This spring has been a bit up and down and all around. One day it’s hot, the next freezing cold and the heating needs to go back on. The following morning you are looking for your flip flops and in the afternoon you find yourself staring at a wall of grey sky decorated with strings of rain. That is the kind of weather only a banana pancake can make it worth getting out of bed for, and even if it is just to get the frying pan going to bake some of these delicious round and bouncy cakes of warmth and take them back to bed accompanied by a hot freshly brewed coffee.
This week’s post was inspired whilst I was working on a recipe for the Brain Bio Center’ s Newsletter on Children’s Nutrition (http://www.foodforthebrain.org). During my research I came across the Fairtrade Foundation’s announcement of the banana being nominated as ethical product of a decade. I instantly thought: mini organic fairtrade banana pancakes for mini people- gluten and dairy free- scrumptious! Couldn’t it have been better timing?
Banana pancakes are really fast and easy to make and you can bring some creativity into your creations by adding different fruit, nuts or fillings. I love rich flavours, so I added layers of fresh coconut & banana cream to my mini pancake tower and finished it off with some pecan nuts, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon – super delicious- not only for mini people.
Our nominees are also a great take away fruit that comes with its own protective bright yellow packaging and delivers some real goodness inside. Bananas are a rich source of potassium, vitamin B6, C, magnesium, biotin and fiber, and their slow release sugar content make them the perfect fruit for early morning or post workout smoothies .
Please make sure you get organic fairtrade bananas where ever possible as non-organic bananas are exposed to vast amounts of pesticides, so are the workers who are paid next to nothing for their hard work under health threatening conditions- a really unethical way of growing food. Here you can learn more about the banana and fairtrade http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/bananas.
Gluten free mini banana pancakes – makes 12
80g of organic oat flour ( simply ground oats in a coffee grinder)
50g of organic buckwheat flour
1 tsp of baking powder
120 ml organic nut or rice milk
4 small ripe fair trade organic bananas (2 for the pancake & 2 to garnish)
2 medium sized eggs
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of maple syrup plus some extra to garnish
A pinch of salt, a dash of cinnamon and a handful of pecan or peanuts to garnish
Coconut & banana cream (optional)
1 cup of fresh coconut or one coconut yogurt
1 small organic fair trade banana
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp nut milk
A squeeze of lemon juice
If you want to add some extra banana flavour, start off with making a quick coconut & banana cream. Just put the 1 cup of fresh coconut, one small banana, a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of chia and 1 -2 tbsp of nut milk in the food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have fresh coconut you can use 1 small tub of coconut yogurt instead, there won’t be any need to add nut milk for that one. Once blended, leave to set in the fridge for about 20 minutes. You can either add it on each serving or spread some onto each layer of the banana tower.
For the pancake mix sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Next, whisk milk, eggs, oil and maple syrup together and pour into the flour mix, then add the mashed bananas and beat until you get a smooth batter. The easiest way to do all this is to put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, that way you ensure everything is mixed together well.
Leave the mix to sit for 15 minutes, you will see how it thickens and produces air bubbles.
Cut a couple of bananas into equally slim slices and set aside, you will need these to layer your pancakes as you stack them into a small tower.
Next heat a small frying pan with a little coconut oil, add the first ladle of batter and cook until the top of the pancake starts to bubble, now it’s time to turn it over. Cook both sides until golden brown. Keep the temperature at medium heat to prevent burning the delicate pancake whilst it is cooking through.
Have a ‘pretty’ looking plate ready for the first pancake and whilst the next pancake is cooking away, add a layer of banana slices around the outer circle, here you would add the coconut banana cream layer as well. Carry on until you get until the 6th or 7th pancake before getting the next plate ready and repeat the process. This all depends on how many hungry mouths you have to feed.
The final layer of each pancake ‘tower’ can be decorated with more banana slices or strawberries are pretty delicious with this combination, then add pecan nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey as a final finish – a real rainy day breakfast, any day dessert or afternoon treat.