and blood sugar elevation, explains Megan Bethany Grover, a working nutritionist on SF Gate.
Inability to alert fullness is also a major cause of sugar related weight gain.
The worst part is, unless you use the newly available energy right away, your body may turn it into fat.
According to University of San Francisco California’s Robert Lustig, MD, “sugar both drives fat storage and makes the brain think it is hungry.”So you eat more and cause a “vicious cycle”, which inevitably leads to weight gain, obesity, and excess belly fat.
Naturally occurring sugar, the one you find in fruits comes with other nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants.
Unlike refined sugar, the presence of fiber in fruits is helpful in slowing down the digestion of the natural sugars. It also makes you full and prevents overeating. It’s a better, healthier way to enjoy sweet flavor.
Sweetening your pancakes with bananas also has another health advantages.
I know many of you reading this post are probably concerned about banana calories (105 calories in 1 medium size banana). Yes, banana is a high calorie food, especially compared to other fruits, but remember not all calories are created equal, just as not all sugar is equal.
This is certainly the case with bananas.
As a matter of fact, Health Center at the University of Southern California recommends 2 bananas a day and lays out the following health benefits you can gain from the banana consumption.
The bottom line is bananas benefits far outweight its calories.
- Heart Health: Potassium and a mineral electrolyte found in bananas helps keep electricity flowing in your body, a function vital for the heart health. (Your heart wouldn’t beat without it!)
- Depression: Not only banana’s vitamin B6 aids sleep, your mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter called serotonin gets a boost from banana’s tryptophan, giving you an edge over your mood and depression.
- Weight loss: Fiber is essential in weight loss. Adding 1 banana to your pancake adds 12% of daily recommended fiber intake. Fiber aids in curbing your cravings and slowing down the digestion.
Yes, bananas are a weight loss food.
As a matter of fact, there is a such diet as Banana Diet!
Regardless of how legit it is or not, it is certain that banana nutrition brings tremendous health benefits.
The bottom line is, if you are looking out for your health, waistline, and weight loss, swapping refined sugars to natural sugars is a necessary change you have to make.
The good thing is that with pancakes, adding bananas just makes your pancakes taste even sweeter, more delicious and flavorful.
Because pancakes themselves now come with full of flavors (thanks to bananas), you don’t need whole a lot of toppings such as syrup to make it epic.
So let’s get to the compilation of most carefully developed, taste-tested healthy banana pancake recipes from your favorite food bloggers.
They are all delicious and weight loss friendly and well able to meet your dietary needs.
Paleo Banana Pancakes
Paleo Banana Pancakes are certainly not your typical pancakes, being grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.
But that’s not to say you can’t have delicious pancakes being a paleo, and these food bloggers proved you certainly can!
Ingredient swaps like coconut flour for wheat flour, coconut oil for vegetable oil, bananas for sugars are frequent in paleo pancakes. If you plan to make a switch, it helps to get familiar with these Paleo alternatives.
I used to only know a handful of paleo pancake recipes when my husband first switched to paleo, but nowadays, literally, thousands of paleo pancake recipes are available online.
I know it’s easy to get lost in the countless available options, so let’s start out by the simplest paleo banana pancake recipe.
It provides us a great starting place.
Once you get comfortable with this paleo pancake formula, you can make edits to come up with your own and fancy it up the way you see fit.
So let’s dive in.
1. The Paleo Banana Pancakes Formula
This recipe (formula) is from The Hobby Room Diaries, where paleo eating Jody shares her favorite paleo dishes, and I’m excited she shared this formula with us.
Jody made this pancake recipe really simple by giving us everything in the measure of 1.
So it goes like this.
Paleo Pancake Ingredients (serving size:1):
- 1 banana
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbs melted coconut oil
- 1-ounce almond flour (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
How to make a pancake:
- Mash banana and crack an egg into a large bowl. Add coconut oil and mix it all up. (All wet ingredients go first)
- Add almond flour and cinnamon powder(if you are adding any) to the bowl from step 1, and combine.
- Drop a big scoop on a heated pan on medium heat. Cook until the bottom gets brown and edges look done. Flip them and cook the other side for an additional few minutes.
You can make 8 small size pancakes out of it.
Please note that it won’t yield 8 IHOP sized pancakes. They are much smaller, even smaller than the size of your palm.
And it won’t be as fluffy as the conventional pancakes.
So don’t expect angel soft pancakes out of this recipe or any other paleo pancake recipes. If you do, you’d be disappointed.
But I can assure you that paleo banana pancakes are a thousand times (or more!) healthier, better for your weight loss and satisfying despite the smaller portion.
It contains heart-healthy ingredients from all three macronutrients (coconut oils, banana, and almond flour and egg).
It’s a well balanced low-calorie recipe that is well under 350 calories with 10 g of protein (22% DV), 4 g fiber (16% DV), 20mg Omega 3 fatty acids, 500mg potassium (11% DV), 0.5 mg Vitamin B6 (38% DV) and 0.3mg riboflavin (27% DV) based on the calculation on Supertracker.gov.
2. Paleo Banana Pancakes + Almond & Coconut Flours
For those looking for more, perhaps a bit more sophisticated paleo, grain-free, low-calorie pancake recipe, then I have just the thing.
Lea from Paleo Spirit has developed what I call “culinary art”; it’s the perfect banana pancake (paleo in disguise).
I have to warn you, handling almond flour and coconut flour like a pro is a skill to acquire, and Lea’s perfect use of the two very difficult to use flours (at least for me!) is a culinary art. Not too shabby, Lea.
And her pancake recipe has great moisture and richness unlike many other paleo pancake recipes, which tend to come out flat.
It’s also worth mentioning that the bananas are the only sweeteners in this pancake, but when you taste it, you won’t feel the sacrifice of not adding refined sugar.
In fact, I much prefer the natural banana taste over the sugary taste of refined sugars.
I hope you enjoy her paleo banana pancake recipe as much as I do.
- 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- coconut oil, ghee or butter for frying
- fruit for topping (optional)
- Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Whisk together the coconut milk, mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.
- Preheat a pan or griddle on medium heat and coat with a layer of coconut oil, ghee or butter.
- Pour, or spoon out about two tablespoons of batter to make small pancakes. (They are much easier to manage if you keep them small – You can use your spoon to spread them out a bit.
- Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side. (I usually end up cooking them longer on the first side than the second.)
3. Peanut Butter + Banana Pancake (Flourless)
If you are anything like my husband, then you go out of your way to avoid any recipe that requires measuring cups.
Well, this recipe is for you.
It’s a flourless 3-ingredient recipe that only requires banana, eggs, and peanut butter.
But don’t let its simplicity fool you. There may be three things in this banana pancake recipe, but I can assure you there isn’t much lacking, nutrition-wise.
With only 353 calories in 1 serving, you can pack in as much as 18g of protein or 39% of daily recommended value. And that’s not all.
You can also take in about half a day worth of vitamin B6 and B12.
And including this vitamin Bs are essential, as vitamin B12 has wide-reaching roles in the body aiding everything from metabolic functions, enzyme production to hormonal balance.
Yet, it’s one deficiency considered of “the leading nutrient deficiencies” around the world, including the U.S, according to a University of Colorado study.
If you are tired of the ever-popular paleo breakfast, turkey bacon & eggs, you owe it yourself to try this high-protein breakfast pancake.
Note: The recipe is really simple and requires no cooking skills.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons nut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder (optional)
- 1 cup of oatmeal uncooked (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender and cook. Use coconut oil to coat the griddle.
Gluten-Free Oat Banana Pancakes
Gluten-free is something more people care about today and are willingly incorporating in their diets.
According to the Huffington Post, as of January 2013, 3 million Americans had been diagnosed with celiac disease, an immune disorder in which people are intolerable of gluten, leading to digestive difficulty. And it’s undoubtedly getting more common today, compared to 50 years ago.
In fact, it’s 4 more times more common.
Statistics from New Hope Network paints a better, (and what presumes to be a) more accurate picture of how wide-spreading this health condition really is.
Here are some of the most incredibly shocking statistics on the population affected by gluten.
- 1 in 133 Americans is affected by celiac disease. The majority is undiagnosed of the disorder.
- 6-7% of the U.S. population is estimated to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That’s about “22.6 million Americans” based on 2016 population data from U.S. News.
- 29% of Americans are keen on avoiding gluten for health reasons.
Gluten-free being listed as one of the Time magazine’s Top 10 Food Trends of 2012 is just a testimony as to how fast the gluten-free population is rising among us.
But don’t get mistaken. Gluten-free is not another adjective for healthy or whole. It only means it contains no gluten, the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale.
Going gluten-free is close to my heart as my husband is sensitive to gluten.
Initial days of discovering his sensitivity (that came before he becomes paleo), we bought pre-packed gluten-free foods proudly labeled “GF” (an acronym for Gluten Free) including gluten-free bread, gluten-free pizza, gluten-free banana bread, and gluten-free pancake mix.
Until one day I checked the labels of many those gluten-free foods and discovered it’s full of other unhealthy ingredients we were trying to avoid such as soy, vegetable oil, and sugar.
Luckily, we found a better, healthier way to go gluten-free.
It was a number of gluten-free recipes void of unwanted, unhealthy ingredients.
And that’s when we came across these awesome, delicious gluten-free banana pancake recipes.
Instead of wheat flour, they use oats, rolled oats.
Since oats are not paleo, these are not suited for paleo folks out there, but if you are not paleo and just trying to avoid gluten, then oats are a nutritious alternative so invaluable for your health.
Oats are an incredibly rich source of dietary fiber, especially the type called beta-glucan. According to the European Food Information Council, beta-glucan, a type of fiber is linked to a decrease in bad cholesterol.
According to Medical News Today, 8.2 grams of fiber in every 1 cup of dry oats. For women that about 33% of daily recommended value.
Also, just a quarter cup of oats can provide as much as 96% of the daily recommended intake of manganese, a mineral essential for bone health, blood sugar control, skin integrity, and protection against free radical damage.
Let’s also not forget that oats are one of the best superfoods perfect for weight loss.
It’s really no surprise why it keeps popping up in many health magazines and weight loss meal plans.
If you are looking to lose weight and improve your health, it’s one food item good to have on hand.
Without further adieu, here are my favorite two gluten-free recipes for banana pancakes.
4. Oats Blueberry Banana Pancakes
There are many variations of oat pancakes, but this one, in particular, is my favorite.
And it also helps to know the creator of this delicious gluten-free pancake recipe is my all-time favorite food blogger, Monique from Ambitious Kitchen.
Besides the health elements, what I look for in a recipe is simplicity, and this one got it down.
I don’t even need a mixing bowl nor whisk. Monique surely knows how to keep the number of dirty dishes to the bare minimum.
All I need is a blender, a pan and 10 mins to cook. Now, that’s my kind of a breakfast recipe.
I also love that it’s a high protein, low calorie and low sugar recipe.
And it’s very filling and well capable of keeping you full and satisfied for hours.
According to Monique, below if the nutritional data of one serving of her banana pancake.
- Calories: 208 calories
- Protein: 13.6 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Fat: 3.8 g
- Sugar: 12.8 g
While Monique uses siggi’s blueberry yogurt, you can use the same size Greek yogurt if that’s what you have on hand.
To limit unnecessary sugar, choose plain yogurt.
I have also used frozen pomegranate in place of blueberries, and it still came out very nicely.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1/2 cup organic rolled oats (gluten-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 container (5.3 oz) plain yogurt
- 1/2 medium ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus more for serving
- Add all ingredients except fresh blueberries into a blender cup. Blend until smooth. To reach the preferred consistency, you can add a teaspoon or two of nut milk. Set it aside for a few minutes to let it thicken.
- Lightly coat a large pan with coconut oil. Drop a few tablespoons of batter onto the skillet and cook over medium-low heat. Add a few blueberries on top.
- Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook until golden brown on the bottom.
5. Healthy Banana Oat Pancakes
This pancake recipe from Simply Delicious is also a blender recipe where you can toss all the ingredients into a blender and let it do its job. It’s so perfect for busy mornings and lazy Saturdays.
The list of ingredients is also similar to Monique’s pancake (recipe #4), calling rolled oats, bananas and eggs.
So why am I sharing this?
Well, this one omits yogurt, which makes this pancake (somewhat) dairy-free. It’s not quite vegetarian, as it contains eggs.
The best part is, these pancakes are actually delicious.
You taste enough sweetness while keeping processed sugars out of the pancakes.
It’s full of fibers, proteins, potassium, and vitamins in every bite. It’s a guilt free pleasure I know you’ll love.
- 2 bananas
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- fresh fruit of your choice, to serve
- In a blender, combine all the ingredients.
- Blend until the mixture is as smooth as you want it. Let the batter stand for 10-20 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Fry spoonfuls of the batter until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve with fresh fruit of your choice.?
There you have it! 5 of my all-time favorite healthy banana pancakes recipes.
As you can see from this post, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or eating foods that taste like cardboard. By simply swap to healthier ingredients, you can enjoy delicious meals.
Which one of these banana pancakes recipes is your favorite? Leave me a comment below to let me know.