Banana Pancakes (ASIAN 258 Virtual Food Lab, Student Contributions)
Updated: Mar 20
Best to make & enjoy while listening to Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson.
Today I'm sharing with all of you one of my favorite breakfast foods, which I now have plenty of time to make due to recent events. These are super easy to make and once you master the basic recipe you can start adding things in (I like to add blueberries to mine, but chocolate chips would also be delicious).
I'm going to put my reflection on making these pancakes here, but if you aren't interested in reading it and just want to see the recipe, you can skip down to the TLDR; at the end of this post.
I have always loved to cook, specifically because I've always loved to eat. I find food to be a creative outlet -- it gives me something to do and it gives me a way to experiment and be adventurous and make people happy. In times of crisis, food is a constant calming presence, it offers tradition and faith and love. Usually at school I don't have as much time to cook as I would like, and so I tend to focus on quick meals that require little clean-up afterwards, but recent events have given me more time and so a goal I've created for myself in this time of social distancing is to cook more and try more recipes. I also run a small food blog, so this offers me a good way to get more into this hobby. Today, I wanted to try making banana pancakes -- an excellent example of local adaptation, because I don't have pancake mix and can't find any in the stores, but had the ingredients on hand to make these kinds of pancakes instead. The recipe to make them is very simple: it requires 1 banana (mashed up), 1 egg (the recipe called for 2 but the first time I made them with 2 eggs they felt more like weirdly scrambled banana eggs than pancakes so I decided moving forward 1 would be enough), 1 tablespoon peanut butter, cinnamon, and then I put my own spin on them, adding a dash of turmeric and some blueberries. Once you mix all the ingredients together into your "pancake" batter, you cook them the same way you do regular pancakes: medium-low heat on a pan with some butter, flipping over once you see them start to bubble. After I fixed the recipe to my own liking (re: omitting one of the two eggs), I thought they turned out really well and were a fun way to motivate myself in the mornings to stick to my routine without class and my on-campus job existing as reasons to be awake. Eating pancakes also reminds me of home, because my family tradition is to eat pancakes every Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I am currently unable to return home because the situation with COVID-19 is significantly worse in my home town than it is here in Ann Arbor, and because I do not want to risk potentially having the disease and transmitting it once I get home to my parents and grandparents. The connection of this breakfast to my own home traditions makes it particularly special, and was another reason that I was happy to try to make them. Perhaps now when I do return home, banana pancakes can also be integrated into our traditional Saturday morning meals. I also found it fun to create this new kind of "pancake" because it illustrates how a recipe can change over time due to cultural matrix and other examples of local adaption. As I was writing this, I looked up the history and origin of pancakes, and came across a fascinating National Geographic article, which detailed how pancakes may have actually originated in prehistoric times, and how cultures from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the original settlers of the USA to the French up to modern times have eaten pancakes differently and how many different recipes exist for them (Rupp, 2018). Especially in thinking about how this new recipe came about as people today are very focused on healthy eating and how to make their favorite foods "healthier," it is interesting to think about how this recipe might be categorized and archived for future generations.
Basic recipe for pancakes:
- 1 banana
- 1 egg (note: a lot of recipes on the internet say to use 2 eggs but I usually find this makes them way too eggy and you end up eating banana scrambled eggs)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- dash of cinnamon
- turmeric (a very small dash of this for health benefits)
- mash up banana in a bowl
- crack egg into the bowl and scramble it until mixed in with the banana
- add a tablespoon of peanut butter and your cinnamon
- mix together until it resembles pancake batter (pretty smooth)
- heat a little butter in a skillet and cook the way you would usually make pancakes, flipping once you see them starting to form little bubbles (if you're adding blueberries, make sure to put them in before you flip)