Melissa Hemsley – Cookery Author

Melissa Hemsley is one half of the Hemsley Sisters whose food business has pioneered modern healthy home cooking since 2010. They have two bestselling cookbooks; The Art of Eating Well and Good + Simple and also have a Hemsley + Hemsley café at Selfridges, London. Their primetime cookery show was shown on Channel 4 and distributed worldwide to over 20 countries

Melissa has featured in The New York Times, Vogue, The Times, Stylist, GQ, House & Garden, Harper’s Bazaar, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast, The Evening Standard. She has also appeared on Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, Sky News, Channel 4 News and has given talks atBFI, Radio Times festival, BBC Goodfood shows and cooked at festivals and high profile events internationally.

Melissa Hemsley is committed to quick and easy healthy food that everyone can enjoy and this was the inspiration behind her latest book ‘Eat Happy’, where Melissa aims “to bring the joy back to home cooking and show you how satisfying, affordable and quick food can be. These are fast, foolproof and fuss-free recipes that everyone will love and can tuck into any day of the week – simple dishes with big flavours using inexpensive, easy-to-get ingredients. No chef skills are required here; every recipe uses basic cooking techniques, with as few steps as possible and minimal washing-up, so that takeaways or ready meals never feel like the easier option”

Melissa’s recipe for Perfect pancakes

Although made with bananas, these pancakes don’t taste strongly of them. Banana is used to give substance and a natural sweetness, while the quinoa flakes and egg not only add protein but also help bind the mixture. I make these about 1cm thick and very rustically shaped, but if you’ve got a pancake ring, whip it out to make a pretty stack. If you want to double the recipe (especially if you have bananas that need using up), any extra pancakes will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze them. Pop them in the oven or fry in a pan to reheat.

Serves 2 / makes 8 pancakes

2 ripe bananas (total 200g), peeled
100g quinoa flakes
180ml any milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder A tiny pinch of sea salt
2 teaspoons maple syrup 1 1⁄2–2 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying

100g mixed berries, a spoonful of natural yoghurt, crushed pistachios and a drizzle of maple syrup
2 apples, grated, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a spoonful of toasted aked almonds

1. Place all the ingredients for the pancakes (except the oil) in a blender or food processor and whizz for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, mash the bananas with a fork and mix in a jug with all the remaining ingredients.

2. Melt a little of the coconut oil in a large frying pan on a high heat.

3. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan and use the back of the spoon to swirl into a rough circle about 1cm thick and 8cm wide. Repeat to make another two to three pancakes, depending on the size of your pan. Reduce the heat to medium and leave the pancakes to set for 1 1⁄2 minutes. When they start to bubble, flip each one over and cook for 1 minute on the other side.

4. Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter, using a little more of the coconut oil each time, until you have made eight pancakes. Place the pancakes on a plate in a low oven to keep warm while you make the rest.

5. Serve as is or add your favourite toppings.