We spent a wonderful week on the East Coast. Thanksgiving was spent at the farm in Virginia and we then drove off to DC to stay with our friends. I haven't visited D.C since we moved some 2 1/2 years ago and boy, has the city changed! There's a much more vibrant food scene, in fact I couldn't keep with all the new spots to try out. The city has also changed quite a bit, most of my friends have moved to the NE region of the city which is also where most of the city is growing and changing. And, I also learned quickly, that I am not at all used to chilly winds.
Let's get back to the farm, we ate a lot of good food at the farm. Fresh warm biscuits from the oven with "traffic jam", pickled beans from the farm and the last of the kale from the farm before the snow kills it off. It was a food fiesta as one should expect in Southern parts of Virginia and North Carolina.
The day off Thanksgiving, I decided to prepare a rather light brekfast because I knew we had a huge meal to face. I made my grandma's banana fritters which are one of the easiest and tastiest things to make at home and I've "veganized" them so you don't need an egg or a bottle of milk to pour into the batter, in fact I used Califia Farms sweetened almond milk. Fritters are like a mini pancake but a little different, you'll probably get them served hot, straight off the stove in a Goan household for breakfast but more so with tea in the evening. Bananas form the bulk of the batter and they make the final pancake soft and chunky. Ya don't need chocolate chips in this, just a little dash of warm cinnamon and some sugar or maple syrup for sweetness!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these fritters;
- You can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped into the batter if you don't want to use cinnamon.
- Maple syrup or honey are good options here for a complex flavor of sweetness.
- Caramelizing the bananas in the oven helps to soften the fruit's tissue and release a lot of the liquid while also burning the sugar to create a delicious complex aftertaste in the fritters.
cinnamon banana fritters
makes: a dozen two-inch fritters
4 large bananas
1 cup (113g) whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt or regular kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for frying
Place a wire rack at the lower two-thirds level of the oven and preheat to 400F. Take the bananas and place them in a baking dish or pan and place in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until they skin in black. The skin will burst and release some of the fruit's juices into the pan (This fine and if the juice gets caramelized a little, it is a good thing). Remove the bananas from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Peel the bananas carefully and discard the skin. Transfer the fruit pulp to a large mixing bowl and scrape off any caramelized bits and
Add the flour, sugar (or maple syrup), cinnamon, salt, almond milk and 2 tablespoons of oil to the bananas in the bowl. Using a potato masher or whisk, combine all the ingredients until there are no visible specks of flour left and most of the banana is mashed up. It is okay to have a few lumps of fruit left behind in the batter.
Heat some oil in a cast-iron skillet or non stick pan on medium-high heat. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of batter on the hot greased pan and cook the fritters on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown like pancake. Transfer the cooked fritters on to a tray lined with a kitchen paper towel and cook the remaining fritters in batches of 3 to 4. Serve hot.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Califia Farms, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.