Bananas Baked in Phyllo with Date-Sweetened Chocolate Sauce

by on December 3, 2012
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Bananas Baked in Phyllo (Fillo) with Date-Sweetened Chocolate Sauce

My daughter and I came up with this recipe one afternoon when we were in the mood for a quick treat and I had some leftover phyllo dough in the fridge. We call it “Wrap Your Banana,” but that sounds more like a public service announcement than a recipe! Normally we just sprinkle it with a little cinnamon sugar, but that’s so ridiculously easy that I hesitated to post it, so I fancied it up with a rich-tasting chocolate sauce that is free of refined sugar and fat.

Some Tips for Working with Phyllo

Phyllo (also spelled Fillo) is not an oil-free food, but one 9×14-inch sheet of Athens Fillo contains only 1/5 of a gram of fat, making it acceptable to me as an occasional treat. It’s not hard to work with if you keep some things in mind:

  • If you’re using frozen phyllo, place it in the refrigerator to thaw at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Have your work surface and all your other ingredients prepared and ready before you remove the phyllo from the fridge.
  • Work quickly. Unwrap the dough onto a clean surface lined with parchment or plastic wrap. Cover it with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel and keep it covered as much as possible.
  • If a sheet tears slightly, don’t worry. You can probably still use it in this recipe. If it’s too torn, just throw it away and get another.
  • When you’re finished, wrap the leftover phyllo in the plastic wrap and then place it in a zip-lock bag. It’ll keep in the fridge for another week or in the freezer for 2 months. Or better yet, keep it out and make my delicious Spinach and Artichoke Pie for dinner.



The trick to this easy dessert is to bake the bananas long enough to lightly brown the top of the phyllo while the bananas become slightly caramelized and begin to exude a delicious syrup. Be sure you capture all of that syrup and spoon it onto the finished dessert. I like to divide the banana syrup among the plates and put the baked bananas on top and then add a drizzle of chocolate sauce. But if you don’t want to take the time to make the sauce, this dessert is equally delicious with just a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar added just before serving.

Bananas Baked in Phyllo with Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce

Bananas Baked in Phyllo with Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce

More Low-Fat Fun with Phyllo

Apple-Cranberry Strudel PieApple-Cranberry Strudel Pie, here on FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Grilled Rum Peaches in Phyllo from GirlieGirl Army
Phyllo Nests Topped with Sorbet from The Perfect Pantry
Crisp Blueberry Shortcakes from Dish ‘n That
Apple-Phyllo Strudel from First Look Then Cook

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annie December 3, 2012 at 11:53 am

Susan Voisin, I love you. (I love your recipes too). I was just reading recently about how much sugar and fat the average person eats over the holidays. I will feel so happy to make this recipe. And I should have thought of date sweetened chocolate sauce myself but I didn’t, of course. I needed you to do that for me.

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2 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance December 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm

“We call it “Wrap Your Banana,” but that sounds more like a public service announcement than a recipe”. LOL. Seriously–just cracked up at my desk reading that.

I think simple desserts/treats are the best. This was a great idea!

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3 Susan Voisin December 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I’m glad I could make you smile! :-)

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4 Jodye @ Chocolate and Chou Fleur December 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Bananas I’m not so crazy about (unless they’re in the form of vegan soft serve), but this recipe sure does make them appealing! What I’m most excited about, though, is the date sweetened chocolate sauce. I eat chocolate and dates together as a snack quite often, but I can envision replacing that with this sauce drizzled over all sorts of things!

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5 dyannne December 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Love this idea and the chocolate sauce is fabulous! So easy and not one ingredient I will feel guilt over. :-)

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6 Ruth December 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Susan, any idea how much dried chopped dates I could use to equal to 4 medjool dates? 4 tbsps. maybe? Dried chopped (pitted) dates are all I can get around here. I’ve used them before in recipes that called for dates as sweetener, but I don’t know if they’re medjool or some other type – the package just says “dates.”

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7 Susan Voisin December 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Ruth, I think 4 packed tablespoons may be close. If you’ve got a scale, I could find out the weight and let you know.

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8 Ruth December 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I have a scale. Thanks!

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9 jaime @ sweet road December 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I love baked bananas! I have made them in the past where they come out a little too mushy, so the idea of wrapping them in phyllo sounds like it would work well without adding such a heavy element.

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10 S December 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Looks delicious! I’ll be making this later in the week

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11 Spencer December 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Looks delicious! I would so love to try some. I am sure it tastes great.

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12 victoriah107 December 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

Dear Susan,
I love your blog and your recipes. I’ve learned recently that I am gluten intolerant and I’d like to know what your flour of preference is when making GF alternatives. I’m going to make the blueberry-banana bread and would like to know what flour of choice you used in the GF version. I have a natural blended GF flour that I will try with it. Will let you know how it turns out.
BTW, my family loves the brussels sprout-Shiitake mushroom soup. It’s a favorite with us :D Have a great day, Susan!

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13 moonwatcher December 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hi Susan,

This looks delicious! So tempting. I might have to think of a version that uses rice papers or brown rice tortillas. A banana dessert tostada with date carob sauce anyone? Or something like that. LOL I love the colors in the photo, and what looks like an heirloom pyrex dish to me.

xoxo

moonwatcher

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14 Susan Voisin December 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Thanks, Moonwatcher! I was wondering how you would de-gluten it! I like those ideas. And I’m not sure about the dish. I bought two of them at an antique store, and they look old to me, but they’re not marked so I can’t be sure what they are.

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15 Michelle@HappyHeart December 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

They look amazing! I love baked bananas but they usually only happen during barbecue season (baked in foil on the grill!). Love the chocolate sauce idea!

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16 Anna December 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Those look LOVELY!

When I was in Asia, I used to buy a street-food that was banana wrapped in a phyllo-like pastry, deep fried, and sprinkled with brown sugar. They were heavenly!

This sounds like a delicious, much healthier rendition : )

Thank you.

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17 Ganasini Devi December 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Hi Susan,
I just made this with vegan chocolate chips sprinkled on top instead of your chocolate sauce and it was yummy. Thanks for the great recipe and blog!.Do you have a spanokopida type of recipe?

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18 Andrea @ Vibrant Wellness Journal December 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

These look so delicious! What a clever use of phyllo for a little treat. It seem a lot less labor intensive than the spanokakopita or the samosas I usually make with the trickiest dough ever. Cheers!

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19 moonwatcher December 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Hi again Susan!

I wanted to report back on how a gluten free chocolate free version of this lovely dessert turned out. Tasty and fun to eat!

I bought spring roll skins. Since they come hard and stiff and round like tortillas, I soften them by immersing them one at a time in a pie plate full of warm water. Once softened (but not too soft), I put them on a slightly damp towel on the cutting board and pretty much proceeded with your recipe in terms of rolling the banana in it (I didn’t have any, but I think a nice addition with the walnuts might be a little orange zest). The curve of the banana fit nicely with the curve of the skin so it was easy. I didn’t have cooking spray, so I made a little “flax egg” and lightly coated the tops with that. Then baked.

I made the sauce as you wrote, substituting carob powder for cocoa powder and adding a little vanilla. I halved both recipes, since it was just for me and my friend Linda. The sauce came out a little thick (might have been rushing with the soak time on the dates), more like smooth icing, but it was delicious nonetheless.

The skins hardened during baking, and remained somewhat transparent, a different effect than the phyllo. We spread some sauce/icing over the top. I cut mine up to see how hard or easy it was to do that, and Linda just picked her halves up and ate them. That worked really well, she said, like a cannoli! The texture of the cooked banana was wonderful and creamy inside the spring roll skin. Made this way they can be eaten by hand, like a pastry! She kept asking me, what’s in this? It’s really good. So I think I have a winner here, albeit a different variation, since nothing approximates phyllo dough but phyllo dough. The fact that they can be eaten in hand like a pastry adds another fun dimension. I hope to make them again when the kids are here, and for other friends, too. They seem like something kids will like, if that opportunity presents itself.

I think also next time I will set them on baking parchment because of the way the skins harden. This will make them easier to lift off and eat my hand, if desired.

Thanks for this wonderful easy healthy holiday delectable I could successfully adapt :)

moonwatcher

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20 Susan Voisin December 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I’m so glad that worked out for you! I had wondered if the rice paper skins would get too hard, but I guess they were not too hard to eat. Thanks for reporting back!

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21 moonwatcher December 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Of course, I meant “by hand”!!! LOL

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22 moonwatcher December 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

You’re welcome, Susan. :)

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23 dyannne December 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Thanks, moonwatcher, for this idea. I happen to have spring roll wrappers right now and I love this idea for them!

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24 moonwatcher December 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Hi dyanne, you’re welcome. I hope you enjoy the gluten free version!

I just wanted to tell Susan and you that tonight I experimented with frozen mango chunks wrapped in the Spring roll skins. This worked very well, too. I cut it in thirds where there was a space in the chunks. Very easy to pick up and delicious. Played with the flavorings.This may become an adaptations post, Susan!! Very delicious inspiration.

Thanks so much,

moonwatcher

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25 Cassie Damewood December 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I liked the bananas and phyllo in this recipe but the dates replacing sugar in the sauce were way too sweet for my taste and overpowered the flavor of the chocolate. Since there’s nothing purer or more natural than sugar from a cane plant, why not just make a “real” chocolate sauce? I’d rather have less of the real thing than compromise the taste of chocolate.

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26 Jacqueline January 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I have made vegan Spanakopita and brushed almond milk on the top instead of the oil to keep it from drying out….do you think that would work with this recipe?

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27 world best February 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Nice straightforward instructions. Learned some inventive stuff here. Perfect since I just bought some fresh bananas. Gonna start once my brother arrives with the phyllo. I’m sure this will be awesome.

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