[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Last week I faced a bit of a culinary quandry: to make banana pancakes or not to make banana pancakes. In the pro-banana pancake column: two super ripe bananas on my kitchen counter and my love of any type of banana baked good. In the con column: my husband dislikes banana baked goods as much as I love them.

Reasoning that the bananas needed to be used ASAP, the pancakes won. I mashed them with some brown sugar and allowed the mixture to sit for a few minutes, the same way I handle batter for banana bread. Instead of my standard pancake flour mixture, I whisked together some brown rice flour and sweet rice flour. Since bananas add body to baked goods, I skipped the cornstarch. The batter smelled good. To me at least.

My husband wandered up, coffee cup in hand, and asked, "Did you put bananas in the batter?" I wanted to lie. Badly. There were only two bananas! Maybe he wouldn't notice? Thanks to my food allergies, I'm totally unable to lie to someone about what's in food they're about to eat. (And, you know, feelings of general decency, etc.) I admitted that, yes, bananas somehow fell into the batter. His response was, "I think I'll have eggs."

I made myself a batch, threw a few chocolate chips in one of the pancakes, flipped it, and offered Greg a bite. To humor me, he took one. And then another. Then he wandered over to the stovetop and cooked himself a batch. I might have done a little happy dance in my chair.

What won him over was the texture. The pancakes are really fluffy. And unlike banana bread, they don't have an aggressive banana flavor; it's more of a banana whisper. The nutty brown rice flour worked well in the recipe but so would sorghum flour or quinoa flour. To up the whole grain factor, you could also add some ground flax meal. However, don't add more than two tablespoons of flax or the batter becomes too viscous. To finish the pancakes, consider topping them with some sliced bananas, blueberries, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips! All complement the pancakes nicely.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking. and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".

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