What is your favorite cozy indulgence?
You know those seasons when the winter gets so cold that all you want to do is hunker down below a massive duvet, read through everything Parker Palmer has ever written, and eat comfort food? I believe that winter is a season for learning the values of rest, quiet, and self-reflection – all things that Western society has problems with, generally. Dream up new projects, test out new recipes, and practice sitting in silence (not at all a waste of time). All of this will serve you for the days ahead.
I am in the midst of scheming projects for the year, spending quality time in quietness, and testing hearty and soul-warming new recipes. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a series of comfort food recipes for the soul, starting with (drumroll please….)
Protein Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour or gluten free flour (if GF), or almond meal (if Paleo)
- 1/2 cup protein powder of your choice
- 1 tsp baking power
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup milk (or milk alternative if needed)
- 1 egg (or 1 tbsp flax or chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water for 10 minutes)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil for frying
Caramelized Bananas Ingredients:
- 2 bananas
- 3 tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, protein powder, baking soda and powder, and salt.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the milk, egg (or flax mixture), and vanilla. Mix to combine all ingredients. If the batter is too thick, add more milk by tablespoonsful.
- Heat a large skillet and add a knob of coconut oil. Let it melt and get hot for a few minutes.
- Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and spread it out into a round. When bubbles on the surface pop, flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for 5-6 minutes.
- Serve warm with carmelized bananas.
- TO MAKE CARAMELIZED BANANAS: in a small saucepan, melt butter or coconut oil over low heat. Add coconut palm sugar and stir continuously. The sugar won’t melt as smoothly as processed white sugar, but keep stirring until the butter and sugar meld together.
- Add the vanilla extract. Watch out, because it will sizzle and sputter as the alcohol burns off of the hot sugar. Continue to stir until it calms down. Only now will you see the coconut palm sugar melt into the butter.
- Fold in banana slices and serve warm.
- Coconut palm sugar is low on the glycemic index (GI), so it can prevent the spikes and crashes that you get from processed “white” sugar. It has a taste similar to brown sugar, but also contains fiber. It’s a great substitute, but of course any sweetener should be used sparingly.
- Find your favorite protein powder, but be sure that it does not contain fake sweeteners like aspartame or phenylalanine. Stevia is OK as it is derived from plants and does not raise insulin levels, but some people find that it has a metallic aftertaste.
- Bananas contain excellent amounts of potassium, which help regulates blood pressure, and can help prevent muscle cramps. They also have a good amount of fiber, keeping your digestion healthy!
- Even if you don’t eat gluten free, try using buckwheat flour in this recipe! It will be darker and taste heartier. Buckwheat is a GF whole grain that has great fiber, protein AND more nutrients including – my favorite – magnesium. Magnesium is a natural relaxer and can help you feel calm after eating it – the ultimate comfort food!