Tag Archives: banana

Gluten and Grain Free Banana Pancake(s) for One Lady (or Sir)

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When it comes to being in the kitchen, I’ve admitted that I have issues with micromanaging anyone else who may want to help. I work better alone when it comes to cooking. Give me some music and an empty kitchen and I will have a food-making-party-for-one so that I can happily feed you (whoever you may be) after my solo time. I’ve stopped making excuses for this and I don’t feel bad about being this way. Truth is, I can play nicely with others if necessary. I can suck up my crazy-brain antics and desire for things to be done a certain way… I just prefer not to. The kitchen is my space of meditation and peace, where a lot of my creative energy goes these days (as well as frenzied desire to make things that taste good and look appealing simultaneously).

That said, sometimes in the week I am left without having anyone else to feed in the middle of the day. More often than not I drink too much coffee then eat whatever sounds good in the moment – salad, eggs topped with spicy salsa, toast, fruit… An almost careless thrown together mess of anything to get through a few hours. Sometimes I get the inkling to experiment with things I’ll eventually feed my husband or Silas.

I had some ripe bananas laying around one afternoon and to be completely honest, I did not have high hopes for the following recipe. Yet I was pleasantly surprised. This recipe makes either one large pancake or two medium sized pancakes. There is no flour involved, no leavening (what!). The mashed bananas and eggs work as a binder to keep these pancakes together, while whipping them up adds air in to the mixture, creating a semi-fluffy pancake as well.

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Gluten and Grain Free Banana Pancake(s) for One Lady (or Sir)

Yields one large, or two medium, pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 medium, ripe banana (plus another for serving, if you want)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (plus 1/2 teaspoon more for cooking)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of fresh nutmeg

Directions:

In a small bowl, mash up the banana with the cinnamon, half a teaspoon of coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Beat with a fork until well incorporated and few chunks of banana remain.

Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat and add the remaining half teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour the mixture onto the griddle for one large pancake, or split it into two pancakes.

Cook for about 3 minutes until the top has mostly set (isn’t runny anymore). Gently flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until nicely golden brown.

Serve immediately, topped with coconut butter or butter, and warm syrup.

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Homemade Banana Pancakes

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It has taken me two decades to appreciate pancakes. What’s wrong with me? How is the idea of dessert-breakfast not appealing? Perhaps it’s simply that I’m not big on breakfast. I like black coffee and a glass of water. It’s less than exciting.

Sometimes on the weekend I’ll get a wild hair in my… head and think, pancakes! It helps that I’ve got a husband who’ll gladly eat a mountain of ‘cakes and a stepchild who requests pancakes for every breakfast when given the opportunity. I’ve got recipes that I’ve gathered, tried… but ultimately, I often find myself going back to this familiar list of ingredients. The one that I keep in my head, along with memories of my mom, whose pancake repertoire boasts ingredient additions you probably haven’t (okay, that I hadn’t) thought to put into pancake batter. Corn, sprinkles, fruits of various textures, chocolate, nuts, spices, etc.

But the basic batter ingredients are not exotic. In fact, you probably have everything you need right now sitting in your cupboard. I don’t believe in pre-made pancake mixes. Flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Who needs someone else to throw those things together? Really. Maybe it’s just from my memories of growing up on an island. Maybe it’s just that they taste good. But when I find myself really craving pancakes I grew up comforted by, banana ‘cakes are absolutely the way to go. I’ve mashed bananas into the batter before, but have often found my pancakes too dense for my own liking. I prefer slicing the bananas into the batter, folding them in gently. The result? Lightly sweetened, delicate bites of fruit, and a still fluffy pancake. Perfection.

Banana Pancakes

Yields about 12 3-inch pancakes.

Ingredients:

1¼ all-purpose flour
1-2 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup lightly flavored oil (sunflower, vegetable, etc.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1-2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in ¼-inch thick rounds
oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 200°F. Place a pan or pot with a lid in the oven to preheat, too.

Drizzle about half a teaspoon of oil into a large, flat bottomed skillet. Place the pan on medium-high heat while you get your batter together.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. (I just use a fork to do this.)

Whisk together (I just do this in my measuring cup) the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Use your fork or whisk to stir everything together, just until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.

Gently fold in the sliced bananas. Test a small drop of batter in your preheated pan. If it immediately begins to puff up, you’re good to go. Spoon the a few tablespoons of batter per pancake into your pan, leaving an inch or so of space between each pancake.

Once the top is bubbling (1-2 minutes), flip the pancake over and cook until no longer runny in the middle (check by making a small incision in the middle of the pancake – I mean tiny cut – like ¼-inch max!).

Keep the cooked pancakes in your preheated oven until all the batter has been used up. Serve hot with your favorite pancake toppings. (My favorite for these particular ‘cakes are more fresh sliced bananas, chopped macadamia nuts, and warm maple syrup.)

Easy Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting


Sometimes I am not sure where the day goes between waking to the sound of my husband’s voice urging seven year old Silas to “Hurry, baby! Brush your teeth! We’re going to be late for school…” and then the slow murmur of snores reminding me that the day’s gone and bedtime’s here. Between laundry piles, stacks of dishes, dirty socks lingering on the floor from room to room, two needy dogs at my heels at every given moment, frogs croaking to be fed, recipes that plead to be written, photographs that wait their turn to be edited, lists of errands and chores, etc., time is a rare commodity around these parts.

Many of my days are laden with unplanned things that take time, too: unintended gardening that lo-and-behold needs to be done; unfortunate course-of-nature animal deaths that need handling before Silas happens up on the tragic scene accidentally; trips to the library to help guarantee that second grade homework will get done, despite a long day of school and an afternoon of football practice; trying to heal a wound on the dog’s foot, paying careful attention to make sure the whole thing doesn’t get infected, even though she continuously licks it raw; editing photos for band shows and sporting events and food and fun; last minute runs to the grocery store because I forgot THAT! ingredient… Sometimes dinner’s the last thing on my mind. Sometimes the only thing that makes sense is dessert. Sometimes I don’t want to mess with tons of dirty dishes and meal planning. Sometimes dessert needs to come first and easily, at that.

This cake is so simple. So moist. And so delicious. I first saw the recipe on ButterYum and with a description like “To Die For Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting,” how could I resist? I opted for yogurt instead of sour cream, mostly because it’s what I had on hand. I also added some cinnamon, as I love the way it tastes with bananas. You can mix the entire cake batter together in one bowl, sans your mixer. A fork, bowl, measuring cup, and measuring spoons. That doesn’t take long to clean up at all! That alone was enough to convince me to try this recipe and it did not disappoint!

 

Easy Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Recipe adapted from Patricia at ButterYum


Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup plain yogurt
1 egg
2/3 cup cane sugar
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
For the frosting:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, scraped
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
2-4 tbsp. milk

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Butter an 8×8-inch square pan.

In a bowl, cream together the softened butter, yogurt, egg, and sugar, until smooth. (I just used a fork to do this; no mixer needed.) In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas until they’re completely broken up. (I don’t like getting larger chunks of banana in my cake after it’s baked; if you’re into that, mash less harshly. :) Add the smashed bananas to the butter/yogurt mixture. Add the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. If  you’ve got a knack for keeping things proper, you can sift those dry ingredients together first, but I find it completely unnecessary in this recipe. So, save yourself from dirtying another dish unless you simply can’t help yourself. Stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan. Bang the pan on your countertop a couple times to let some of the air bubbles out. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the frosting: cream together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. (Again, I did this by hand, but a mixer would make things simpler!) Add the vanilla bean and vanilla extract, then one tablespoon of milk. Stir until smooth. Add more milk if needed, one tablespoon at a time, always fully incorporating each addition before adding another!

Evenly spread the frosting on your cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Toasted Coconut

Blueberries have been showing up in the market. Often they’ll first arrive in 6 ounce little containers, then by the pint, then in larger 18 or 20 ounce flats. It’s heavenly. At first, your inclination is to eat them fresh. However, when you wind up with too many blueberries on hand, eventually they start wilting or threaten to become unusable. Right before that happens, it’s the perfect time for homemade blueberry muffins.

These aren’t your typical plain ‘ole blueberry muffins. They’re also banana muffins. Topped with toasted coconut. The bananas in this recipe keep the muffins very moist and add sweetness. They’re easy to throw together and chances are you’ve got most of the ingredients on hand already. If fresh blueberries aren’t available, frozen ones will do.

 

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Yields approx. 1 dozen small muffins

 

Ingredients:

2 small bananas, peeled
½ cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
½ cup fresh blueberries
2 tbsp. toasted shredded coconut
1 tbsp. turbinado sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350º and line a muffin pan with liners, or lightly grease the tins.

Whisk or beat together the bananas and sugar until well combined and frothy. Add in the egg, melted butter, and vanilla.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add the sifted ingredients to the banana mixture, stirring until everything is just-combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon enough batter in each muffin cup, filling them a little more than half-way full. Tap the muffin pan on your countertop once or twice, letting the air bubbles in the batter escape. Sprinkle some shredded coconut and turbinado sugar on the top of each batter-filled cup.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean (or with few crumbs).

Banana Cranberry Ginger Oatmeal

For the first time in nearly five years, I’ve had our home to myself for the week. Its been strange in various facets. There is no one yelling “JULIE!” every two minutes, meaning trouble, help, or hunger. I can go to the bathroom without knowing that one minute later there will be pounding on the door, followed with another “JULIE!” No messes to pickup after in places I don’t expect them. Quiet. Lots of quiet. I’ve been missing my husband in big ways and subtle ways though–like having to get up and turn the heat up myself in the morning, or resorting to sleeping on the couch because our bed’s too big for one Julie in a house so quiet and still, or kisses on my eyelids at 4:30 in the morning. Meals for one and not an army… that has been questionable.

Since I haven’t had to think about feeding anyone but myself (well, and the dogs, but they don’t require a home-cooked dinner), my eating habits have been super sketchy. Oatmeal at 1:30 in the afternoon? Why not. French press instead of a pot of coffee? Okay. Dinner at 9:30? Sounds good. Breakfast at 3? That’ll work, too. A beer at 4:30 and dinner four hours later? Sure thing.

I read a book a couple years ago, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, which is about cooking for one as well as eating alone. I loved it. The book is made up of a collection of stories from writers, foodies, and well known others who indulge you in the secrets of dining alone–though in the fashion of celebration, rather than complaint. When you have no one else’s hunger to consider, what do you indulge in?

I’ve been eating oatmeal. Doctored-up frozen pizza. Roasted asparagus. Risotto. Oatmeal. Oatmeal. Bananas. Yogurt straight out of the 32 oz. container. Sandwiches full of ripe tomatoes, massive amounts of lettuce, cheese and yellow mustard, not on a plate. Oatmeal. Turns out cooking for one isn’t as fun as cooking for my family, though. The following recipe is my favorite oatmeal. I am positive that I could eat this for two out of three meals a day.

 

Banana Cranberry Ginger Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients:
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup milk (whatever type you like; easy to veganize this recipe!)
1 small banana, sliced
pinch of salt
2 tbsp. unsweetened cranberries
1 tbsp. crystallized ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In a small pot, combine the oats, milk, banana and salt over medium heat. Allow the oatmeal to heat up, about 3 minutes. Once it becomes bubbly, stir well to break up the banana chunks. Once all the liquid has been absorbed (about 3 more minutes), the oats are finished.

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the cranberries, ginger, maple syrup, and vanilla. Serve immediately and enjoy.