Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
5 Dec

Almond Banana Pancakes

Try as we might, many of us find the temptation of pancakes too hard to resist. Maybe it’s the sweet, buttery aroma of the batter on the griddle or the soft doughy texture, or that eating something with the word “cake” in it for breakfast just feels so deliciously naughty. But it doesn’t have to be. There are decent Primal substitutes. Pancakes made with almond meal or coconut flour are a good option, but can be pretty heavy and, for some, overly filling. And then there’s this dish sent in by Jack Etherington for the Primal Cookbook Challenge. His Almond Banana Pancakes contain just three ingredients: banana, egg and almond butter. You can whip up a batch in five minutes flat and top the pancakes with a pat of butter, a scoop of nut butter, or fresh berries.

Almond Banana Pancakes are slightly delicate so you’ll want to keep the size fairly small and wait until the edges are nicely browned before flipping them. This shouldn’t deter you from trying the recipe – the delicate texture of Almond Banana Pancakes is the very thing that makes them so irresistible. If you’ve tried pancakes made from almond or coconut flour and find them slightly grainy, you’ll really love the silky, airy texture of these cakes. The flavor is sinfully close to banana bread; add a little vanilla and cinnamon to the batter if you really want to get decadent.

As is evident from the comment board of last week’s recipe, this (very similar) recipe may be too carb-centric for some of you. For those that are no-carbers or are restricting carbs for weight loss purposes this recipe might not fit into your personal Primal plans. For others it might be part of your 20%. And for others that are extra active or have already achieved your preferred body composition this recipe might be a perfect fit. In any case, remember that the Primal Blueprint is primarily about guiding principles. It’s up to each of us to adapt recipes and fitness choices within the context of the PB as it relates to our personal goals and circumstances. Enjoy!



Mash the bananas, add the egg and mix well.

Stir in the almond butter, adding more than a tablespoon if you want a more pancake-like texture.

Warm butter in a pan and pour batter into small cakes.

Brown on each side and serve warm.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I made these this morning using one banana instead of two. It made more of a banana almond flavored egg patty but they were really good and held up well when cooking.
    Those and a trout fillet made for one amazing breakfast.

    psyte wrote on March 29th, 2010
  2. I tried this recipe this a.m. and it completely fell apart upon flipping. Actually, there was nothing cohesive about these little “cakes” to flip. Thought cooking longer on lower heat would help… not! Tried both a griddle and a non-stick pan. Any suggestions?

    88starz wrote on April 24th, 2010
    • Use more egg and less banana. See my comment right above yours.

      psyte wrote on April 24th, 2010
  3. Late to the game on this one, but just made it tonight. Wow, awesome. Coming into my fifth week of strict primal, this was a nice treat.


    John Childress wrote on May 9th, 2010
  4. Anyone have a suggestion on how to make these without burning them ?

    What temps did you use ?

    Thanks !

    Kevin B wrote on May 14th, 2010
  5. Tried these for the first time this morning. Very tasty indeed. Had no almond butter so just went with the two bananas, egg and dropped a handful of mixed nuts in there.

    Been primal for all of about a week now and these are the first things I’ve eaten that haven’t left me feeling hungry afterwards. Loving everything else though and feeling great!

    gt wrote on June 1st, 2010
  6. I just made these this morning. My son Sam is DEVOURING them. He’s 2.5 years old. I haven’t added syrup of any type to them. I also fried them in copious amounts of grassfed ghee, so they didn’t need extra butter, either. I LOVE that these taste good and took less than a minute to whip up. They’re an excellent use for overripe bananas, especially when one can’t make banana bread anymore (though I’m sure Elena’s Pantry has a recipe for banana bread using almond flour). As a bonus, I’m intolerant to bananas and avocados (sad, I know), but I’ve discovered that COOKED bananas are OK. Must kill the enzymes/protein, etc in the bananas that bothers me. So I can eat these too! Of course, since I’m trying to lose weight, I shouldn’t. So I only ate half of one. My son–so far–has eaten 3!

    Katie wrote on June 6th, 2010
  7. For those having issues with the pancake falling apart or burning: I followed the recipe exactly (added a tiny bit extra almond butter). I used a generous amount of butter on a seasoned cast-iron skillet. Heat it up nicely at medium heat before adding the batter, then once it’s on the skillet and sizzling/holding shape, let it cook at medium heat. You can peak at the underside to check on the browning, but after about 20 seconds or so, I turn the heat to low to allow the inside to cook after the outside is nice and browned. The held together and came out looking exactly as pictured in the article. Added some homemade chocolate-coconut cream on top and wow! Rivals bacon and eggs for breakfast.

    Drexbull wrote on June 9th, 2010
  8. I just made these for breakfast, but I left the almond butter out of the mix and added some vanilla. Then spread the almond butter on top once cooked. They were amazing!!
    Thanks for the recipe.

    bud wrote on June 21st, 2010
  9. I have never come across a more simple recipe for pancakes. I love the coconut pancakes from the primal blueprint cookbook but will have to give these a try… tomorrow!

    Primal Toad wrote on July 6th, 2010
  10. I make these for my kids and they love them. Adding 2 Tbsp of almond butter does make them less prone to falling apart. The only topping my kids want on these is plain greek yogurt. It cuts the sweetness a lot. Does anyone have more exact measurements for making it with pumpkin? I am going to give that a try tomorrow morning.

    Sara wrote on August 5th, 2010
  11. Tried these this morning and they were great. I first made them with almond butter and then decided to experiment with peanut butter. Both were excellent. I only used one egg though and they came out fine. I made the peanut butter one on my grill just to see what would happen and they came out less oily, due to not using any butter.

    Jeanne wrote on August 15th, 2010
  12. my friend is crazy about pancakes and I stumbled on this recipe and sent it to him

    I used coconut oil, 5 bananas, 3 eggs, and 3 heaping spoonfuls of almond butter

    I put all the ingredients into the food processor and it came out great

    the “pancakes” held together perfectly and tasted fantastic

    the coconut oil didn’t give any flavor, and it wasn’t butter, so that may be an option for people who don’t want to use butter

    Jeff wrote on September 6th, 2010
  13. I just made these, i added some cinnamon and topped with sliced strawberries, FANTASTIC!

    Cass wrote on September 11th, 2010
  14. These are so yummy! I’ve been making them for my weekend breakfast treat during the 30-day challenge. Mmmmmmm, now I’m looking forward to Saturday again!

    Megan wrote on September 28th, 2010
  15. These are the best pancakes I’ve ever had. Simple as that.

    One thing I’ve noticed though is that they tend to turn out better if the bananas are not so ripe. Yellow seems to work better than brown. If you want them soggy then use brown ones. If you want a more puffy one then use yellow ones.

    I found this out by accident when I couldn’t wait to make the first ones and all I had was fresh yellow bananas. I was in disbelief at how dam good they were. The next time I waited for them to ripen a bit and it was a mess. Then I tried again with yellow ones and once again they were perfect.

    If using soggy ones the workaround is to use really low heat and wait ages and it will help a bit. If you have yellow ones you can whip them up really quick on high heat. put more than one in the pan at the same time before it gets too hot though.

    Michael wrote on October 1st, 2010
    • I found that too, but the biggest difference is that if you mash them by hand I find they come out a lot better than if you use something like a food processor.

      I added fresh blueberries (even though they are not really blue) in for a change so I didn’t get burnt out eating the same type of food, and they worked well in this recipe too

      Jeff wrote on October 3rd, 2010
  16. I can’t seem to get them to turn over, no matter how long I cook them. Is there a secret? Could it be that I used Canola oil rather than butter? My Dr. told me to stay away from butter and I don’t have any coconut oil in the house.

    It was tasty mush though.

    Susan wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • I made 18 of them on the weekend and all turned out perfect. I’m not sure what you’re doing wrong. Just make sure the bananas are not too ripe and mash them by hand as Jeff points out. I don’t have a food processor so that is how I did it too.

      Maybe try putting more almond butter. I use 2-3 tablespoons.

      I don’t think the oil would matter but I have been using coconut oil. However I think the first time I made them I used olive oil (which I know is not good for high temp) and came out fine.

      Michael wrote on October 11th, 2010
  17. Thanks Michael. I think that the bananas were too big and I only used 1 TBSP of Almond butter. I baked the rest in small creme brulee pans and it made kind of a banana nut pudding. Hmmmm Ideas for another recipe!

    Susan wrote on October 11th, 2010
  18. Question,

    I made this recipe this morning but couldn’t eat all of the pancakes (cooking for one here). Do you think if I left half the batter in the refrigerator it would stay good until evening or the next morning?

    Rebecca wrote on October 22nd, 2010
    • Hi Rebecca. If you cook all of them and put the left overs in the fridge they taste nice cold as well. Just have for a snack later.

      Michael wrote on October 22nd, 2010
  19. Hi there Rebecca

    I did that, and the only problem is that the bananas turn black very quickly.

    Susan wrote on October 22nd, 2010
  20. i dont have any almond butter at the moment but can i substitute it with crunchy peanut butter?

    Greg wrote on November 4th, 2010
    • You could if you wanted to I guess but it’s not going to be as healthy as peanuts are legumes and legumes are apparently not good for you (not primal/paleo). Too many anti nutrients in them.

      Michael wrote on November 4th, 2010
  21. Tried these this morning after downloading the free user-created cookbook. OH MY GOD these are perfect! fluffy and delicious just as they are, and so naturally sweet they don’t need anything on top of them. Thanks!!

    Sam wrote on November 11th, 2010
  22. This is a great combo -now one of my favorite breakfast foods! It actually works well just with one banana/two eggs/two Tbsp almond butter. Try adding a bit of shredded coconut, too, and a bit of fruit preserve on top…yum! This food keeps me going for half a day without getting hungry.

    Gloria wrote on December 3rd, 2010
  23. I think these things are great! I tried something similar replacing the bananas with avocados… yeah, that didn’t work.

    Cole wrote on December 26th, 2010
  24. My husband and I just recently went “primal” this week (bought the book and cookbook last year) and I’ve been trying out the recipes from the down-loadable cookbook. These. Were. Awesome. Really pain in the rear to flip, but totally worth the effort. My husband thought they tasted like banana oatmeal and I thought they tasted like banana bread. I topped them with a teeny bit of the SWEET AND SALTY
    PRIMAL TRAIL MIX from the same .pdf.

    Blue Buddha wrote on January 5th, 2011
  25. Delicious!! Used only 1 1/2 bananas, 2 tblsp of flax meal and a little bit of almond meal. And yes the key is to cook them slow on low heat.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    Jenn, Gluten Free Connoisseur wrote on January 6th, 2011
  26. With sincerity, I love the passion you have. It is inspiring. I just started to reduce my carbs and sites like these are helpful with ideas.

    Carissa wrote on January 9th, 2011
  27. These look really sumptuous. Can’t wait to prepare them for Sunday’s breakfast special at cctv hardware.

    tomz wrote on January 10th, 2011
    • I think you’ve mistaken these for SPAM pancakes.

      Grok wrote on January 10th, 2011
  28. Made these for lunch today post morning workout. Added, Coconut flour, and coconut butter. Fried in Pastured butter – no topping. Very tasty. Unfortunately I had trouble keeping the heat down on my oven and ended up with a pancake scramble. However, it was still extremely tasty, and kind of like the contrast between some of the underdone and overdone pieces. Hope for better luck on the next attempt.

    Jonathan wrote on January 15th, 2011
  29. Had a huge craving for pancakes today, and found this to be the most delicious and easy recipe I’ve had so far.

    Damon wrote on February 13th, 2011
  30. I absolutely LOVE this recipe. Not having Pancakes would almost be a deal breaker for the Paleo/primal lifestyle that I have embraced for over a year. My wonderfully, brilliant wife suggested tweaking this recipe, with great results: 1. Like the recipe instructs, mash the banana first. 2. Then separate the egg. add the yolk to the banana and blend in. Whip the white until slightly stiff. Set aside. Add the almond butter to the mix, blend well, then fold in the whites. The cakes come out fluffy and spongy, just like regular pancakes.

    dmos wrote on March 26th, 2011
  31. Great recipe! Really liked these. However, as an absolute pancake/waffle lover, it still wasn’t quite what I’ve been looking for. So, I tinkered with this one and came up with something fantastic (I think). Here’s what I did:

    Used 1 banana instead of 2
    Used 2 eggs instead of 1—I used duck eggs, which had very large yolks, so perhaps 3 are in order here if you’re using smaller chicken eggs.
    1 T almond butter

    Now, the rest I didn’t measure out, but these are approximations. I was just trying to achieve the viscosity of a typical batter, but a little runnier.

    1-2 T whole milk (I’m sure coconut milk would be a fine substitute if you don’t do dairy)
    3 T coconut flour, sifted
    2 T almond meal
    1 T ground flax
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp honey
    1 T melted butter

    They’re not too fragile, so you can cook them 4″+ in diameter and are not difficult to flip. Cooked them in butter on a nonstick pan and had no problems.

    The recipe makes about 8 pancakes. All together, the recipe is about 725 calories, 44 g fat, 28 g protein, 15 g fiber, 46 g carbs, which per pancake is 90 cal/5.5 fat/3.5 prot/2 g fib/6g carbs. Not bad for how tasty these are.

    JP wrote on April 9th, 2011
    • JP,
      Thanks for your suggestions! This worked much better than the first time I made them. The only things I did different from your post was:

      added more cinnamon and a little nutmeg
      used grape-seed flour instead of coconut flour (I don’t do well with coconut)
      used pear concentrate instead of honey
      used only 1 tablespoon of almond milk

      These cooked up perfect with some blueberries thrown into the batter. Much easier to flip and I topped it off with warmed mixed berry sauce. My husband just devoured them! Good stuff.

      Jenn, Gluten Free Connoisseur wrote on April 13th, 2011
    • Just wanted to say thanks so much for your FANTASTIC recipe here. I am diabetic, and with the changes to the basic recipe that you added, my sugars don’t even budge more than a point or two. I added 1 T of milk, and left out the honey and butter. These babies are VERY filling! The original recipe spiked my sugars a little. Now the whole family gets to eat pancakes, and they make a very nice change from coconut pancakes.

      Wildgeraniums wrote on January 15th, 2013
  32. I just made these for my kiddos, big pancake lovers. I used 2 yellow bananas, 2 eggs and 2 T of almond butter. I used coconut oil to grease up my pan. Cooked them on low heat and made small cakes and had no problems keeping them together. The kids are dining on them now.

    Jackie wrote on April 28th, 2011
  33. Love the taste – But how do you get these to not stick, not burn and actually cook?

    CalButtercup1969 wrote on May 14th, 2011
  34. Just made these and they are Yummy!!

    Nicola wrote on May 15th, 2011
  35. I just made these and boy are they Yummy!!

    Nicola wrote on May 15th, 2011
  36. I’m eating them right now…Yummy

    Nicola wrote on May 15th, 2011
  37. These are my favourite. I have them for breakfast, sometimes a snack and even for dessert.

    Rocofit wrote on May 21st, 2011
  38. Just made these, and they were super tasty, but way, way delicate. Low heat all the way, and a thin spatula kept things from falling apart.

    Steph wrote on July 30th, 2011
  39. been primal for two weeks now and just tried these as the saturday morning breakfast with black cherries just fantastic!

    jason fisher wrote on August 20th, 2011

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