Healthier Banana-Nut Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup (v)

It’s Saturday morning again, my favorite time of the week!! In our house, Saturday morning means a big workout and a big meal, preferably with eggs and something sweet.
Dave is training for his first marathon and I swam laps in a ridiculously crowded pool this morning, so we needed some healthy but rewarding carbs after our workouts. This is a favorite recipe of mine: it’s fast, healthy, can be made ahead, and the fruit and nuts can be swapped out for lots of other combinations.



  • 1 c oats
  • 1 c whole wheat flour (or 2/3 c whole wheat flour and 1/3 c vanilla protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • 1 1/4 c soy milk, almond milk, or skim milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)
  • 1 banana, diced
  • Canola oil
  • 1/3-1/2 c frozen blackberries
  • 1/3-1/2 c sugar-free syrup of your choice

In a medium bowl, mix the first eight ingredients until well combined. Note on the oats: for a smoother pancake, you can grind the oats into a flour in a food processor. I usually do this, but skipped it today so I could eat 45 seconds sooner. Once the batter is formed (it will be chunky), fold in the bananas.

Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add a thin layer of oil (1-2 tsp depending on the size of your pan) and let the oil heat up for about a minute. Did you know that pans and fats should always be heated in that order- pan, then fat? I just found that out, after heating pan and oil together for 15 years. Which, come to think of it, never caused me any huge issues, but I like knowing the technical “right steps.”
Pour batter in 1/4 cup scoops into your hot pan. I started with a 1/3 cup measurement this morning, which were way too big, and worked my way back down to 1/4 cup. Huge pancakes, meet my friends hunger and impatience.


Goldilocks and the three pancakes: too big, too small, just right

Let pancakes cook for a minute or two, until batter bubbles on top and sides appear thickened. Flip with a spatula and allow to cook for the same time on the other side. Remove pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate as you work through your batches.


gettin’ down home with some cast iron

In the meantime, you can make your blackberry syrup. This couldn’t be easier. In a microwave safe dish, combine blackberries and syrup. Nuke for 2 minutes and stir when done. Voila! We like a butter-flavored sugar-free syrup, but you can use any syrup and any frozen berries or fruit. Strawberries and blueberries are especially good. If you’d like, stir some butter or margarine into the hot syrup.

So, now you have a quick fruit syrup ready to be poured over the plate you’ve piled high with delicious, protein-packed pancakes! Leftovers can be bagged and refrigerated for three days, then microwaved. They’re great for taking to work.

pie plate full of breakfast

Keep in mind that the nuts could be omitted or ground and the bananas could be replaced with blueberries, strawberries, diced apple, or diced peaches, etc.. In the fall, these are great with a pinch of goround cloves, some grated nutmeg, and a cup of pumpkin puree stirred in. This recipe is very versatile and forgiving, and changes can be made to satisfy any picky eater. Let me know how you make them!

Make 9-12 pancakes.