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!)