Birthday Banana Van PanCake... Cake

Birthday Banana Van PanCake... Cake

Somewhere in our radio silence there was a birthday, two actually, mine and then James's.

I'm wondering if this should be a meditation on growing older. On getting wiser and being ok with getting older? On laughing about how James and I precociously checked "freak-out about change, aging and mortality" off our life lists before graduating high school? Somehow I think that the internet doesn't need a lecture on growing older gracefully from a couple of twenty somethings (LATE twenty-somethings :P). I might schedule a freak-out reprise for my thirtieth, but right now, I'm pretty happy not having saved the world yet or "knowing what I want to do with my life." Or at least that's what I'm telling myself (or what James is telling me? is that voice in my head or just in the same enclosed space?). The Bay Area is a great place for FOMO. It's the birthplace of Instagram, the most aspirational social media platform, and literally 80% of all overheard conversations are buzzword smorgasbords about someone's startup. It's hard to forget the giants who built empires before they grew out of top-ramen and pizza. So, while we haven't really been freaking out about getting older, and while our #vanlife status is still set to indefinite, our generalized soul searching has absorbed some Silicon Valley flavor. We toss around ideas, discuss even the shitty ones, explore connections, debate values, ask WHY five (and a half million) times, and generally come back to "let's go hiking and eat chocolate." 

So yeah. On James's birthday weekend he drove the panoramic highway while I freaked out about the chaos of our peripatetic bay area life, whether the project we're investigating for a friend is THE way I want to make my mark on the world, and how lame I think I am for not climbing V6 yet or being in 50 miler shape anymore. Then James reminded me I was being silly. I huffed and whined, and then locked all the thinking in the van and we went for a run-hike-stroll. It took approximately 45 seconds for the sea breeze, sunshine, winding dirt trails and panoramic views to completely reset my brain. I spent the whole, Suunto-free adventure smiling like a loon. Then we parked in a scenic pullout and made birthday pancake cake for dinner. So yeah, adulting.


This is a cake for when you don't have an oven, or you really like your frosting, or you're in a hurrry, or ...... basically whenever. It's gluten free and refined sugar free too, so you could probably call it healthy.

In a food processor or strong blender, grind:
1c dry roasted cashews
1c dry roasted hazelnuts, (you can get these from Trader Joe's)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
(storebought peanut and almond butter would also probably work)

Then in a bowl, NOT the food processor, fold in:
1/4 c cacao powder
1/3c maple syrup
If you try to blend in the maple syrup, the mix will seize and you can maybe rescue it by adding a few tablespoons of coconut cream, but best not to risk it 😜

3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
3 tbsp oil (coconut if you don't mind melting, otherwise organic canola)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4C buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt

In a big bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then mix in the eggs, oil and vanilla. Sprinkle all the dry ingredients on top and stir well. Drop 1/4 cup pancakes onto a hot, dry enameled cast iron pan (or a lightly oiled cast iron). Use a a twist lid ziplock container like a cookie cutter to trim the finished pancakes, or go rustic and don't care.

Spread frosting on top of all the pancakes, stack them up and frost the outside. Decorate with toppings and dig in! Serves two as a "meal" :P

PS. If you hike a lot, particularly on weekdays, you start to realize that older people OWN the trails. They're out there unpretentiously killing it, enjoying the movement and taking it all in without stopping to take a bunch of selfies on a mountaintop. #lifegoals #onedayIllbeanoldtrailrunner #thatdayisnottoday