Let’s face it, most recipes that substitute white flour with other options almost always turn out dodgy at best. At least for me they do. Processed-the-heck-out-of flour provides that aerated, light quality that its whole-wheat counterpart or other gluten-free options just cannot seem to compete with.

Buckwheat tart shells, rice flour cakes, amaranth flour cookies, teff flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, you name a grain/nut and there’s a good chance you’re too late to the party; it’s already been flour-ed. Personally, I’m a fan. Of using unprocessed and whole-grain flours in any way possible. A lot of the recipes taste great no doubt—almond meal features solidly in a lot of my baking solely for flavour—but that’s not always the case. Sure, that whole wheat banana bread tastes nice, but how much better would it be with good ol’ white flour? Croissants – let’s not even go there. Unfortunate but true.

My relationship with pancakes can be split into two parts: before and after I ate oat pancakes. All-flour pancakes have always been a favourite breakfast treat. An indulgence that I’d allow myself every month or so. That is, until I started making them with oat flour. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re better than regular pancakes, but they are just as good. And that’s saying something.

Oat flour is basically instant oats blended up to a flour. They have a slight nutty flavour, but so subtle that it almost appears neutral. These pancakes have been making a weekly appearance on our table, so it made sense to blend a big batch of oat flour to keep and use at short notice. If not, just blend as and when required. Other ingredients remain the same and I like to throw a banana in for flavour (leave out if you prefer). Buttermilk is necessary here – if you don’t have any on hand and have your heart set on making these, I’ve included a nifty trick in the recipe notes below that will solve that problem for you.

 

BANANA OAT PANCAKES + BERRY COMPOTE

Ingredients

  • cup instant oats
  • ½ cup buttermilk (see notes)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sugar/honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • A small knob of butter, for cooking the pancakes

Compote:

  • 200 grams berries, fresh or frozen
  • Sugar/honey/maple syrup, to taste

Instructions

  • First make the compote: Add fresh or frozen berries to a pan over medium heat. Add sweetener of choice and cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes. Break up any larger pieces with a spatula.
  • If the compote appears too watery (if using frozen berries), cook over high heat uncovered for a few minutes to get the right consistency. Set aside. The compote can be made up to a few days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.
  • Add the instant oats to a blender jar and blend to a flour. Tip into a medium bowl.
  • Mash the banana and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the pancake ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add more oat flour if the mix is too runny; more buttermilk if it’s too dry.
  • Add a small knob of butter to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add small dollops of batter and cook until browned on both sides. Cook in batches.
  • Divide between plates and serve with the compote.

Notes

- Makes 6-8 pancakes. Serves 2.
- If you don’t have buttermilk at home, add 1 tsp lemon juice to ½ cup milk. Whisk, let stand for 5 minutes and use.
- I've used raspberries for the compote, but blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or a mix of them would all work.

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