Rituals inspire communication, recognition, establish memories, confidence, safety, and respect. A ritual my grandfather, Steve "Reno" Dupuis started was Sunday night pancakes. A simple dinner that could easily serve his family of 8 after a long day of playing in the gully. In the South, Sunday Dinner (lunch) is the big meal served after mass. So, pancakes were a way to eat a meal together on a budget with little prep time.
Studies show that when families eat together, children perform better in school. Studies also show that when families eat at a table together, children are more likely to be a healthier weight.
My mom carried on this tradition, and all of our childhood friends knew it! On Sunday nights, the Jones house was the place to be. The more Mom learned of nutrition, the more the pancakes evolved. What was once was Bisquick became whole grain. Then came additions of mashed bananas, blueberries, oats, oat bran, and flax. Aunt Jemima turned to Cane syrup and now Maple syrup.
As we grew older, our family grew larger, and our tastes and dietary needs changed. Now one sibling needs gluten free, one needs dairy free, some are picky eaters, and some are just unhealthy eaters. Since this family meal was one the healthiest meals some ate all week, it was important to pack it with nutrients like antioxidants, omega-3 fats, fiber, protein, Vitamin C, maybe some Vitamin A, and be allergy-friendly.
I now live 4000 miles from my mother's pancakes which makes me realize how those quick consistent evenings were as important as the ever evolving ingredients.
So, last Sunday night in constant search for the perfect pancake, we landed on our favorite recipe to date. It is a Teff Banana Pancake recipe from Whole Life Nutrition blog. Teff is traditionally used in Eastern Africa. It's a high-iron, high-protein grain. You can by the whole grain and grind it yourself or buy the flour.
Please post your favorite family ritual or favorite pancake recipe, and check back next Sunday to see if we have found another worthy recipe.
bubbling pancakes, ready to flip
Teff Banana Pancake
1 cup teff flour
1⁄4 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup water or non-dairy milk
1⁄4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 small banana)
2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together.
Heat in a skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a little coconut oil. Drop batter by the 1⁄2 cupful onto hot skillet. Flip pancake after tiny bubbles form. Cook for another minute then transfer to a plate. Add about 1⁄2 teaspoon coconut oil in between cooking each pancake.
Recipe by Alissa Segersten
*For a taste explosion, serve with greek yogurt and fresh huckleberry syrup.