Grilled Stuffed Banana

by Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
Yum

What about dessert? Can you make that on the grill? We have been on a roll with ideas about how to cook dinner on the grill. It only seemed fitting that we would stretch the grilling to dessert as well. The answer is a million times: Yes! There are so many ideas that the challenge is where to start. We’ll begin with a simple and fast one, since that seems to please our audience the most. And by “audience,” I mean excited kids begging for a sweet treat after dinner. They can help prepare these grilled stuffed bananas as well and even individualize the dessert with their favorite toppings.

There is no reason to skip dessert when you focus on good ingredients and moderation, of course. Always reduce the simple sugars and increase nutrients by adding ingredients such as peanut butter. Any Once Again Nut Butter you pick will add a plethora of nutrients as well as protein, and as a bonus, they are a phenomenal match for grilling fruit.

Today we start with the staple of all kitchens across the country: bananas. It is amazing how versatile this little bit of packaged nature can be. Peel a large banana, because when it comes to desserts, the bigger the fruits to be grilled, the better. Using a knife, slice it vertically, from end to end, only about half way down. Pry it open carefully with a spoon so that you don’t completely separate the two halves. This is much easier done in real life than describing it with words. Now, add about two tablespoons of creamy or crunchy Once Again Peanut Butter. Top it with chocolate chips and coconut, and wrap the whole thing in foil. Place it on the upper shelf of your grill. Depending on the temperature of your grill, bananas should start to soften within 10 minutes. Check bananas with a fork and remove them from grill when desired. It can be a bit tricky to know when the bananas are done. We found that some people preferred them a bit more cooked, until when the bananas started to bubble up, while others preferred just slightly warmed banana with the toppings starting to melt. It will be up to you to test the preferred textures and see what’s your favorite way to enjoy these bananas. The good news is that the trial and error process can be quite delicious. There really is no wrong way to grill a stuffed banana!

My eight-year old daughter came up with a s’more stuffed banana recipe by adding graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows to her grilled banana. She makes her mom proud with her creativity when it comes to food! The next fruit to tackle on the grill will be peaches, but we’d love to hear what you want us to grill up next. Just add your suggestions to our comments and come back to see what we’ve put together for you.

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