I’ve been on a pancake kick lately. (See Building the Better (For You) Flapjack.) It’s a holiday Monday– time for another variation.
I had some extra shredded coconut in the pantry following a misadventure last week in developing a recipe for a sweet and savory Thai macaroon, and a subsequent success with a Toasted Coconut and Tamarind Cocktail. I also had a couple of ripe bananas– past the point where we’d like to eat them out of hand, but perfect for baking.
I spent a little time in Thailand in the summer of 2001, (hard to believe that’s been over a decade), and the food was uniformly delicious. It was rare to get a meal that was anything short of spectacular– Tom Yum Goong with cartoonishly large prawns, perfectly-balanced curries. I had banana pancakes almost every morning. I remember sitting on the beach on Ko Samet, (a small island accessible by ferry from the mainland, about an hour and a half’s car ride from Bangkok), eating banana pancakes and pineapple fritters, enjoying the morning sea breeze, and gazing at the deep blue of the South China Sea. Some fire ants on the sand may have interrupted the reverie, but the pancakes were still fantastic.
It occurred to me last night that I’ve somehow never made banana pancakes at home. Between that and the leftover coconut, this morning’s breakfast course was set. Since I prefer to make pancakes that give good energy rather than inducing naps, I prefer buckwheat flour to all-purpose flour, and work in nut flours, etc., when possible. I knew these pancakes would be gluten-free as a result, and when I thought about cooking them in coconut oil for extra flavor, I realized it would be easy to just do a vegan pancake, while I was at it. Pancakes for everyone!
The thinner you can get the pancake, the crispier it will be. And the crisp exterior is the best part. Press the center down a bit with the ladle after you pour your pancake, to get it as thin as possible.
These pancakes are deep golden brown and crispy on the outside; moist and flavorful on the inside. We liked them drizzled with a little maple syrup, but we also tried them plain and they were tasty enough that way to stand on their own. So be as indulgent– or not– as you like with these.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup shredded unsweeted coconut
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, (it needs to be liquid to incorporate into the batter, so briefly melt and cool if necessary), plus more for cooking
- In one bowl, stir to fully incorporate the dry ingredients, (buckwheat flour, coconut, almond meal, baking powder, sugar, salt.)
- In another bowl, stir to incorporate the wet ingredients, (banana, almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil.)
- Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until a batter forms.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil on a non-stick pan or griddle.
- Once hot, use a large ladle to pour one round pancake at a time, pressing down on the center of the poured pancake quickly with the ladle to produce a thinner pancake (important to maximize crispiness.)
- Once you see the pancake bubbling with small fissures in the middle, flip the pancake.
- The pancake is done when it's deeply golden and crispy on both sides. If you're making these in a smaller pan as opposed to a large griddle, keep the earlier pancakes warm until serving time by putting them on a cookie sheet in an oven set to low heat.