Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Special Sweet for Summer Sundays

Having grown up spending my summers in Rhode Island, I've come to love the main ingredient - stone ground cornmeal - in our local specialty, johnnycakes. In the village of Adamsville, Gray's Grist Mill has been grinding corn since the 1960's. Their cornmeal is a staple in the kitchen. I keep it in the freezer, so it's always fresh, and use it to dust grilled pizzas, and to lighten up pancakes and waffles.

This past weekend, I was craving some pancakes with real grade B Vermont maple syrup (having gone to college in VT, I take my syrup VERY seriously). I've always wanted to make Ina Garten's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, and had lots of bananas around. The only problem is that pancakes do a number on my blood sugar, and I tend to get sleepy after eating them. The solution? Add some fiber heft to the batter with whole wheat flour and cornmeal instead of white flour -- which also lightens it up. Sour cream - or greek yogurt - is a lighter, creamy alternative to butter. And ripe, sliced bananas adds depth of flavor. Delicious!

Hearty Banana Pancakes

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
3/4 skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 ripe bananas
Maple syrup

Preheat griddle to 350, and grease well with butter.

Blend dry ingredients together, and stir well to blend. Slice bananas and put aside.

In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add the sour cream and combine, then add milk and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and stir to just combine. Pour by heaping 1/4 cupful, and garnish each pancake with 6 slices of banana. Cook until bubbles begin to form around edge (and bottom is golden), then flip. Serve piping hot with warm maple syrup -- and more bananas!

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