You Will LOVE this PBJ Pancake + Tips on Healthier Sleep

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PBJ pancake on virginiawillis.com

PBJ is an all-American sandwich. It’s good and good for you, filling, protein-rich, and tastes great! I’ve put that flavor combo into an easy blender pancake.

And, this is a recipe for a pancake, not pancakeS. No standing at the stovetop and flipping flap jacks all morning. This is a one-and-done! Bonus, it’s gluten-free, made with heart-healthy oats, and fresh fruit.

Do you have trouble getting to sleep? Staying asleep? Waking up too early? You are not alone. According to the National Institute of Health,  an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans have chronic, or ongoing, sleep disorders.

Read on for this delicious and easy blender pancake recipe, real-life info on how you can improve your sleep, and finding inspiration for sleep with yoga nidra. (Don’t worry, there’s no bendy, twisty stretching involved — the only thing we’re stretching is your mind!)

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What to Do with Overripe Bananas

Remember during the pandemic when Banana Bread had its big brown banana renaissance? Everyone was making Banana Bread. Being a regular banana buyer, I often have overripe bananas and am often faced with what to do with overripe bananas.

Need suggestions for overripe bananas? Here are a few of my favorite recipes for spotty bananas:

Underipe bananas are higher in starch. As the banana ages, the starch converts to sugar, making the banana sweeter. And, effectively making it a great ingredient for this gluten-free oat and banana blender pancake.



Peanut Powder

Peanut butter and fruit or fruit jelly is a classic combo. And, the combination of bananas and peanut butter is especially famous. (Thank you very much, Elvis.)

According to the National Peanut Board, PBJ’s march to one of America’s favorite flavor combinations resulted from two converging events. The invention of pre-sliced bread plus WW1 soldiers that were fed PBJ while fighting overseas. When they returned home, they still craved the PBJ.

Peanut powder is made by pressing out most of the natural oils from roasted peanuts and then grinding the nuts into a fine powder. The result is a powdered peanut product that is packed with flavor but contains 85% fewer calories from fat. Truthfully, it’s not the best to make a sandwich, but peanut powder is great for cooking!)

Peanut powder is not included in this pancake recipe and is used as a protein-rich topping, instead. There are many national brands that offer a variety of flavors including cocoa, which tastes great with strawberries!

Check out Oliver Farm for a smaller, more local source made from real Georgia peanuts. Not a fan of PB or have a peanut allergy? Easy, peasy — use a more traditional pancake topping. (I love Zoar Tapatree artisinal Maple syrup.)



Best Live Living Tip

Living your best life means becoming the best version of yourself, mentally and physically. Our mental and physical health go hand in hand and taking time to love and care for both of those elements of you is crucial to living a happy life.

Having a lack of sleep is not living your best life.

It’s natural for folks to occasionally have trouble sleeping. Common reasons include stress, certain meds, and eating or drinking too close to bedtime. It’s normal and usually nothing to worry about, but it can make you grumpy, slow your thinking, and make it difficult to concentrate.

According to AARP natural sleep aids and foods include turkey, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, tart cherry juice, cheese, and tea. Additionally, bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium which help relax your muscles and make them an ideal snack in the evening.

I have a cup of Honey Lavender Yogi Stress Relief  Tea every night and it’s become a big part of my wind-down routine. Give some of these sleep-inducing foods a try.

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Great Horned Owl aka Bubo virginianus (you know I love that!)

Self Care Technique

How to get more shut-eye is a big question for everyone. I’m a night owl. I once had a gyno tell me that she believed some people were “fire tenders” and in the past were the folks that kept the fire burning throughout the night. While I love that romantic notion, it’s not always practical for modern life.

Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs if you don’t get enough sleep and refers to a short period, typically a few days or less when a person experiences a significant reduction in their sleep time. Chronic sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency is defined as reduced sleep that persists. This may mean you don’t get enough sleep, sleep at the wrong time of day, or don’t get all the different types of sleep your body needs.

Here are some tips from Johns Hopkins on how to improve your sleep.

  • Consider exercising no closer than 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Try a simple stretch “legs up the wall” instead of working up a sweat. 
  • Have a wind-down routine of 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed — I set an alarm! 
  • Go to bed at a regular time each night. Yup, I have an alarm for that, too. 
  • Wake up at a regular time every morning – Make sure to get up and do not hit snooze! It will make you MORE groggy! 
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. You only think that nightcap is helping… according to the Sleep Foundation alcohol promotes relaxation, but disrupts sleep quality. 


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Ideas and Inspiration

Yoga nidra has changed my life. I am a big believer. Do you have monkey mind? Do you find it hard to turn off your brain at night to go to sleep? Yoga nidra may be the answer.  According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Not all yoga practices involve flowing or holding poses in a hot room. Yoga nidra promotes deep relaxation and no movement is involved.”

Yoga Nidra, or ‘conscious sleep’, is a form of restorative meditation. It can restore the body and mind and is a meditation practice where attention is focused on the breath and guided through the body, activating a state of effortless “non-doing.”

The free app Insight Timer has a ton of Yoga Nidra tracks. Check it out and find one that resonates with you!

Good and Good for You

Some of you requested I include WW smart-points. This pancake comes in at 2 points per serving! Woo-hoo! I know you will love it. Thanks so much for reading. Please let me know if you give it a try. Take a snap and tag me on Instagram

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis


PBJ pancake on virginiawillis.com
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PBJ Pancake

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 2


  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup grapes, berries, or sliced fruit
  • 1/4 cup peanut powder or cocoa peanut powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Peanuts, for garnish, optional


  • Heat the oven to 350F. Combine the oats, egg, banana, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor or the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth. Mist an 8-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter in and tilt the skillet to evenly disperse the batter. Top with chia seeds and fruit. Transfer to the oven and bake until brown and set, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the peanut powder and water until it reaches a pourable consistency. Remove the pancake from the oven, slice into quarters, and serve immediately, topped with peanut sauce.

Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to jona@virginiawillis.com and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

Note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication is prohibited. All photos and content are copyright-protected. If you wish to republish this recipe, please link back to this recipe on virginiawillis.com. Thanks so much!


Good and Good for You with Virginia Willis is a lifestyle brand that shares health and wellness through digital channels and online community; events, seminars, and speeches; and print media. For more information visit virginiawillis.com 

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial seen by over 160 million people. She is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and chef for Food Network Kitchen. Virginia lost 65 pounds and has kept if off for over 3 years. Her health journey has been documented in Eating Well, as a cover story for Woman’s World, Allrecipes, and AARP. Virginia has embraced her new outlook on life and has become a cheerleader for those wanting to make their own life changes, “If a French-trained Southern chef can do it, you can, too!” Her cookbooks include Fresh Start: Cooking with Virginia My Real Life Daily Guide to Healthy Eating and Weight Loss; Secrets of the Southern Table, Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Alex vs America, The Rachel Ray Show, Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Virginia has also been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52. She has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. Fans love her down-to-earth attitude and approachable spirit. Learn more about Virginia and Good and Good for You Living, a real life health and wellness approach for mind, body, and spirit that includes food, fun, and fitness at www.virginiawillis.com

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