These light and airy Peanut Butter and Banana pancakes are both creamy and delicious with a just a hint of ginger. The perfect way to start any day!
I made these peanut butter banana pancakes using cereal. As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of boxed cereal. Unless it’s the kind I make myself, cereal is just not my bag. However, my reason why is likely not what you think.
I created this recipe while visiting the General Mills offices in Minneapolis. It was an Dietitian blogger event. I actually enjoy visiting brands. I learn a lot about their business practices, meet their employees, and see first hand what goes into the making of their products. I also get to ask a ton of questions, often to high level executives of the organization. This trip we got the pleasure of asking the President of Big G Cereals important questions like why can’t they just use less sugar? What does it take to remove the dyes and coloring from their products? What are they doing to address childhood obesity? Is it morally responsible to sell Lucky Charms to kids? As an RD, I feel pretty fortunate for these opportunities.
So here’s what I found out.
General Mills knows a lot about you. They know what kind of eater you want to be and what kind of eater you really are. They know what is important to you when it comes to food and your health and what you want (and don’t want) in your food. They know you like to start your day with a healthy breakfast, but as the day goes on you let your guard down…your choices get a little more decadent. They also know that you don’t practice what you preach. They hear what you say you want, but they see what you actually buy. Needless to say, sales of Lucky Charms are doing just fine.
They blame these food choices on your commitment level, the context or environment in which you are eating, and the high costs of eating healthy. GM takes all of this into account when they sell you food. They have to since their products are in 90% of all US households. Yes, they do more than just cereal. They own that Lara Bar you had for your morning snack and the Annie’s mac and cheese you feed your kids. Check this out, you might be surprised. We were.
So what did I learn on this trip? I learned that GM has been lowering the sugar in their cereals for years and not telling anyone. They did this quietly, on purpose, and nobody really noticed. I kind of admire that. But it may have backfired for them. I don’t think the average mom knows that there’s more sugar in that “healthy” yogurt or granola bar than there is in a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios or even Lucky Charms. Educating parents is so important and I think they may have missed on a real opportunity there.
Personally, I have never thought cereal was the reason we have an obesity epidemic. We were eating Lucky Charms and Trix in the 70s. What’s changed? Not much with the cereal. Except today there’s less sugar in it. Go figure.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a big cereal fan. I don’t think it’s a particularly balanced breakfast. Anything I can eat and eat and eat and never really get satisfied is not for me. But I also don’t think we should demonize all cereals for the few that are rotten. Cheerios only has 1 gram of sugar. I bet that’s a lot less than what you’re having now.
So yes, I made these pancakes with cereal. In the Betty Crocker test kitchens to boot! The base is raw rolled oats and peanut butter flavored Cheerios. There’s also some banana in there, ginger powder, protein powder, some flax, more peanut butter, an egg and a few other ingredients. I also learned a great trick from the Betty Crocker kitchen folks. Blend your dry ingredients with your wet ones in the blender and you not only get a perfectly creamy batter, you get perfectly creamy pancakes. And let me tell you, these pancakes are dang good. Cereal and all.