Now the question of all questions, that after nine years of marriage my husband and I still can’t agree on, is do you have a meal and then pancakes on pancake day, or are the pancakes your only evening meal on pancake day? How do you do it in your house? It is something that we have not agreed on (I’m all about just having pancakes only on Shrove Tuesday). Which is why I tend to look for some that have a bit more of a nutritional benefit than your traditional options.
We all love making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, but when they are full of gluten, smothered in sugar and lemon juice, not everyone can enjoy them and they aren’t as healthy as they could be. Which is where an alternative comes in. I have tried plenty of banana pancakes before and egg-free pancakes, but plantain pancakes are a great gluten and sugar free alternative, that still packs a tasty punch.
But what is plantain?
Plantain looks just like a banana, and is a close relative of the yellow fruit, and it grows in 120 countries across the world, like Uganda, Colombia and Cameroon. Plantains are starchier, contain less sugar than bananas and are much more versatile as a cooking ingredient. Also, unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before eating. They have many similar health benefits to bananas though, such as plenty of potassium and fibre.
The recipe is shared with permission, from International TV chef Mick Elysee. The recipe draws on Mick’s Congolese roots and uses plantain as an alternative to flour, with a delicious honey and strawberry topping.
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1 very ripe plantain
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of semi skimmed milk (or almond or coconut milk according to your preference
- ½ a vanilla pod
- 150g strawberries
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil per pancake
- Split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise and then scrape the inside with the tip of a knife to extract the seeds. Combine the plantain, eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla seeds and blend to obtain a creamy batter.
- Cook the pancakes in a hot frying pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil over a low heat.
- Once the pancakes are cooked, using the same frying pan add a table spoon of coconut oil . Stir fry the strawberries and add the honey. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
To serve, place the pancakes on a plate and top with the strawberries and honey sauce. Although feel free to top the pancake with anything that you like – Nutella could be a naughty treat…
Mick Élysée is an international TV chef specialising in gourmet Afro-fusion cuisine. He regularly hosts pop-up restaurants around London, and his new healthy recipe book Not Guilty is due to be published in January 2018. For more information go to www.mickelysee.com