Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

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These Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes pack an extra punch of flavor! Perfect for a quick breakfast or lazy brunch any day of the week.

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

I’ve felt a bit torn lately. To be completely honest, between writing the book, traveling, freelance, keeping up with VV, building a magazine, and working at the music distro, I’ve been really busy the last few years. It hasn’t been the kind of busy I dread or hate but more a sense of feeling in my element and thriving on creating rewarding work. Despite really enjoying all of this, I did start to feel the constant stress of having a huge to-do list in my clenched jaw, my tight shoulders, and my slight weight gain (although I think I could chalk that up to a slowing metabolism as I inch closer and closer to 30). Sometime towards the end of last year, I decided I would finish up some of these projects and not book new ones. I decided to make a goal that come the new year, I would pair down my life to enjoy the “little things”. January came and went in the busy haze that I’ve become use to. But then upon returning from California last month, I’ve began trying this whole “slowing down” and enjoying the little moments.

I’ve started to do all the things I used to really enjoy in my free time and it’s been really great – more yoga, started making weeknight dinners again, more hangs with friends, more walks, and more snuggles my with boxer dog and Netflix. The only “issue”, so to speak, is that all of these relaxation activities have my mind wondering to new creative ideas that I want to pursue – the exact creative big projects I’ve tried to pair down in my life. Call me crazy, driven, or a workaholic, but what’s a girl to do when her relaxing activities are sparking the creative framework for the exact kind of big projects she’s been trying to avoid? Maybe I’m forcing this whole leisure thing too much and I should just embrace that I love big (stressful, rewarding, creative) projects? For example, I’ve become obsessed with buying a house and fixing it up. Everyone (well, mostly Wyatt) keeps telling me how much work that is going to be but I get so gitty at the thought of thriving on planning, budgeting, working with my hands, and then basking in the end result of a beautiful space to spend my time.

I guess when it comes down to it, maybe these slowing down moments are good as they give me the head space to remember how much I enjoy big rewarding projects (which you can sometimes forget about when you are buried in the nitty-gritty of month long projects) and to help me guide to what is next. Will 2017 be the year we buy our first house? And will I finally get to redo the kitchen of my dreams and build a studio in the backyard? I sure hope so!

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread PancakesHealthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

Anyhow, now that I’ve ranted long enough, let’s talk about these Cardamom Banana Pancakes and why you ne! As part of my slowing down, I’ve started to make breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings and these fluffy cakes have been on repeat the last few weeks. Where you expect only cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, the cardamom punches through with an addictingly aromatic flavor.

I topped these with yogurt, maple syrup, toasted coconuts, chopped hazelnuts, and a little bit of The First Mess’ caramel sauce (made out of cashew butter). They are also delicious with just a little bit of butter and maple syrup; feel free to go as light or as crazy on the toppings as you’d like!

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes recipe below:

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes
These Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes pack an extra punch of flavor! Perfect for a quick breakfast or lazy brunch any day of the week.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 large servings
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (from about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 egg , slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter or coconut oil , for greasing the pan
  • Topping options: toasted coconut , hazelnut pieces, yogurt, butter, maple syrup, nut butters
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the mashed banana, egg, vanilla, and milk. Whisk together the wet ingredients and then fold the dry ingredients into the wet until completely combined.
  2. Melt enough coconut oil or butter to coat a medium saucepan in that saucepan over medium. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into the saucepan (how many you can cook at a time will depend on how big your pan is) and let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the top is completely bubbly. Flip, cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  3. Serve warm and enjoy with all of your favorite toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 354mg 15%
Potassium 833mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 49g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 3g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 4.3%
Calcium 32.5%
Iron 16.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.

March 19, 2017



  1. Reply

    Sophie MacKenzie

    March 16, 2017

    Working from home can be such a struggle, especially when you have your foot in so many busy areas. I’m happy to hear you’re finding a great life and work balance (please tell me your secrets), and I secretly dream of seeing your entire house buying a revamp journey.

  2. Reply

    Considering The Radish

    March 16, 2017

    I think that life comes in seasons. There are seasons to hustle and seasons to relax. The trick is knowing what season you’re living in.

    These pancakes look excellent. I’m such a sucker for cardamom and caramel both. Can’t wait to try these.

  3. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    March 17, 2017

    I feel like I’m on the opposite end of this … I was going kind of slowing down for a while and now my projects and work are starting to ramp up. And I think that’s the natural ebb and flow of things… both situations (being busy + taking it slow) make you appreciate the other more!

  4. Reply

    Tessa | Salted Plains

    March 18, 2017

    I totally know what you mean about slowing down and then getting excited about adding more to your creative plate. The slowing down always seems to allow for a different perspective; kind of freeing and refreshing in a way. Makes me think I should take more mini “slow-downs”! The flavors in these pancakes have me ready for breakfast – lovely, Shelly!

  5. Reply

    Jennifer Farley

    March 19, 2017

    Girl, I totally get you. The endless to do list is extremely draining. I’ve been very focused on slow living lately, and it’s a game changer. I love adding cardamom to recipes, I just make some cookies with it yesterday! What a unique idea for pancakes, I love these <3

  6. Reply

    bella | ful-filled

    March 19, 2017

    I love everything about these and I am really craving a stack now!

  7. Reply


    March 19, 2017

    Shelly! I squealed a little when I noticed your book cover on your website. It’s absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands. These pancakes are perfect way to slow down and refresh. More chill vibez to you to come. xx

  8. Reply

    Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    March 21, 2017

    Ohh man, these are perfection for a weekend breakfast! I feel you 100% on this, between working full time and blogging, plus just trying to live life, it often feels like there are too many to-dos in the day. I’ve found that (like you) making time for yoga and just relaxation time resets me so much more. xo

  9. Reply


    March 27, 2017

    I’m not a baker but I would love to make these for breakfast. I am allergic to coconut and was wondering if there are any ingredients I can use as a substitute?

    • Reply


      March 28, 2017

      Hey Teresa! I’d just use butter instead of coconut butter and then you can top with fresh fruit or nuts instead of the toasted coconut. Hope that helps!