The reason I became an expert on banana pancakes is a bleak but ultimately happy story. During an enthusiastic surfing lesson on the first day of a vacation in Bali, I got burned to a crisp, and, in order to stay out of the sun, I spent the rest of the vacation swathed in a sarong perfecting banana pancakes.
This is the result, though they are some way from the honey-drenched Indonesian ones that we ate on vacation. These have something of a banana bread feel to them and are vegan and gluten free, thanks to using pecans and oats instead of flour, and mashed bananas in place of butter. — Anna Jones, author of A Modern Way to Eat.
A note on coconut milk: Most supermarkets sell a ready-to-drink coconut milk, which comes in a carton and lives next to the soy and rice milks. In the UK, I use the KoKo brand. It works in most recipes instead of milk and lies somewhere between thick canned coconut milk and cloudy coconut water. I have it on my morning cereal and in tea. This is the coconut milk I use in most of my cooking as it is lighter in fat and calories than the heavier canned version. If you can’t get your hands on it, dilute canned coconut milk 50/50 with water or just use regular milk.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F to keep everything warm.
Grind the oats in a food processor just slightly, until you have a rough oat flour. Add to a bowl with the pecans and throw in the baking powder and salt.
Mix the mashed banana with the milk (you can do this in the food processor, if you like). If the batter looks very thick, add a little extra milk. Beat the banana mixture into the flour and leave the batter to sit for a few minutes.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, then add the banana slices and fry on both sides in the dry pan until brown and caramelized. Keep warm in the oven.
Put the pan back over medium heat and add a little coconut oil or butter. Drop in a healthy tablespoonful of batter for each pancake. Once the sides are cooked and bubbles have risen to the top, scatter over a handful of blueberries and flip the pancake over. Cook for another couple of minutes on the other side. The pancakes will stay a little moist in the middle because of the banana, so don’t worry. Keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
Serve the pancakes piled with the banana slices. Add some crumbled pecans and a squeeze of lime, and, if you like, a little touch of honey, agave, or maple syrup.
A scoop of coconut and banana ice cream turns these into a homey dessert too.