Start to Finish: 15 to 25 minutes Servings: 1 Difficulty Level: Beginner
Roasting a banana brings out all the sweetness and creaminess not all that evident when eaten as an on-the-go snack. You can bake a banana with caramelized sugar or tweak the technique by grilling the fruit first and adding extra sweetness later.
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Directions for Oven Roasting
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel the banana and slice it in half lengthwise. Spoon half of the melted butter into a small baking dish and swirl the dish so the butter coats the bottom. Place the halves into the baking dish cut-side down.
Drizzle the remaining butter over the bananas. Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Carefully spoon the mixture over the bananas, aiming to get as much as possible on the fruit rather than on the dish. Some of the sugar will melt down the sides of the banana during cooking to make a caramel syrup.
Bake the bananas until they're soft and the sugar has bubbled, or about 20 minutes.
Directions for Grilling
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.
Slice the unpeeled banana lengthwise. Peeled bananas become too soft to work with on the grill. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
Brush the cut sides of the bananas with half of the melted butter. Place them, cut-side down, on the grill. Let them cook for about 5 minutes. Use tongs to carefully flip the bananas over. Brush another layer of butter onto the cut sides and sprinkle on the brown sugar mixture. Let the bananas cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sugar is melted and the peel is starting to darken.
Use the tongs to remove the bananas from the grill. Let them cool for a few minutes. Run a spoon between the flesh and the peel to separate them, then slide the peel out.
Tips and Alternatives
For the best results, your bananas must be ripe. If the peels have even a hint of green, hold off on roasting for a few days. The banana is best for roasting when it has a speckled brown peel but no dark spots on the flesh itself.
This recipe makes a fairly quick and easy single-serving dessert, but you can easily make a big batch at once by multiplying everything. These bananas can be refrigerated and served cold the next day, but start to brown if they're not eaten right away.
Switch up your roasted bananas by experimenting with toppings. Instead of making the brown sugar mixture, drizzle honey over a buttered banana and sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg directly on top. Pull the bananas out of the oven 5 minutes early and dot them with mini chocolate chips, then return the dish to the oven to melt the chips. If you're grilling the fruit, add the chocolate chips when you sprinkle on the sugar mixture. Alternately, top the bananas with chopped pecans or mini marshmallows for the final few minutes of cooking. * Serve roasted bananas over vanilla ice cream, top them with chocolate pudding, layer pieces inside s'mores or cut them into chunks and add them to granola.
Kathryn Walsh has been writing about health, wellness and beauty for nearly 10 years. Her work has appeared on sites including USAToday.com, Mamapedia and Livestrong.com.