A summer bonfire is part of the cottaging and camping experience, for sure, and along with it the roasting of hot dogs, marshmallows and making s'mores. Once I hopped on the UnDiet train and realized the health effects of conventional animal products, refined sugars and gluten, I found myself at a loss over what to roast over the open flame of a campfire. Then a genius thought occurred to me: fruit! And so these delicious gluten-free and dairy-free banana cacao boats were born.
Assuming there are no fire bans in your area, I highly encourage you to have a safe bonfire and roast something on it. And I highly encourage making this recipe! It's simple to make and only has a few ingredients, most or all of which you probably already have in your kitchen for making smoothies or oatmeal. All you need are bananas, coconut oil, cacao, honey or maple syrup.
Chocolate Banana Boats have become a family favourite at the cottage during the summertime, but you could really make these all year round if you have a backyard fire pit or a BBQ. They're packed with fibre, healthy fats and natural sweeteners that will satisfy your sweet tooth but won't keep you up all night.
This recipe is awesome on its own, but there are a few ways you can jazz it up with next-level toppings such as:
- Drippy nut or seed butter (almond butter, tahini, sunflower seed butter, walnut butter, pumpkin seed butter – no peanut butter please)
- Dark chocolate chips or squares (learn how to make your own here!)
- Coconut butter
- Fresh fruit
- Coconut yogurt or kefir
- Homemade jam
- Cacao nibs
- Goji berries
- Coconut whipped cream
- Granola (either the traditional kind or grain-free granola)
Normally I am not a fan of using aluminum foil for food storage or cooking, as it can transfer into the food and may increase the risk of neurological diseases. However, this is meant to be a treat – an occasional affair, not an everyday love. If you can get your hands on some banana leaves or corn husks (typically used for tamales), those would be a fantastic alternative to foil so it's worth checking out your local ethnic foods grocery.
What Other Healthy Treats Can You Roast at a Campfire?
Not a banana fan? Try one of these fruits:
I'd recommend threading fruit onto skewers to make fruit kebabs – it truly is an amazing (and least messy) way to enjoy them. And if you're looking for more ways to maintain your health out in the wild, check out these nutritious no-kitchen meal and snack ideas for camping.
This recipe serves one, but you can multiply as needed for as many banana cacao boats you'll be sailing!
- 1 banana, leave peel on
- 1 Tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
- 1-2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 square of aluminum foil, enough to wrap the banana, or a banana leaf or corn husk
- Slice bananas down the middle and pry open a little with a spoon.
- Carefully sprinkle in cacao powder, then drop little chunks of coconut oil across the banana, then drizzle honey or maple syrup.
- Squeeze banana back together and wrap tightly with foil.
- Carefully place in the fire on hot coals, campfire grill or on the BBQ.
- Leave for 8-10 minutes or until you start to hear a little sizzling. Give them a few minutes to cool.
- Unwrap carefully!
What are your fave campfire foods or memories?