Happy Earth Day! If you had a chance to read my last post, then you may notice I’m on a bit of a food waste reduction kick lately. I’ve recently started meal planning by the month. Mr E and I been saving a ton of money and time having a plan in place when it comes to mealtimes. I’ve also noticed how much less I’ve been throwing away items that spoil before they can be used. However, I’m still guilty of having to party with items before they get used. The two biggest offenders in my home of spoiling too soon are fresh herbs and bananas. This month’s Recipe Redux contest of only using foods available at home (and going south) certainly helps to alleviate my guilt about one of the two.
Bananas in my home go straight from green to brown. Am I the only one this happens to? Like serious, what happened to the yellow stage of bananas? I’m ok with a softer banana, but Mr E absolutely refuses to touch any banana that’s not perfectly firm. Occasionally I’ll make banana muffins, but that takes time I didn’t always have available. Once they turned fully brown I used to just cut my losses and throw them away. Then I learned how awesome and versatile overripe bananas could be:
- Mashed banana makes a great substitute for eggs in baking, especially when looking for vegan swaps
- Frozen ripe bananas are magical– they make smoothies more creamy and provide the base for low fat dairy-free “nice creams”
- Natural sweetener for items including oatmeal/overnight oats, plain yogurt, cashew cheesecake, and of course banana bread
Most of all, bad bananas make fantastic pancakes (and waffles)! For this month’s challenge of eliminating food waste, I decided to convert my traditional banana muffin recipe into pancake form. But why stop there? A personal holy trinity to me is banana, chocolate, and peanut butter, so I decided to combine them into one sweet breakfast treat.
Turn browning bananas into brunch with Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes #TheRecipeReDux
Contrary to what you may see on social media, bananas ARE a food you should eat. Bananas provide a high source of potassium and fiber. As bananas ripen, starches break down, making them easier to digest and enhances sweetness. Brown spots on bananas mean antioxidants are increasing to help prevent or delay some types of cell damage and lower the risk of certain diseases. Bananas in any shape are perfectly safe for diabetics, however I always recommend have half a banana due to higher condensed carb content. If you’re mashing bananas up, I highly recommend a pastry blender. It covers more area than a fork for quick and less messy mashing.
Enjoy these Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes. For an added treat (and extra protein) I whipped up a peanut butter ricotta topping to use up some leftover ricotta (again, all about reducing that food waste!). Serve up at your next lazy Sunday brunch. I highly recommend making a large batch, then help reduce food waste even more by freezing extras to heat up on busy mornings.
Bad bananas make great brunch with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes #TheRecipeRedux
What’s your favorite use for overripe bananas?
What foods have a habit of spoiling too soon in your home?
Check out other dietitian uses for spoiling food at The Recipe Redux link below.
Share favorite Waste-Reducing Recipes in the Comments.
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes with Peanut Butter Ricotta
- 1 C all-purpose flower
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 3 TB sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C raw cacao powder
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1 1/2 C nonfat milk divided
- 2 TB dark chocolate chips
- 2 TB peanut butter chips
- Optional Ricotta Topping
- 1 C part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 TB peanut butter powder
Combine the all-purpose flower, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cacao powder in a large bowl and whisk together.
Add bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, 1 C milk, chocolate and peanut butter chips. Stir until well combined. Slowly add additional 1/2 C milk to desired consistency (more thick batter will make fluffier pancakes)
Spoon 1/4C servings of batter on a lightly greased electric griddle (or stovetop griddle). Allow to cook 3-5 minutes, until bubbles begin to form and pop on top. Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes to desired level of brownness.
If making ricotta topping, mix together ricotta and peanut butter batter and spread on top of pancakes.
2 pancakes = 195 calories, 4g fat (2g sat fat), 34g carbs, 21g fiber, 3g protein, 308mg sodium
2 TB ricotta topping = 45 calories, 3 fat (2g sat fat), 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g protein, 44mg sodium
(Source: SELF Nutrition Data)