Bananas Foster is a classic dessert made with bananas caramelized in a sauce of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and alcohol (usually rum and banana liqueur). Bananas foster originated in New Orleans and is usually prepared table side in restaurants because of the dazzling flambé that occurs from igniting the alcohol while it bubbles away in the pan. The bananas and sauce are then served over a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream for a rich and creamy dessert.
Here, I’ve cleaned up the dessert ever so slightly to make it both dairy and refined sugar-free so that everyone can enjoy it, particularly those with food sensitivities, restrictions or allergies. But believe me when I tell you that this dessert is every bit as delicious as the traditional one.
Believe it or not, the first time I made bananas foster was actually a few days ago, when I catered a private dinner (this is a new venture for me and I’m very excited about it!). At first, the clients said that they had dessert covered but on the day of the dinner, they asked if I could prepare something. The caveat was that it had to be dairy-free because of certain restrictions.
I scratched my head thinking about what I could possibly make on such short notice that was also dairy-free. Bananas foster came to mind and I quickly tested a recipe before heading to the clients’ home.
Instead of the butter in the sauce I used coconut oil and also swapped out brown sugar for coconut sugar (the latter substitution was made because I don’t have any sugar in the house and didn’t have time for another trip to the store). Lastly, to make the bananas foster complete, I scooped on some dairy-free, coconut milk ice cream. Luna and Larry’s Salted Caramel and Chocolate is my personal favourite.
There was no way to avoid the booze, however. The clients readied their phones by the stove and hit record as I set the alcohol aflame, nearly burning off my hair in the process. Just kidding. I’m bald!
I was very happy as I heard my clients clanking spoons and moaning “ooohs” and “aaahs”. My guess is your family and friends will love it just as much!
Dairy-Free Bananas Foster
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 ounces rum substitute bourbon or brandy
- 2 bananas cut in half and then sliced horizontally
- 2 scoops dairy-free ice cream for serving
- Add coconut oil and coconut sugar to a cold skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the coconut sugar begins to form a syrup and separate from the oil, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and cook 30 seconds.
- Carefully pour in the rum and let cook 15 seconds. Light a match and carefully position it over the edge of the pan to ignite the alcohol. Cook the sauce until the flames subside.
- Add the bananas, cut-side down, and cook until slightly soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the bananas and cook for an additional 60 seconds.
- Spoon the bananas into a serving bowl, top with ice cream and spoon the remaining sauce overtop. Serve immediately.