GF Bananas Foster Pancakes

Pancakes are a special weekend treat at our house. My lil guy, Joel, loves to help out in the kitchen, especially during weekend breakfasts and this past weekend was no exception. We enjoy playing around with ingredients to add to our pancakes or coming up with a different topping aside from the usual maple syrup. So when I got the craving for New Orleans cuisine, these GF Banana Foster Pancakes came to mind. But there's a bonus - these are gluten free, thanks to some help from my friends at Krusteaz! Diced up fresh bananas and a touch of vanilla make for sweet pancakes, with a decadent topping of brown sugar, butter, more bananas and some rum!...

It's been awhile since I shared any updates on my gluten intolerance. I've been doing great on a gluten free diet since September 2011. And for the 2 years following that, I've stuck with the gluten free lifestyle. It wasn't until November 2013, I started to incorporate small amounts of gluten back into my diet to see how I'd react. For the most part, the horrible symptoms I experienced previously never got to the same intensity and surprisingly, a little bit of gluten has been manageable. That said, I still continue watching my gluten intake with a bit more leniency these days. Some may even call it a 'gluten-light' diet where I have a minimal amount of gluten weekly. That said, I am enjoying the vast amount of gluten free products available - even more than ever! And it just so happens that my favorite baking brand, Krusteaz, has a special line of gluten free baking mixes. 

I made this recipe for gluten free bananas foster pancakes as a nod to the delicious cuisine of New Orleans. I'm gearing up for a private culinary class I'll be teaching focused on New Orleans cuisine and the morning after working on my teaching plan, these pancakes came to mind. They were made easy with the Krusteaz Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix, which only needed minimal ingredients to prepare. Give this one a try for a sweet twist on breakfast!

Gluten Free Bananas Foster Pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Effort: Medium
Servings: 8-9

2 cups ice cold water
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large bananas, diced

Bananas Foster Topping:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bananas, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup dark rum

·         Heat a lightly greased skillet or griddle over medium heat (or 375°F).
·         In a large bowl, combine the pancake mix, milk, water, eggs and vanilla with a wire whisk.  Gently fold in the diced bananas.  Batter will be slightly lumpy - do not over mix to prevent tough pancakes.
·         Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle and cook for 1 1/2 minutes per side. Turn once. Remove from griddle and transfer cooked pancakes to a large platter, covered with a tea towel to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining batter and continue to cook in batches.  When pancakes are cooked, prepare the Bananas Foster Topping.
·         For the Bananas Foster Topping: In a large skillet set over medium high heat, add the butter and melt completely.  Add the brown sugar and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Add the banana slices and toss to coat, cooking until caramelized.  Remove pan off the heat and slowly add the rum. Return the pan to the heat and allow the rum to cook off for about 3-5 minutes.  Spoon banana mixture over pancakes. Garnish with whipped cream and chopped walnuts if desired.

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