Over the years we have had the opportunity to taste a large variety of bananas; stumpy starchy bananas, almost square ones, bananas that are not ripe until they turn brown, tiny sweet ones, red ones, green ones, bananas that are flecked orange in the centre. Just before we left the Philippines banana season was in full swing. Heaped on carts on the slide of the road, hung in bunches at every fruit stall, attracting clouds of fruit flies it was near impossible to miss the bounty of bananas.
I like bananas as much as the next girl but they all have one thing in common for me.
I only like to eat them when they are perfectly ripe, a window of opportunity that lasts, in my opinion, about 48 hours. Over the last 10 years I have tried every trick to avoid it, but no matter what I do ALL my bananas ripen on the exact same day. We constantly have way too many ready-to-eat bananas hanging around.
When I buy bananas I try to buy the smallest hand the vendor is willing to sell me. Which inevitably means that I end up with more than I want as they attempt to offload their produce before it spoils by kindly, but force-ably insisting that, I need more bananas. Even when we agree on a small bunch they will sneak a few more into my bag, declaring with a smile, “Don’t worry, free.” To avoid this I often forego buying bananas altogether. However when it is banana season, and they are everywhere, and they are so cheap and so delicious it is hard to resist.
So how do you use up all those banana’s?
Forced daily banana rations backfire our boat. After the 5th or 6th banana we are both about to sprout a prehensile tails and are sick of bananas. The rest then quickly turn to mush and end up getting tossed out.
Recently I went through a phase of drying banana chips in my hanging PanTRIE food dehydrator. The results were more like fruit leather than crunchy banana chips, and although still delicious they didn’t keep well. As the rainy season approached, and the days became more humid and less sunny, using a dehydrator that didn’t rely on electricity was no longer an option – whole batches of fruit got moldy before they had the opportunity to dry.
Of course, I have my favourite banana bread recipe. But recently I haven’t wanted to add extra sugar to our diets just to use up an already sweet ingredient. Besides the added sugar banana bread only gains you an additional couple of days in a banana battle- it is so moist that it tends to grow funky yellow mold after a day or so stored on the counter.
We don’t have a blender so the smoothie option is out. Which is fine with me, cause I am not really a smoothie kinda gal anyway. Fritters? Done. Frozen bananas, chocolate dipped bananas, bananas stuffed with marshmellows and chocolate chips and roasted over a fire? Done, done and done. Despite being delish, none of those recipes ever made it into regular rotation. Too time consuming, too sweet, too much banana.
Enter the 3 Ingredient Gluten Free Banana Pancake.
Simple, delicious and sweet without being cloying, this recipe truly showcases bananas. For the month that Steve was away working I made a batch every week, even purposely buying bananas to do so. I ate them with peanut butter for breakfast and then with slices of cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto for lunch. (Yes, sound gross but they were yummy, and my eating habits are more akin to that of a single university male when Steve is away.) And, when my resident Sunday morning pancake maker returned, I made a batch for him and won him over too.
I realize that I am way late to the banana pancake fad.
I am way late to most food fads since I rarely follow them, so nothing new for me. But I did think it was a recipe worth sharing. What I like best about this recipe is that it uses two staples that I always, always have on hand; eggs and oats. And, that it is so lovely and naturally sweet that you can just eat them naked…the pancakes I mean, not you…although if you live on a boat you’ll probably do that too.
These simple little discs tick all the boxes: simple, sweet, protein, bulk. So, I not only enjoy making them, I enjoy eating them and I feel satiated for hours. I prefer to use quick cooking oats in this recipe as they result in a slightly smoother pancake, and quite frankly I can rarely find rolled oats. I also found that if you let the batter rest for 15 minutes or so the oats will plump up and make a thicker batter.
Like Steve on Sunday morning I make smaller, canape size pancakes. I like the option of dressing each one differently and eating them with my hands, rather than drowning them in a pool of syrup and the whole affair requiring a knife and fork. Also, small pancakes are also easier to flip.
A few other notes.
Bananas are high in natural sugar, so these will burn easily, keep your eye on them. And you may need to add more oil to the pan throughout cooking.
The amounts of ingredients are not as important as the consistency of the final batter. You want a batter that is sludgy and will just barely hang together when tipped off a spoon. However, if it seems thin when first mixed wait until it rests to make adjustments, it will stiffen. Therefore, you can make this with as many bananas as you have, just add more egg and oats accordingly.
Also, freshly grated coconut takes these to another level….so do cocoa nibs.
3 Ingredient Gluten Free Banana Pancakes
Yeild: 16, 2″ Pancakes
N.B. These are considered GF as oats do not contain gluten. However, some oats are processed with equipment that also processes wheat, so if you, or someone you are cooking for, are gluten sensitive be sure you’re buying GF oats.
2 Large or 4-6 Small Bananas
2/3 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
Pinch of salt
Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl until fairly smooth. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add oats, mix well and let stand 15 minutes. Batter should be thickish and spoonable.
Heat a heavy bottom fry pan on medium heat, add a slick of oil. Drop batter by the soup spoonful onto hot pan, spreading slightly with back of spoon. Cook 3-5 minutes until firm golden, flip and brown opposite side.