I was done showering and had just wrapped my towel around my still-wet hair when the doorbell rang. Rushing to the door, I opened it and greeted my friend Jeanie with a hug.
We’d made a date to have tea at my place before her trip to Lima, Peru. She was finishing up with her five-month Latin American trip and it was the last week before she would be flying back to Singapore.
Over the last few months of her staying in Argentina, we’d gone for quite a few dinners (including Indian at Tandoor twice!) and over intimate conversations we’d become good friends. Now that her trip has come to a close (she flew back last night), I feel a tinge of sadness, to say goodbye to a friend who I’ll definitely miss hanging out with.
So that Tuesday afternoon, right in the middle of the work week, we arranged to meet up and chill at home.
The moment she entered my small apartment, she sat down at the dining table and opened the container of cookies in front of her, popping one straight into her mouth.
“I’m famished!” she exclaimed between bites of cookie, her eyes wide and expressive. I told her to wait, and hold her hunger, because in my fridge was a large stack of pancakes waiting to be devoured.
These were the grain-free pancakes that I’d made for our Sunday brunch with Juan.
And because the recipe served up quite a large batch, I’d wrapped them in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge, for any snacking moment.
Alas came that moment, when Jeanie’s proclamation of hunger saw these pancakes be taken out of the fridge and heated up.
“Fruit?” I asked.
“Definitely!” she replied, without even skipping a beat.
And so I sliced up some bananas atop the pancakes, drizzled a teaspoon of honey over, and placed one plate for her, one for me.
“You know why I love coming to your house?” Jeanie asked.
I shook my head, busy indulging in my banana-and-honey-topped pancakes, amazed at how good they tasted even after a few days in the fridge.
“Because you feed me. There’s always something yummy to eat.”
I grinned. I loved the answer, because sometimes, it’s good to know that people appreciate the food you cook.
But more than that, I loved knowing that I was doing what I’d grown to love – to feed and nourish others.
More than just the effort it takes to cook and whip up a meal (be it simple hamburgers on the grill or a more elaborate dish of salmon and Brussels sprouts), feeding others also costs money to buy the ingredients, and it costs time to shop and pick out fresh vegetables and meats.
As I mentioned in my last post, the process of cooking (especially when it’s for someone you love) is probably the best way to describe love, whether between lovers, friends or family.
And while it seems illogical, it’s this act of giving generously – the giving of time, effort and money – in the form of a home-cooked meal or snack, that gives back so much to you.
It’s knowing that you’re literally nourishing someone by meeting their hunger, and in sharing the same table and eating the same food, you both bond even without trying hard to.
I think I’ve finally understood the passion I have for cooking; other than it literally being a means to fill my stomach, it’s also a way of fueling and filling our lives.
To feed, to nourish.
To feed and be fed.
These grain-free pancakes, I promise you, will fill and feed you and leave you satisfied.
The batter is made with almonds, ground into a fine flour in the food processor, and then mixed with tapioca flour, a dash of salt and some baking powder. Along with these ingredients also go a cup of milk, a mashed ripe banana, eggs, honey, and vanilla extract.
Once the batter’s ready, scoop just a small amount of it (about 1/4 cup) into a pan and let it cook in melted butter. The smaller size of the pancakes make them easy to flip, and also look so much cuter! Once they’ve been cooked, you can top the pancakes with any fruit of your choice, drizzle on some honey or maple syrup if you prefer, and there you go!
Now go feed and nourish someone you love. Or go feed and nourish yourself <3
P.S. I’ve found a wonderful Paleo blog called Paleo Spirit – where I’ve adapted this recipe from as well as a couple of others! Lea, the blog’s owner, has such a lovely humor and sounds just like an amazing friend you’d love to meet over pancakes or muffins. Do check her blog out if you’re into grain-free living like I am!
GRAIN-FREE BANANA ALMOND PANCAKES (Makes 16 small pancakes)
Adapted from: Paleo Spirit
1) 1 ½ cups of almond flour or almond meal (I ground whole almonds in the food processor)
2) ¾ cup tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch)
3) ½ teaspoon baking powder
4) ¼ teaspoon salt
5) 1 cup milk
6) 1 ripe banana, mashed (around ½ cup)
7) 3 large eggs
8) 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
9) 1 tablespoon of raw honey
10) 1-2 tablespoons of butter, for frying the pancakes
11) 1 banana, sliced into small pieces (for topping)
12) Honey (for topping)
1) Combine the dry ingredients (almond flour/meal, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt) in a medium bowl
2) In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, mashed banana, eggs, vanilla extract, and honey together
3) Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined
4) Pre-heat a non-stick pan and melt a little butter
5) Scoop about ¼ cup of batter in the middle of the pan to make small pancakes (the smaller the pancakes, the easier it will be to flip them)
6) Let the pancake cook on one side until it automatically unsticks from the pan, then flip it over until the other side turns golden brown
7) Repeat last step until all the batter is used up
8) Serve pancakes warm with cut bananas drizzled in honey
P.S. If you’re wondering why I’m trying to eliminate wheat from my life, I strongly recommend Wheat Belly – a book that will empower you and make you determined to get rid of wheat and it’s terrible health effects!