I currently have a friend from Australia staying with me, and since it’s his first trip to Los Angeles (and his first time out of Australia, ever!), I’ve been trying to give him the most authentic “LA” experience possible. For me, that means food. Or, more specifically, brunch. Some friends and I took him to a classic diner yesterday morning and he experienced the All-American diner breakfast of eggs, bacon, french toast, and hashbrowns. This morning, I decided to make him one of my favorite childhood breakfasts: buckwheat banana pancakes.
Growing up, I spent summers in Washington State with my dad, step-mom, and younger half-siblings. For a few summers, we lived in a large motorhome that my dad parked in various campsites around western Washington. We camped beside rivers mostly, using the freezing cold water to bathe during the hottest part of each day, and catching rainbow trout after rainbow trout for my step-mom Dana to grill over hot coals. In the mornings, my brother Lathrop and I would pick wild huckleberries and Dana would make buckwheat huckleberry pancakes over an open campfire.
No joke, that was my life.
Summers with my dad definitely weren’t perfectly woodsy and quaint all the time, but the parts that were good were really good. And those parts included Dana’s famous buckwheat pancakes. Since huckleberries are rare outside the Northwest, I have since switched to bananas (because pancakes without some kind of fruit inside just aren’t worth making, if you ask me!). These pancakes are light and fluffy and delicious and rich and oh so melt-in-your-mouth good. And they’re easy to make!! Since I’m not the hugest fan of maple syrup, I made an amazing and amazingly simple blueberry sauce to serve with them.
Here are some pics to whet your appetite (as if the description wasn’t enough), and then I’ll tell you how to make the best weekend breakfast ever!
See how pancakey and delicious that batter looks?
Mmmm bananas. The pancakes wouldn’t be the same without them!
The blueberry sauce dyed my wooden spoon a deep purply red! Next time I’ll be using plastic to stir.
And here’s the finished product! Buckwheat banana pancakes topped with blueberry sauce. Delish.
We decided to eat outside, since it was a beautiful April day in sunny So Cal. In retrospect, I should have moved the cat carrier, but I think you get the gist! Pancakes, mimosas, and a sunny Saturday morning. Perfection.
Dana’s Buckwheat Pancakes with Bananas
1/4 Cup Buckwheat Flour
1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Buttermilk
3 Tbsp. Canola or Vegetable Oil
1. Whisk all dry ingredients together, then add eggs, buttermilk and oil and mix with a whisk until combined. It’s okay if the batter has some lumps. If it’s too thick, add a little water until it’s the right consistency (it should be creamy but not runny). If in doubt, leave it thicker. Better thicker than too runny!!
2. Slice bananas and stir into pancake batter with a wooden spoon.
3. Pour a big spoonful of batter onto a HOT griddle or large frying pan. (I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to spoon out my batter, but any large spoon will do.)
4. Flip once bubbles appear and the edges are set.
5. To keep pancakes warm while you make them all, keep them in the oven (on an oven-safe plate) on the lowest heat setting. Once you’ve flipped your last pancake, take those babies out of the oven and serve them to all of your hungry guests/roomies/friends/family!
Blueberry Citrus Sauce (adapted from an allrecipes.com recipe)
1 12 oz. Package Frozen Blueberries (wild blueberries are preferable)
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
4 Tsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (dark if you have it, but light is okay too)
1. Combine blueberries, orange juice and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in the cinnamon and turn heat to low.
3. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain. Add to blueberry mixture along with brown sugar and stir until thickened.
4. Remove from heat and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
5. Spoon sauce over pancakes and enjoy!!