Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Caramelized Banana Pudding

When I think of comfort foods, banana pudding is at the top of the list. There's just something about banana pudding that makes me feel like a kid and makes me sure that all is right in the world. In the past, banana pudding meant the yellow box of artificial colors and flavors mixed with whole milk and eaten right out of the bowl. Sometimes I would add a sliced banana or dip some 'Nilla wafers in, but more often that not it was me, a metal mixing bowl and multiple episodes of 'Friends' on the TV. In college and post college days, my roommates and I would use pudding as a way to get what we thought was our necessary calcium consumption for the day. 

Now that milk and artificial flavors and sugar and all the additives are off the table, I knew that banana pudding must be created. As I was thinking about the pudding I remember some caramelized bananas that I was served on a cruise last year and thought caramelizing the bananas would naturally increase the sweetness of the pudding.

The great thing about making an AIP pudding is that it gives you some gut healing gelatin in a sweet treat. DoubleWin! Plus, if you're looking for a sweet treat to serve at a family gathering, this is a perfect dish to share as even your least paleo friendly family members will enjoy this pudding. 

**A note about "AIP Treats": While it is true that this pudding and other treats on this blog are made with AIP friendly ingredients, it should be noted that the AIP diet is primarily about nutrient density and healing and with that in mind treats should be reserved for special occasions. This are occasional foods, not everyday food. Treat often are higher in sugar content (even fruit) and as sugar causes inflammation for many of us following AIP, we need to make treats an occasional part of our lives.

Caramelized Banana Pudding

Time: 20 minutes + 2 hours chill time
Serves: 5-6

3/4 cup hot water
1 T gelatin 
3 bananas + 2 bananas
1 T coconut oil
1 can coconut milk (make sure its additive free)
1/2 t cinnamon 
2 T maple syrup 

- sprinkle gelatin over hot water (not boiling)
- let it sit for a few seconds and then whisk it into the water using a fork 
- heat coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat 
- slice 3 bananas into the hot oil and cook until soft and caramelized (takes about 6 minutes) and set aside 
- heat coconut milk in a saucepan to just before boiling and remove from heat
- add cinnamon & maple syrup to coconut milk and stir in
- whisk gelatin and water into the coconut milk mixture
- stir in caramelized bananas and blend with an immersion blender
- pour into a glass dish and chill for about 2 hours to allow pudding to set
- before serving, stir well with a fork to maintain creamy consistency 
- to serve - either layer in dishes with sliced bananas or mix in 2 chopped bananas

**This can be kept in the fridge for several days, you'll just need to whip it up with a fork before serving to break up the gelatin and return it to a creamy consistency

***This recipe was shared on this week's AIP recipe roundtable in Phoenix Helix and this week's Allergy Free Wednesday LinkUp