Usually for my Oahu Fresh cooking videos we focus on the savory side of cooking: delicious curries, hearty salads, and comfort foods made with the best produce that Oahu has to offer. Today I’m sharing a really fun sweet recipe using our abundant supply of locally-grown apple bananas.
I LOVE apple bananas, and after living here for nearly 20 years (!), I just can’t bring myself to eat any other varieties of bananas. I always have a small bowl of bananas at my house for quick snacks and breakfasts, and I likewise have a huge pile of over-ripe bananas in my freezer awaiting smoothies and baking recipes. Of course, any type of banana will do well here, and as I mention in the video, be sure the bananas are super ripe, which allows for all the sugars to fully develop and give us a perfect mashy texture.
This recipe uses only natural sugars from the bananas and dates, and with the healthy fats (from coconut and almonds) and fiber (from oats, nuts, and fruits), these are quite healthy little snacks–definitely good for breakfast but sweet enough for an afternoon treat. That being said, these little cakes do admittedly, taste very ‘healthy.’ If you want to sweeten them up, you can stir in some chocolate chips (or chopped bar chocolate), and/or serve them warm with some butter/vegan butter and drizzle with a bit of honey or maple syrup before eating.
See all my other Oahu Fresh recipes here (featuring eggplant, sweet potato, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, Kabocha pumpkin, breadfruit, and more). For the Instagram video archive, check out the Oahu Fresh Instagram TV.
Gluten-Free Banana Date Cakes
2 cups rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if needed)
⅔ cup almond meal (see note below)
⅓ cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
½ teaspoon nutmeg, optional
1½ cups mashed, very ripe Apple bananas
½ cup natural almond butter
¼ cup plant-based milk
¼ cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ – 1 cup chopped dates (or substitute chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, or combination!)
- Preheat oven to 350º and line a baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add half of the oats to the food processor, and pulse until ground roughly. Turn out into a large bowl and add whole oats, almond meal, coconut, baking powder, and salt. Add cinnamon and nutmeg if using. Set aside.
- In another large bowl combine bananas, almond butter, coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth, and then set aside. Alternatively, blend this whole mixture in a food processor. Note that if the bananas and/or milk or cold, the mixture will seize up due to the coconut oil; simply let the mixture rest for a few minutes if that happens, and it will thaw out.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chopped dates (and any other mix-ins you want to use).
- Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop out batter. Press into small, round cakes and lay gently onto baking sheet. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until tops and edges are golden. Cool on racks. Keeps for a few days in the fridge; leftovers can also be frozen.
Yield: About 16 cakes
Note: Almond meal and almond flour are quite expensive! If you don’t have nut flour, simply grind about 1/2 cup of nuts in your food processor until fine. Almonds are great, but hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans would be lovely, too.