Just read the title- need I say more? Well if you’re not convinced yet, let me break it down for you. Imagine some ripe bananas cooking in a bubbly brown sugar and butter mixture, developing its natural sugars and lovely deep caramel flavor. Then imagine those bananas being blended up into a creamy, indulgent smoothie. Are you drooling yet? Then rejoice (and do a little happy dance if you wish) because this smoothie is healthy.
Caramelized bananas are a wonderful thing, and it’s a great way to use up those ripe bananas sitting on your countertop. I always have a ton of bananas around because there’s so many things to do with them and so many ways to eat them that I never feel they’ll go to waste. A few of my favorite things to do with ripe bananas: freeze them to make smoothies/smoothie bowls, bake banana bread, make banana pancakes, and my new favorite, make caramelized bananas and eat them with everything. The caramelization process is very simple – just melt some butter and brown sugar together in a large pan, and cook your bananas in that bubbly goodness for a few minutes on each side. Honestly if you wanted to be super health conscious, you could cook the bananas in some cooking oil spray, and the bananas would still caramelize from their natural sugars. However, I highly recommend just using the butter and sugar. No, butter is not a health food, but it’s nothing we need to be scared of. Using a little bit once in a while is totally ok! (For a vegan option, use alternative fat source such as coconut oil). Once the bananas are caramelized, the possibilities of what to do with them are endless. A few recommendations: eat them with a scoop of ice cream, make banana bread with them, use them as a waffle or oatmeal topping, or make this smoothie!
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bananas to cool. My original intention was to freeze the caramelized bananas and make a nice cream. However, I was way too impatient for that, and could only wait for the bananas to cool down (that was a feat in itself). I ended up just blending the cooled bananas with milk and ice, and boy was it amazing. This little series of events taught me that it’s ok to be impatient sometimes (:
I could rave on and on about this smoothie, but I’ll just leave you with this: when the bananas caramelize, they get an incredible flavor boost of nuttiness and butterscotchiness (again, making up words), then are blended into the perfectly creamy and indulgent smoothie. With something that’s delicious enough to be dessert, but healthy enough to be breakfast, what more could you ask for?
Hugs & kisses and all my best wishes!
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 tbsp butter* (see note)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 10 ice cubes
- 3/4 - 1 cup milk* (see note)
- Pecans for serving, optional
- Caramelize the bananas. Peel and slice bananas in half lengthwise. In a large pan, melt together butter and brown sugar over medium to high heat. Once butter and sugar are combined, place bananas in the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until amber in color. Place bananas on a large plate lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Let cool completely.
- Once caramelized bananas are completely cooled, place them in a blender with 10 ice cubes and 3/4 cups of milk. Blend. Add more ice or milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.
- Divide into 2 cups and top with pecans if desired.
- For a vegan option, substitute butter for coconut oil, and use dairy-free milk.