Healthy homemade holiday pancakes

Each year on Christmas morning, my family always, always, always has a big breakfast.

Homemade scones. Omelet casserole. A enormous bowl of fruit salad. Mom-mixed hot chocolate. Lemon poppy seed bread.

It’s a spread. And it’s something my parents have been doing for decades.

To me, the act of eating breakfast is almost often more memorable than the annual present exchange. Maybe this is because I associate these foods with Christmas and have a hard time believing it’s Christmas Day without the presence of a Plain Jane Scottish scone. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a delicious memory. Whatever the reason, a large breakfast is Christmas to me.

This year, there will be scones, yes. And fruit salad. But we’ve decided to diverge a bit with our entree and go with our son’s Sunday morning favorite: pancakes. But pancakes with a twist.

We don’t make your basic, dry-as-a-bone Bisquick pancakes. Oh, no. Homemade is definitely the way to go. And it’s worth it every single Sunday.

If you’ve never made homemade pancakes, they’re easy to do and taste delicious.

And these pancakes are hearty and mildly sweet thanks to the addition of a banana to the batter. In fact, these suckers are so good, I’ve been known to eat leftover pancakes cold while standing in the kitchen minutes before hitting the hay for the night. OK, maybe I did that once. Usually, there aren’t any leftovers.

For an extra bit of holiday fun, I’ve also included instructions on how to make these into Christmas-specific pancakes using cookie cutters.

Try these on Christmas morning. You won't even need a trip to the store.

Try these on Christmas morning. You won't even need a trip to the store. by Sarah Henning

Homemade Banana Holiday Pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour

1 small banana or half a large banana

2 cups hemp milk (can sub in almond or skim milk)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

Coconut oil (If you don't have coconut oil, don't make a special trip to the store, just use vegetable oil)

In a small bowl, mash the banana and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and fill with the mashed banana and milk of choice. Stir together until just mixed.

Heat a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in a skillet. Pour pancake batter into the skillet, making the pancakes about the size of a fist. Flip when just brown.

Let pancakes rest on a large plate as you finish up with the dough. When all the dough has been used, cut the pancakes into fun shapes using holiday cookie cutters, starting with the coolest pancakes first.

Top with real maple syrup and festive fruit toppings like pomegranate seeds, clementine sections or sliced bananas. Serves three to four.

Tip: Save back the extra bits of pancakes and serve the next day torn into pieces for a bit of post-holiday “pancake” cereal. Just put the pieces in a bowl and top with maple syrup and enjoy.

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