I had the good fortune to spend time in Puerto Rico, enjoying the beautiful sites, the warm weather and delicious food. On foot, we roamed a local neighborhood in search of a casual cafe with their own homegrown produce. The Las Vistas Cafe is an open-aired patio which is part of the proprietor’s home, with breathtaking views of the ocean. Gladys, the owner, greeted us with the warmth of a grandmother, as she did with all her guests. The first course was a beautiful plate of fresh fruit from her yard, along with a homemade cinnamon, honey and ginger sauce. We dined on some Puerto Rican brunch specialties including banana-coconut pancakes with all local ingredients. Everything was made with love in her kitchen. After this delicious and memorable meal, Gladys said good-bye to us with a hug.
At home, I made fluffy gluten-free pancakes using coconut flour and topping them with lightly toasted coconut flakes. Bob’s Red Mill makes a good quality coconut flour. The texture is different when using flour without gluten, so keep your eye on the pancakes as they cook. There will be only a few small bubbles and you’ll want to flip them as soon as they’re evenly browned.
- 8 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 (generous) cup ripe mashed bananas
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Coconut oil or other neutral oil, for greasing the pan
- Toppings: toasted coconut flakes, fresh berries, maple syrup
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, banana, water and vanilla, with a whisk or hand-mixer, until completely combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut flour with the baking soda and salt. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet, cast iron or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Scoop the batter onto the skillet and cook until golden brown on one side and flip and cook on the other side. The pancakes will rise and firm up when they are done. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm with the toasted coconut and fresh fruit. The pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and re-heated. Serves 4.