A Houseguest and Flourless Banana Pancakes

Sometimes I open a door, or look up at a restaurant, or start listening to the conversations around me and remember suddenly that I live in Thailand. It’s a strange feeling, almost like when you’re falling asleep and suddenly are jolted awake with the feeling that you’re falling and need to catch yourself. Some days it feels like I am walking around in a dream, not realizing that I am where I am, just trying to live my life. Then, abruptly, I remember why it’s so sticky outside, why the world around me is so vibrant, and why everyone is speaking an unfamiliar language. I had one of these moments a day ago when I was sitting on our makeshift couch, reading a book and a gecko suddenly let out their reminiscent cry: “Geck-oo, geck-oo!” Though I hear these constantly in our Thai-style palm-frond-roof house, I was startled and blinked to see my life with new eyes for a moment. From an island in Maine to an even smaller island in Thailand, I’ve picked up my life and I’m chasing my dreams of adventure and exploration. It’s totally crazy, completely scary, and happily thrilling!

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I have a new houseguest! She’s furry, and tiny, and super-duper loveable. I named her Mapraw (with a little help from my Thai friend Dada), which means coconut. She’s the most talkative, cuddly cat I’ve ever met, and we warmed to each other right away.

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Dada and I happened upon her one drizzly evening in the middle of the road, right in the way of motorbikes and tuk-tuks. She ran into some nearby bushes, but not wanting her to run back into the road, we stayed for a while to see if her mom would bring her to safety. No mother cat showed, so I picked her up and brought her home. From what I can tell, she’s about five weeks old, and she was certainly a stray cat, of which there are a lot here on the island, and was quite malnourished. I plan on trying to find her a more permanent home, since I will be in Thailand for about two years and wouldn’t want to raise her and then leave her behind. But until I find her a loving home, I am doing my best to help fatten her up and coddle her endlessly!

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I wanted to make something to honor my new friend. I never truly loved, or to be honest, even liked, coconut until I moved here. Its taste never appealed to me until it was everywhere and hard to avoid. Now, in no time, I love it! I crave fresh coconut water when I’m feeling dehydrated, I oil pull with coconut oil when I remember (Lil, I’ve been awful about doing it every day… I need a better morning routine!), and I love it in fresh smoothies at a restaurant, especially for breakfast. So, it only seemed right to include coconut into the first recipe I decided to share with you ladies, in a testament to new love, if nothing else. And, in accordance with my wheat flourless diet as of late, I needed a new pancake recipe (because I believe that pancakes of some form are a necessity!). When I ran across a recipe for these pancakes from Green Kitchen Stories, I knew it was fate. I adapted them, Thai-style, and made them this morning.

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The original recipe calls for blueberries. I would love it if blueberries grew locally in Thailand… but I think there is no chance of that where I am living! So, I decided to go a more nutty route. I added sliced almonds instead, to give them more of a banana bread pancake feel. It worked! I’m sure you can add any type of delicious berry or nut you would want, so there are endless amounts of new deliciousness to try! I also added some vanilla to the batter, and instead of maple syrup (Which is a zillion dollars in the grocery store here!) I topped the finished cakes with plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey and a bit more cinnamon. I couldn’t even tell they didn’t have loads and loads of flour in them! They gave me the energy I needed to chase this new little rug-rat around!

Flourless Coconut Banana Pancakes (adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)

3 ripe bananas

6 fresh eggs

1 cup of shredded coconut

½ cup of sliced almonds

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of vanilla coconut oil, for frying

Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork. Crack and mix the eggs, then add to the bananas along with the coconut, almonds, cinnamon and vanilla.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat, and add 3 or 4 small portions of batter to the pan and fry on both sides. Top with yogurt and honey or maple syrup (and of this I will envy you!).

Enjoy! More adventures and pictures from Thailand soon!

xoxo,

Em

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