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 Date-Sweetened Chocolate Sauce
- 4 sheets phyllo dough (fillo) 9x14" sheets
- 4 medium-large ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts , crushed into a coarse powder
- Pure canola oil spray (keeps phyllo from drying out–may substitute parchment paper and a little non-dairy milk)
- 4 tablespoons Date-Sweetened Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray one 8×8-inch baking dish or 4 single-serving baking dishes with canola oil or non-stick spray. (You may try cutting parchment paper to fit the pans instead.)
Unroll the thawed phyllo dough and place it on your workspace. Quickly cover it with plastic wrap and then a damp towel so that it doesn’t dry out. Remove one sheet and place it on a cutting board or other work surface. Place one peeled banana along one of the narrow ends, Sprinkle the dough evenly with a fourth of the walnuts. Sprinkle the banana with a dusting of cinnamon and then roll it up in the phyllo. Place it seam-side down in the baking dish. (If making in single-serving dishes, cut wrapped banana in half and place halves in dish side by side.) Repeat with remaining bananas.
Give the tops of the wrapped bananas a quick (1/2 second) spray with canola oil (or try brushing with non-dairy milk). Bake for 20-30 minutes, until tops are golden brown and bananas have begun to sizzle and release a syrup.
To serve, cut bananas in half and place two halves on each plate, along with some of the banana syrup from the baking dish. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of Chocolate Sauce. For best results, serve immediately.
The walnuts keep the layers of phyllo separate so that they don’t become soggy. I don’t recommend leaving them out unless you’re willing the spray the phyllo with oil before wrapping.
Tightly wrap the leftover phyllo and seal it in a plastic bag. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or you can refreeze it for up to 2 months.
Try spreading a light coating of raspberry or other preserves on the banana before wrapping it up.
Date-Sweetened Chocolate Sauce
- 4 medjool dates , pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon raw almond butter or other nut butter (optional)
Place the chopped dates in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. (Note: Some dates are not as soft as others–soak them longer.) Then place dates and water in blender container along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides of container a couple of times to ensure everything gets blended.
Refrigerate and use as needed.
More Low-Fat Fun with Phyllo
Apple-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