A dessert to go bananas over — this is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free, but you’d never know it. Medjoul dates and maple syrup give this all the natural sweetness it needs, and the cinnamon and cardamom scent imparts comfort and warmth. Inspired by an ayurvedic recipe from Eat-Taste-Heal and a need to use up ripe bananas, this dish comes together in under 20 minutes. The toasted almonds on top give it some extra protein and a satisfying crunch. I made this for a mid-afternoon treat with my daughter, and wished I had more bananas to make it again for breakfast the next day – it’s so simple but satisfying and warming on a chilly spring day.
Date & Cinnamon Baked Bananas
Adapted from the “Baked Bananas with Orange & Cinnamon Sauce” recipe from Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living
- 4-6 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise so that they can lie flat
- 2 medjoul dates, pitted & coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup creamy coconut milk
- 2 Tbs. good maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (more for dusting)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Arrange halved bananas neatly in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer.
- In a blender, combine the dates, coconut milk, maple syrup, cardamom & cinnamon and blitz until smooth. Pour this sauce over the bananas, spreading evenly to cover them. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling and the bananas have softened.
- Meanwhile, toast the almond slivers in a single layer in a frying pan (no oil) over medium heat, flipping the almonds occasionally and watching so that they don’t overbrown; when they are just golden and crisp, remove from the heat.
- Plate the baked bananas and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and the toasted almonds. (An additional dusting of confectioners sugar makes a pretty presentation, but is unnecessary — we preferred it without!)
April 21, 2014 at 11:34 am
I’m just pondering over using bananas in a dessert… You must have read my mind! Loving the use of spices, sounds delicious.
April 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm
Thanks, it seems we are often on the same wavelength! I was considering making the usual banana bread, which I love, but didn’t have the hour-plus cooking time to wait around. This is so quick & simple, and a more healthful option 🙂
April 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm
Love the idea of the date/coconut/cardamom sauce! Yum! PS You are a only a couple of steps away from baking!!
April 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm
Thanks, Selma, glad this appeals to you too – I love the spices here. I do love to try my hand at baking sometimes, but need to work up to trying those beautiful hot-cross buns you made! Those are perfection!
April 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm
Laura, this is a great recipe not totally unlike the tahini date banana thing I did a couple weeks ago, but over oatmeal, although I didn’t realize that the ingredients can be part of an ayurvedic recipe . . . please more info on this I love the ayurvedic concept! I like the use of almonds and cinnamon, and it seems such a tasty, simple, wholesome and quick dish. Some times the simplest things are the best!!!
April 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm
Sue, I must have had your recipe on the brain because I was thinking this would go great with oatmeal! The original recipe in the Ayurvedic book calls for raisins and orange juice, but I was craving dates. Thanks for your comments! I am fascinated by ayurvedic ways but have only read a little bit about this school of thought. One of the basic beliefs is that there are primarily three constitutions called “dosha” (Vata, Pitta & Kapha), and what we eat/our daily routines either complement our dosha or cause an imbalance. The recipe in this book is for Vata types like me, I think because the warming spices calm and soothe us. You can google about doshas and do a questionnaire to figure out what best fits you. Hope this helps!
April 21, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Yes it does . . . apparently I am Vata/Pitta. Makes sense!
April 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm
We just served a heavy Middle Eastern meal and didn’t have a good quick, light recipe for dessert. I wish I had seen this last week because this would have been a perfect light treat after dinner. The dates and cardamom would have fit the theme very well, and I just love bananas.
April 21, 2014 at 6:55 pm
How I’d love to taste your Middle Eastern feast, Ngan! Sounds wonderful. Thanks for the compliment on this simple dessert! It’s certainly quick & light, and I think you’re right about the dates & cardamom fitting well with middle eastern cuisine.
April 22, 2014 at 3:33 am
This looks so tasty, Laura! I picture myself eating it a la mode! Yum!
April 22, 2014 at 4:12 am
MMMMM. Looks fantastic.
April 22, 2014 at 7:50 am
Lovely idea Laura!
April 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm
This looks great and it sounds so easy… 🙂 Not a big fan of dates, but in this recipe it does sound tempting. 🙂