Two years ago was my last Valentine's Day with my grandmother (who I called "Nana" or "Nanny").
Living with my grandma was one of the best things that ever happened to me. We had always been so close, but living together sealed the bond in the most special way. We quickly started to refer to one another as "roomies" and "husband and wife." I was her hubby and she was my nanny.
My nan was sort of a snubby, condescending woman especially in her old age. She liked things the way she liked them and that was that.
Every time I'd cook for her she'd apprehensively take a bite as if she already knew she'd hate it... and then she'd even share her criticism or she'd shockingly admit, "You know, Serena, this is tasty!"
For Valentine's Day in 2016, my nan was my most special Valentine. I surprised her with a card, a balloon, and chocolate (cause, LORD KNOWS, she had a sweet tooth the size of China). I remember she started crying and said that I had made her so happy because the gifts let her know I REALLY loved her. Well, duh, little lady...but its really one of my favorite memories.
I also made nan heartshaped pancakes for Valentine's Day. We ate the whole entire batch together... and I remember it was one of those times where we were laughing because we knew we were being suchhh fatties by eating SO MANY pancakes, but they were so yummy, and it was just such a special moment. The memory makes me cry happy and sad tears.
I guess its a reminder that food can be very powerful. It can seal bonds and create happy memories. Food is meant to be savored and shared and enjoyed. And whenever food is a part of creating a special memory - I think those are calories well spent.
Happy Valentine's Day, my real foodie friends. You guys inspire me everyday and I feel tons of love and gratitude to have your readership and support. <3
Sweetheart Protein Pancakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Fast, Easy, Quick
Author: Serena Marie RD
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
• 2 bananas
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 scoop unflavored protein powder
• 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
• Coconut oil spray
• 1 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 dash vanilla stevia drops
• 1 Tbs arrowroot starch (optional)
• 1 Tbs heavy whipping cream (optional)
1 Microwave your frozen berries or heat them over low flame on the stove.
2 Mash with a fork to break up the fruit (you could also pulse them through a food processor).
3 Add vanilla stevia, arrowroot. Mix well and refrigerate.
4 Add eggs, bananas and protein powder to a food processor. Blend on high for 20 seconds to form a liquid.
5 Spray a small pan with coconut oil. Set to low-medium heat.
6 Pour the banana mixture from the blender in heart shapes. I found that using my spatula to make "tips" at the end of the hearts was really helpful in forming the right shape.
7 Let cook until bubbles start to appear. Flip with a spatula! Cooking the first side took about 1 minute once the pan was hot.
8 The second side of the pancake will cook in 10 seconds.
9 Make a heart shaped stack.
10 Remove strawberry topping from the fridge. Add heavy cream, if desired.
11 Plate pancakes with pink, nutrient rich strawberry topping. Voila! Don't you love me the teensiest bit more now?