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The Versatile and Gluten Free Banana Pancake

Updated on April 17, 2018
Banana Pancake with Blueberries
Banana Pancake with Blueberries

Wheat free and gluten free

Here’s something novel that your kids will love!

One of my daughters has lived in several intentional communities (ICs), most of which are self-sufficient agricultural communities. But during this past year, she spent some time at Teaching Drum, an intentional community devoted to primitive survival skills. These skills include living off the land by hunting, fishing, trapping, and foraging.

When she visited me this summer, we had great fun foraging for cattail stalks and pollen, flowering milkweed tops, and gooseberries. We also had fun cooking with this stuff.

But the most memorable recipe Wren brought back from Teaching Drum is not, in and of itself, a wild food recipe—though it can be adapted to include many wild foods.

Wren’s most memorable recipe—which she says she became addicted to, and that I’ve become addicted to—was the Banana Pancake. Obviously, you cannot forage for Banana Pancake ingredients in the wild, except for the eggs—maybe. Wisconsin, where Teaching Drum is located, is not known for its wild banana trees, so those have to come from the store. But many wild ingredients can be added to Banana Pancakes.

The Banana Pancake is free of wheat and all other grain products. It is, unfortunately, not free of carbs, since bananas are somewhat high in carbs. One banana contains 26 grams of carbs—about the same or only slightly less than the grams of carbs in a 6-inch pancake prepared from a mix.

The basic recipe is very simple.


This recipe serves one person. The recipe will still fit in a normal-sized skillet if doubled to serve two, though you may have to cut it in half and turn the halves separately.

Mash one banana and mix well with one egg. Pour this batter into a cast-iron skillet in which you have melted about two tablespoons of butter. Cook slowly over medium-low heat. When slightly browned on the bottom, turn it over and finish cooking the other side.

The main key to making a good Banana Pancake—as with most egg dishes—is to cook it over low heat and let it get pretty well done before attempting to turn it. Done this way, the pancake will hold together when turned.


As with regular pancakes, there is just no end to the ways you can jazz these up. One of my favorite ways to jazz up regular pancakes is to add a small amount of coconut oil. This also works with Banana Pancakes.

Devotees of primitive survival and foraging may enjoy adding wild berries of all kinds to the batter, such as blueberries and blackberries. Elderflowers are another traditional addition to pancakes and other baked goods; they make pancakes and baked goods fluffy and add a “Muscat” flavor. Cattail pollen is also a nice addition to the batter. Use as little or as might as seems right to you.

Some our other favorite additions to Banana Pancake batter are nuts (pecans or walnuts), coconut flakes, and almond flour.


Great toppings for Banana Pancakes include honey, maple syrup, fruits and berries of all kinds, fruit preserves—and of course, butter.


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