THE cake

Usually, if “everyone” else is doing something, I try to swim against the current – or at least I don’t admit that I am one of “them”. In this case, (I typoed cake) my defense is that I was happily here in Hong Kong, flippin’ my pancakes just like no one’s business, and then it started to appear in my Facebook stream and blogs all over Finland. I don’t know about the rest of the world, and sharing is caring – especially when it comes to all things yum-yum good. Therefore, I am proud to present you: the ridiculously simple, versatile, (and healthy) Protein Pancake! It has been a while since I posted about food, but I’d say this was worth the wait.

So…to the cake.

Banana pancake, by Dita Margarita
Banana pancake, by Dita Margarita

Ingredients
– 2 eggs (or egg white and one whole egg, or 2 whites and one whole, however and which color you like)
– Banana (preferably ripe, dotted and smushy)
– Coconut oil or butter for frying (or any other oil you wish to use)

That’s it. You mash the banana and whisk (or blend) it with the eggs. How ever lumpy you like it, go for it. Fry on medium heat, flip and munch away!

But…that’s not all. With this simple base, you can go beyond bananas! My imagination has led to the following conclusions for successful additions:
– Oats. You can either roast them on the pan for a nuttier, crunchier consistency, or let them soak in the base mix for a while before frying
– Nuts (cashew, dry roasted peanuts). Roast, and crunch on top of the pancake before flipping
Chocolate chips cocoa nibs. Nuff said.
– Grated ginger. Gives a nice fresh touch
– Cinnamon powder/vanilla or cacao, to smoothen out the banana flavor
– Powder. Your preferred protein powder, herb blend or cordyceps would boost this baby to a new level
– Coconut/almond flour for thicker pancakes: I haven’t tried, but I saw someone did it and apparently it worked since it was worth a blog post
– Chia seeds/quinoa, again for the mouth feel (and added nutrients)

And what comes to toppings….well, use your imagination. I’ll give just few personal favorites: baked fruit pieces (apples, pear), honey (erhm, nut butter…).

This pancake makes a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, post-workout treat or a midnight snack, and seriously, I have yet to discover what could be easier to make. Since I am not a big fan of banana, I will try substitutions for that: maybe avocado or over-ripe papaya would work. And I’ll promise to try my best to get a good picture of the pancakes before eating them.

Have you heard of this miracle before? What is your favorite combo?

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Eat Moomin

Usually people have no clue about what or where Finland is, but in Japan I can proudly say I am from Finland. In few occasions with my Swedish friends, the people asking our origin don’t understand the word “Suweeden”, but start “aahing”, smiling and nodding when I say Finland. Why is Finland so well known and popular? Not because of ice hockey or Angry Birds (which is not so popular to begin with). It’s Santa Claus and Moomin!

Moomin cafe, Tokyo Dome
Moomin cafe, Tokyo Dome

After seeing the Moomin cafe in Fukuoka, I of course had go to see the other two highly popular ones in Tokyo as well.

Tokyo Skytree, waiting time unknown
Tokyo Skytree, waiting time unknown

The verdict (without actually trying the menu):
All of the Moomin cafes are very adorable, and they have the Moomin atmosphere. The plush toys and books are comfy addition to the decoration, and the moomin background “music” surely reminds of the animation series (even though in Japanese and with different voice-overs).

Finnish color theme and happy customers
Finnish color theme and happy customers

My favorite of the cafes is definitely the Tokyo Dome one. Where as the menus in all of the cafes are similar, Japanified versions of something people might eat in Finland, in Tokyo Dome they also have a pretty decent selection of what seemed like pretty decent breads. Unfortunately, the bread buffet couldn’t be ordered without a meal. Having been bread-deprived for the last half year, I most likely would have gone overboard with the buffet alone.

I have never heard about blueberry coffee in Finland - and the "naminami" (yum yum) munkki doesn't sound familiar, either
I have never heard about blueberry coffee in Finland – and the “naminami” (yum yum) munkki doesn’t sound familiar, either

The menus in each cafe are a bit different, but all of them have cute “breads” (=sweet bread rolls) with Moomin characters on them. In all of the cafes, one can also enjoy (or “enjoy”) the Finnish Lapinkulta beer.

Moomins welcoming customers to come feel at home
Moomins welcoming customers to come feel at home

Visiting Moomin cafes is definitely interesting, no matter if you’re Finnish or not. If you don’t know what Moomin is, it will still be an experience. For me, the cafes were something familiar, yet something completely different from what we would have back home. The meals were kinda close to Finnish style food, but still very much like in other lunch cafes. The shops attached to the cafe sell more or less Finnish Moomin products for high prices, but at least some of the stuff (or Chinese versions of them) you can buy from other places as well.

Enjoy the Finland feeling and fall in love with Finland and the Nordic countries. From the land of lakes and snow
Enjoy the Finland feeling and fall in love with Finland and the Nordic countries. From the land of lakes and snow