Bananas are pretty far from Indiana produce, but in the middle of winter, there’s not much in the way of fresh local fruit. (We are officially jealous of all of you in milder climates — including you, California.)
Much as we love working with local produce, we do keep a balance with a little not-so-local as well. “All things in moderation” is a motto we embrace — since we find it more sustainable to generally eat in a certain way than to completely cut something from our diet.
So, we hit up some tropical produce for a winter dessert to finish the menu you see below, which we served for some dear friends a bit ago. I’ve included the menu here because menu planning is something we’ve been wanting to talk about for a while as well. Recipes are one thing, but figuring out how to tie things together into a cohesive meal takes some practice. Starting out, this was something I found the most difficult. We’re hoping to touch on this a bit in our Healthy + Whole series — and as with many things, I find that the easiest way to learn it is to take a look at examples and start trying things (rather than read a list of Do’s and Don’ts).
The dessert is delicious and quite easy — it simply involves slicing some bananas, drizzling with honey and cinnamon, and roasting them in foil packets in the oven. Paired with some crunchy toasted coconut and vanilla Greek yogurt, it tastes almost decadent. It’s a great gluten-free choice, and also naturally sweet. I prepped the packets before our guests arrived, and then threw them in the oven before enjoying them at the end of the meal.
And if anyone’s counting, this dessert was actually partly local – that mint was actually from our mint patch, buried under some snow and winter weeds. Hardy stuff.
- 4 bananas
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 nubs butter (1 per serving -- about 2 tablespoons total)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 7 ounces Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut each banana in half length wise, then into smaller pieces (or if desired, keep whole). Place the pieces of each banana on a square of aluminum foil. On each banana, top with 1 tablespoon honey, 1 nub butter, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and one pinch kosher salt (taking care so that the cinnamon does not clump). Fold over the top of each piece of aluminum foil and fold in the sides to create a packet.
- Roast the packets for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile (or beforehand, for easy assembly), toast ¼ cup shredded coconut in a small dry skillet -- stirring constantly for several minutes until it browns. When the coconut is just starting to become browned, take it off the heat and continue stirring. (Be VERY careful; it burns quite easily.)
- Make the vanilla yogurt by stirring together 7 ounces Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey and ¼ teaspoon vanilla.
- To serve, place roasted bananas in a dish (or on a small plate). Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and toasted coconut.