On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Alchemy

Cooking is alchemy, don’t you think?

Take pancakes, for example (don’t mind if I do).

You start with a mixture of things that you would never eat as is (read: flour, baking powder, oil, eggs), and things that are “eh” as is (sugar, milk), which you then turn into something that I would argue is better than gold. Chocolate chips, of course, are an exception to the whole “eh” rule, but they’re an add-in, so you get what I’m saying.

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

Sometimes when I cook I feel like a mad scientist. And like any good mad scientist would, I start wondering if this way is the only way to do things. If I could get just as good a result using other ingredients or tweaking things here and there.

I got reaaaaal mad scientist-y when I found out about my dairy allergy. I grabbed a lab coat, some goggles, and experimented with baking using non-dairy milk and butter. I had some major successes, like dairy-free cinnamon rolls and vegan buttermilk biscuits. And they STILL made me take chemistry in college. Can you believe it?

The thing about this type of baking, though, is that you’re substituting an ingredient with something similar, something intended to be a substitute for that specific ingredient. Almond milk is made to replace cow’s milk.

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

So the question becomes: can you substitute an ingredient with something completely different and unique?

YEAH YOU CAN, YOU ALCHEMIST, YOU.

I made these delish—and I do mean delish—pancakes vegan by using one mashed banana in place of an egg. It works because the properties of each result in the same function.

Why are there eggs in pancakes anyway? To bind things together. Eggs keep your pancakes from crumbling apart. But if you don’t want to use eggs to hold your pancakes together, you have to use something else that acts as a binder in its place. Mashed banana has the same binding effect as eggs, not to mention is vegan, and adds sweetness and a light banana flavor. And the fluffiness factor we all love about pancakes is entirely unaffected. Alchemy.

It’s like your favorite banana bread… in a pancake. With chocolate. *Bows*

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

If you’re vegan or just curious about other egg replacements, each of the following will replace 1 egg:
– 1 tbsp. ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp. water, let sit for 30 min. to thicken
– 1 tbsp. chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. water, let sit for 30 min. to thicken
– ¼ c. pureed silken tofu
– ¼ c. dairy-free yogurt

On Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Alchemy | memo2munch

Easy Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes
(makes 10-12 5in. pancakes)

Ingredients
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (or any flour, such as gf)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 cups (470 mL) dairy-free milk or mix with 2 tbsp. lemon juice (for vegan buttermilk)
3 tbsp. oil, plus more to grease pan
vegan chocolate chips (I like using mini)
Maple syrup, sliced banana, or melted white chocolate, for serving (optional)

Method
1. In a large bowl, mix the dairy-free milk with the lemon juice and let stand until thickened. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

2. Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth and add to the bowl with the milk mixture. Add the oil as well and mix until evenly combined. Pour the flour mixture into the liquids and gently mix with a spatula just until no large lumps remain. (Small lumps are fine).

3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Grease lightly with oil and ladle the pancakes into the pan in disks 4-5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the pancakes in the pan. At this point you can lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until bubbles appear in the center of the pancakes and the edges begin to look dry, then flip. Cook for 1 minute on the other side. Serve as is or with any of the topping choices listed in the ingredients. (If you want melted white chocolate—–it’s good!—–you can melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set atop a pot of boiling water, or by microwaving in 30 seconds increments and stirring after each.)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes

Lemme clue you in to a little secret. Sometimes I can’t choose between chocolate and carbs.

IT’S TRUE.

I knew I wanted to do a Valentine’s Day post, but I wasn’t sure which to focus on. After all, how does one pick between carbs and chocolate?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Well, the normal focus for V-Day seems to be chocolate, but I would be just as happy to get a steamin’ hot plate of pancakes as a present as I would getting a box of chocolates.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

After much deliberation I decided to go with pancakes because it was the perfect opportunity to use one of my Chanukah presents, THIS SQUEEZE BOTTLE! (Thanks Mom & Dad!)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

There’s a connection, I promise. A guy on YouTube has become famous for making super intricate pancake pictures using just a squeeze bottle and his immense talent. You might have seen his stuff shared on Facebook. He did the Beatles. It was awesome. Click here to watch the video.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Pancake art sounds like the yummiest art form I can imagine, so I’m giving it a go. So far I can do hearts and backwards letters (since you flip the pancakes you have to do words backwards). Not quite the Beatles, but a girl’s got to practice right?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Once I’d settled on pancakes for this post, I had to weigh some more options. Should I do strawberry pancakes because the color is Valentine’s-y, or should I do chocolate chip pancakes (because chocolate)?

And then I was like, “Molly.

Molly, Molly, Molly. Silly girl. Why not do both?”

*In falsetto* Jackpot!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Chocolate and strawberry are meant to be together anyway. And then you add pancakes to the mix (ha ha), and HUZZAH!

These pancakes are like a strawberry coated in rich, semi-sweet chocolate and then surrounded by the fluffiest pancakes known to the world ever.

Uh, you better know I ain’t eating these just on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

They’re just as delicious in not heart form, but I really recommend splurging on the squeeze bottle! It will cost you like a full 34 cents and you will have SOOOOO much fun. I’d love to see your pancake designs so pleaaaaase share them with me ok?!?

Ok. Pancake time. (Also, syrup pouring creds to Tori)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes | memo2munch

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pancakes
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 c. dark rye flour (or other whole grain of your choice)
  2. 3/4 c. white spelt flour or unbleached all-purpose
  3. 3.5 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. salt
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  7. 3 tbsp. melted coconut oil, vegan butter, or ghee, plus more for pan
  8. 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  9. 3-4 strawberries, washed and sliced
  10. 1/4 c. chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except for the strawberries and chocolate chips. Whisk until fully incorporated and frothy.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Lumps are ok!
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat. If making heart-shaped pancakes, fill your squeeze bottle with batter while the skillet heats. Add some butter to the pan. Draw a heart outline with your squeeze bottle, then use a ladle to fill in inside with batter. Press some chocolate chips and strawberries directly into the pancake in the skillet. When you see bubbles forming, flip and cook on the other side for another minute or two. Repeat with remaining batter.
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