Bananas Foster is a traditional New Orleans dessert, made with bananas, rum, and vanilla ice cream. See it as a banana split for adults! The bananas are sautéed in a mixture of butter, sugar, and cinnamon, until they are brown and soft. Rum is added and flambéed, and the dish is then served with a topping of vanilla ice cream. Bananas Foster was first created in 1951, but these days you can find many variations in the city of New Orleans: Bananas Foster French toast, Bananas Foster pain perdu, and even Bananas Foster cream pie.
The number of variations of banana pudding are endless. Most banana puddings consist of layers of bananas (obviously), vanilla custard, and wafers (or cookies). When served, it’s topped with whipped cream. The amounts of these ingredients are not set in stone either. You can add or reduce according to your taste. To make a no-bake version, simply whisk together 1 packet of instant vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups cold milk. Add in a can of condensed milk (or caramel) and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and stir until the mixture is smooth. In a glass bowl (or smaller glasses for individual servings), layer with vanilla wafers (or cookies), sliced bananas, and the pudding mixture. Chill until you are ready to serve. Make sure to add plastic wrapping on top of the pudding to avoid a skin from forming. Feel free to add peanut butter, chocolate, or even salted caramel.
Grain Free Granola
You can make a delicious good-for-you granola, with less sugar (thanks to the sweetness from bananas). Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Mix together 1 cup cashews, 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup desiccated coconut, ½ cup pumpkin seeds, ½ cup sunflower seeds, 1 tsp nutmeg, and 2 tsp cinnamon. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup coconut oil, 2 mashed bananas, 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup), and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Combine the dry seed-mix with the mashed banana, and spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 min, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Cool and store in a sealed jar.
Banana Nice Cream
If you think you won’t be able to eat your bananas before they go brown, save them for later to make banana nice cream (healthy ice cream). Simply peel and slice ripe bananas (not overripe), and store in the freezer. When you want to make ice cream, you can add the frozen banana slices together with a bit of milk in a food processor. Make it vegan by using almond or soy milk. Blitz until smooth and enjoy! If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try adding more flavors.
Chocolate – add a few drops vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
Mint Choc Chip – use a small amount of peppermint extract and cacao nibs.
Peanut Butter – add a few drops vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
Strawberry – add ½ cup frozen strawberries and a few drops of vanilla. For a creamier taste, use coconut milk.
Pina Colada – add ½ cup frozen pineapple and use coconut milk.
What’s your favorite way to use bananas? Tell us in the comments below!