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Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Pancakes

1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
0.75 cup whole milk or almond milk
0.5 cup buckwheat flour
0.5 cup quick-cooking or plain rolled oats (not thick)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
0.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
Unsalted butter or coconut oil
Scant 0.5 cup (about 80 g) bittersweet chocolate chips
Honey, pure maple syrup, or powdered sugar, for serving

Step 1

Smash the banana with a fork into a smooth pulp (donít be tempted to add the other wet ingredients before this is done).

Add the vanilla and milk and mash together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir gently, being careful not to overmix; you want to keep these pancakes light and airy.

Too much stirring will make them gummy and dense.

Note: Chances are your regular grocery store will only carry one kind of buckwheat flour, and whatever kind you get will work, but flours from different brands yield slightly different results.

If your buckwheat flour seems coarse, and flecked with dark gray bits, youíll get slightly darker pancakes (itís what I used for the photo, and what I prefer).

Buckwheat flour can also be labeled light, which is finer, a subtle gray color, and yields a more delicate pancake. It can also lend an odd greenish hue, but they still taste delicious.

My family never complains.

Step 2 Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium heat until evenly warm. Add a bit of butter to coat the surface.

When the butter sizzles, drop a scant 0.25 cup (60 ml) of batter onto the skillet in batches, leaving 2 inches (5 cm) between the pancakes.

(Donít make your pancakes big; they are tender because thereís no egg to bind the batter.) Cook until just starting to bubble around the edges.

Dot the pancakes with chocolate chips, then flip (they should release easily from the griddle).

Step 3 Cook on the second side until just done, usually a minute or two (if the pancake stays on the heat too long, the chocolate will scorch), turning the heat to low if needed.

Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve warm with butter and honey.