It has been almost five months since we first went wheat free.  Time is flying, and we’re still having fun.  It really hasn’t been a difficult change – perhaps if we’d cut out rice and potatoes from the start, it might have been more difficult.   As it stands we will still embrace the occasional potato, mound of jasmine rice, and bit of a wheat-free baked good with brown sugar, but only once or twice a month at most.  Our substitutions are turning out to be just as yummy as the originals, and in some cases, we enjoy them even more, for example, our spaghetti squash spaghetti, flourless peanut butter cookies, and cauliflower-topped shepherd’s pie.  Some are my own improvisations, others are adapted from the recipes of the growing numbers of fantastic wheat-free, gluten-free, and paleo cooks out there.  I have a pinterest board set up with several of the recipes I’ve found, if you need some ideas:  Wheat-free and easy

So far, I’ve lost 15 pounds, at a pretty steady average of 3 pounds lost each month, and Chris has lost 25 pounds.  Our little one, who I was sure had never eaten wheat before, has actually had wheat twice – once when she was about 5 months old and a nice Chinese woman presented her with a fortune cookie that she tasted the corner of, and some “toasted oats,” an old off-brand box of cereal I was getting rid of by taking it with us to feed the ducks.  She gobbled up the handful she grabbed, instead of throwing them into the pond.  She wasn’t impressed, just hungry.  But other than that, the whole family has been eating tons of whole unprocessed foods, and we’re feeling great as a result.

We’ve had our fair share of people expressing obvious irritation, or at minimum surprise, at our “lifestyle,” but thankfully my family isn’t really batting an eye.  They probably think it’s just another phase like my eight year reign as Vegetarian.  But I have to give them credit – my mom has already picked out a wheat free recipe and tried it, and my brother has suggested eating this way to one of his friends who has had such intestinal trouble that she had to have surgery.  I know that more than half of all people may not need to avoid wheat and gluten, but I think science will catch up to the idea soon that many of us are quite sensitive to it, and would benefit from its elimination, even if we don’t have celiac disease (Dr. Oz has even come around on this one recently).  Kind of like the misunderstanding that buying organic is about the nutrients (rather than the avoidance of pesticides) , I think there is a misunderstanding that living wheat free is about dieting and gluten-free foods.  I think the U.S. has strayed too far away from what the word “food” really means, and I hope our nation can get back to healthier notions in my lifetime.

But enough soapbox now.  Let’s talk bananas.


My father is from Jamaica which means that I am lucky enough to have a whole host of delicious food still within my wheat-free reach.  And what isn’t naturally so, is easily adaptable.   But banana fritters???  I was sure I was going to have to leave that flour-filled breakfast treat behind me for good.  Not so, my friends, not so.  As of this morning, my beloved banana fritters are back on the table!  Here is my contribution to the world of wheat-free recipes:

Jamaican Banana Fritters

2 relatively small, very ripe, organic bananas (see top photo for size)
1 large egg
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (just trust me)
1.5 tsp coconut flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mash banana with a fork until quite mushy.  Sprinkle coconut flour on top and mix well.  Beat egg in separate dish and add to banana mixture.  Sprinkle baking powder over the top and mix thoroughly.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium in a large nonstick pan (you’ll need a lot more oil in a regular pan).  Drop heaping tablespoons of batter into hot oil and allow to spread.  Watch for bubbles to form on top (like pancakes) and lift one slightly to check the bottom for a nice golden brown color – then it’s time to flip.  Flipping is a delicate process:  they should hold together well when it’s time to flip them, but it has all the intensity of flipping a thin fried egg, so lift carefully, and try to have it land flat, as there is a slight tendency to fold (it’s worth the effort!).  You may have to experiment with the heat setting and the pan you choose, in order to get them just right.  Add the last 2 Tbsp of olive oil, if needed, and remove from heat when bottom is golden brown.  Place on a paper towel-covered plate to remove a bit of oil just before serving warm.

Serve however you wish!  I’m a purist when it comes to my fritters, but I bet they’d be good with heavy whipping cream on top, or served as a dessert with some ice cream, or maybe even as banana pancakes with maple syrup! 

The olive oil really doesn’t affect the flavor, unless I’m so used to using it for everything that I’m just not noticing it anymore.  Experiment with other oils if the idea of olive oil and banana is unappealing (pun intended).

It is supposed to be mushy in the middle, but you can experiment with using less banana too, and that might make for a flatter fritter.

Did you try it?  Or do something different but better?  Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!