There was a time when my husband and I were cash rich and time rich. It was something to do with being lary, drunken expats in China (good wage, cheap cost of living) and working for a French company (seriously, these people never work, it was all holiday, holiday (strike), holiday.)
Money and time meant one thing; holidays in exotic destinations. Jungle trekking in Chiang Mai followed by diving on Koh Tao. Two weeks diving in the Perhentian Islands. Wreck diving and island hopping in the Philippines. Yep, it’s ok to hate me.
And what unites these travels in my memory is not the perpetual sun, diving with turtles and staying in beach shacks for a £1 a night, it is...the Banana Pancakes.
Wherever we went there were signs for Thai Green Curry, Filipino Fried Dog Meat (I made that one up) and Banana Pancake. Something tells me that the indigenous populations of these beautiful places did NOT grow up eating banana pancakes on mama’s knee. So where did banana pancakes come from?
Was it the backpackers?
Scenario 1: You’ve been travelling for weeks in your sarong, your hair is braided, you drunkenly agreed to a tattoo in Bangkok and one day you wake up feeling homesick. “What I need” you think, “is a banana pancake.”
Scenario 2: “Pad pai tnang nang” spits Wisdom Cabbage (ever noticed how some nationalities change their real names for ones that us Westerners are supposed to understand?) “kin tao ‘Westerners’ nay thlange!” Translation: “I hate these foreigners ruining our islands, getting pissed on our cheap alcohol and barfing on our beach. They won’t even eat our food. They’re all ‘No dude, I can’t face any more rice. Can you do me a banana pancake?’ Damn these young, ignorant people with their braided hair, sarongs and tattoos! But I have to earn a living, so I make the bastard his banana pancake.”
So it WAS the backpackers who invented the banana pancake. Conundrum solved.
A few weeks ago I was unpacking my belongings in a house in the UK after five years in Paris. There were too many belongings for the house. The kids and I were feeling miserable. There was CARPET on the kitchen floor. (I can’t even touch on that one or we’ll be here all day, but carpet? In a kitchen? Revolting.) There were two bananas past their best on the table and I’d just unpacked my little purple pancake pan.
It didn’t take long to make a batch of banana pancakes and OK they didn’t quite transport me back to my sun-kissed sarong days on a remote beach in Thailand, but they sort of dulled the misery.
I hope they do the same for you.
Banana Pancakes (gluten free, vegan and sugar free. I rock.)
I can’t remember how many pancakes this mix made, maybe about 15? Maybe more? I think more.
To make this egg free, here’s the egg replacing mix:
20g melted margarine
¼ tsp xanthan gum
1 heaped tbsp ground linseeds
4 tbsps rice milk
All versions will need:
3 or 4 ripe bananas
3-4 tbsps honey
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Egg free, dairy free, gluten free
1½ tsps baking powder
Approximately 500ml rice milk
Egg replacing mix (see above)
To make these with wheat flour:
Replace the gluten free flour with wheat flour. You may have to add more or less rice milk to get the right consistency
To make these using eggs:
Replace the egg replacing mix with one large egg
- If using the egg replacer, mix all the ingredients together and beat with a mini whisk until smooth. Set aside
- Using a fork, mash the bananas and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl put the flour and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and add the egg replacing mix or the egg.
- Add the honey and about 250ml of rice milk. Whisk to make a thick batter
- Add the bicarbonate of soda to the mashed bananas and add it all to the batter
- Add enough rice milk to make a batter which is the consistency of thick cream. You might need to use loads more than I said, maybe less. GF flour has a mind of its own
- Heat a pancake pan and wipe the surface with some kitchen towel soaked in oil. Too much oil will make the pancakes fry, not enough will make them stick. It’s a tricky balance to strike
- Drop dollops of your batter into the pan. When the surface starts to bubble and is almost ‘set’ turn the pancake over and brown the other side
- Serve to waiting, slavering children, or place them on a plate in a warm oven until you have a fine stack of deliciousness
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