I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flying Bananas

Sure looks like there's bananas 'in the air' right now. (Keep your heads down, everyone!) We've been going bananas over nanas at Raw Freedom Community forum lately. The perfect excuse to pay tribute to this common, versatile and often overlooked fruit.

Banana: A Superfood?
According to a professor of psychology at CCNY, the expression "going bananas" comes from the effects of bananas on the brain. For instance, did you know that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout? They also help with a number of ailments including depression, PMS, anemia, blood pressure, constipation, heartburn, ulcers and stress. Find out more about this superfood by reading this article.

"Mom, Gimme Some Nanas!"
One of my oldest childhood memories is of my mom handing me a banana to munch on whenever we'd go grocery shopping.

The good news is that bananas are super cheap. You can even ask your local supermarket for their 'tired' bananas. Chances are, they'll be more than happy to sell them to you for a steal.

Too many nanners on your hands? No worries; they freeze really well for later use. You can pop them in the freezer in their 'jackets' (just
thaw them slightly before peeling them) or peeled and stored in an air tight container.

How Many Ways?
There are so many uses for bananas, it would be impossible to name them all!
  • Bananas are wonderful in smoothies, fresh or frozen
  • They make delicious ice cream
  • For a great snack, dehydrate them whole or in slices, or blended (fruit leather)
  • Mash them up with a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps a few raisins and crushed nuts for an easy and energizing breakfast
Bananas are also an awesome natural sweetener for desserts. You can use them in puddings, cakes, cookies, pies (they make a fantastic pie crust!), sweet breads and crackers.

But here are a few recipe ideas to get you going...

Liquid Banana
There is no shortage of banana based smoothie recipes floating around the net. Have a look at this blogpost for starters.

How about a banana shake then? But wait, I gotta explain how to make nut milk first. You can also check this post for a simple almond milk version.

Basic Method for Making Nut Milk
(Sorry, I've misplaced the author of these instructions.)

- Soak 1 cup of either almonds, cashews, sunflower or sesame seeds overnight.
- In the morning, dispose of water and rinse well.
- Add 3 to 4 times the quantity of water.
- Add either 2-4 tbs of honey or 3-6 dates
- Add a few tbs of ground flax seeds to thicken the milk (optional)
- Add 1-2 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Blend at high speed for a few minutes.
- Pour milk through mesh bag or strainer. Squeeze until all the liquid is released.
- Store the milk in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (depending on the freshness of your nuts!)

Once the milk is done, you may also:

- Add 2-4 tbs of carob powder.
- Blend with 1 frozen banana.
- Blend with other frozen fruits.
- Combine everything previously mentioned.

Feel like a taste of the tropics? Relax in your favorite chair (preferably outside), close your eyes, and sip on this. Oh, and don't forget the straw!

Pina Colada
Posted by Derek on Raw Freedom Community
My wife, Sara, fed this to me tonight. It goes well with our hammock.

1 ripe pear
1 banana
2-3 slices fresh pineapple
1-2 T shredded coconut
1 tsp coconut oil
add a bit of water and a handful of ice.

Blend until smooth.

Carmella's Note: We subbed an apple for the pear when making this and it was delish!

PS. Drop by Sara's blog for more gorgeous photos and raw recipes!

I SCREAM For Ice Cream
If you've been craving ice cream, rejoice! You can make wonderful ice cream by passing frozen bananas through a juicer with a blank plate or by blending them up in a food processor or Vitamix.

Basic Banana Ice Cream
2 frozen bananas
A few soaked  dates
3 tbs shredded coconut
Juice half lemon

Optional - Throw in:
A few cashewsmacs or
1 Tbs oil or
1 med. avocado

Blend in Vitamix or small food processor till creamy

For variety, you can add nuts/seeds (1/8 cup) and flavorings like vanilla/chocolate (raw superfood he he) Yum! Yum!

And here's something different, if you like that pumpkin pie-holiday touch.

Banana Raisin Coconut Spice Cream
4 cups Bananas, frozen, sliced
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 Cup Coconut, shredded, frozen, unsweetened
1 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. Allspice, ground
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp. Cloves, ground

Place the all ingredients in your Vita-Mix. Cover and run at the highest speed until the bananas and other ingredients become creamy smooth (about one minute). Scoop the ice cream into individual serving bowls. Enjoy!

I have yet to try this next one, but based on Ocean's other recipes (not to mention the brownie part!), it sounds very promising.

Brownie Banana Ice Cream Cake
Posted by Ocean on Raw Freedom Community

I was missing the SAD Baskin and Robin Ice Cream Cake, so I made this recipe up to satisfy my craving.

1 Cup walnuts (not soaked)
½ Cup dates (soaked)

Process in FP until clumping together, transfer to plate and form a crust. (set aside)

Banana ice cream:
2-4 Bananas

Process in FP until looks like ice cream. Layer this on the crust and put in the freezer until firm.

½ Cup coconut oil
½ Cup dates (soaked)
¼ Cup carob powder
¼ Cup Honey or Agave

Process in FP until it looks like the SAD frosting. Layer on top of ice cream and put back in the freezer.

Nanner Leather

Fruit leather makes an excellent (and healthy!) snack for children and adults alike. There's nothing easier. Plus, it's very forgiving; you just can't go wrong! You can make it using pretty much any fruit and any combination and amounts.
To make banana leather, simply blend several bananas in a food processor until smooth. Then spread the mixture thinly and evenly on teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 105 or 110 until no longer sticky to the touch. You should be able to peel the leather easily from the teflex. Cut to desired size with scissors or pizza cutter.
You can then enjoy the leather as is, or use it as 'crepe shells' like in the following recipe.

Strawberry Crépes
By Alissa Cohen
Posted on GreenChefs

My absolute favorite, hands down. You won't believe how delicious they are, how easy they are to prepare, and how beautiful they look served on a white plate surrounded by whole strawberries.
Crépe Shells
5 to 6 Ripe Bananas

1 Cup macadamia nuts
1 Cup Cashews
1 Large Lemon Juiced
4 teaspoons Honey
2 teaspoons Tamari
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons Water

Strawberry Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Strawberries
1 to 2 Tablespoons Honey

To make the Crépe Shells, place the bananas in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Second, remove the bananas from the processor and spread about 1/8 inch thick onto a Teflex sheet on top of a dehydrator screen. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 14 hours or so. (Begin checking the bananas a few hours before to make sure they are formed, pliable, and solid in texture, but not getting crispy).

Remove from the dehydrator and slice into strips about 4"x 2".

To make the Filling, place the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

The Strawberry Sauce, is made by combining the strawberries and honey in the food processor and blending until smooth.
Now to Assemble the Crépes. Pour the strawberry sauce onto a plate in a thin layer so as to cover the bottom of the plate. Place scoops of filling onto the banana fruit leather strips you have made and roll them up. Place on the plate with enough room in between so each crépe is not touching. Last, pour the strawberry sauce over the rolled up crepes.
Note: It's important to let the crepes sit for at least a couple of hours with the strawberry sauce on top. The sauce will soften the fruit leather and make it "crépe like" instead of hard and chewy. These are also great the next day.
Carmella's Note: My banana leather never takes that long to dry. Probably because I tend to set the D at 110 degrees.

OK, I have a confession to make. One of the reasons bananas are flying about is that our little freezer got unplugged by mistake a few days ago. Thankfully, we realized it in time and didn't have to toss anything out. On the other hand, we found ourselves with a whole bunch of nanners that needed to be used up.
Once again, our forum proved to be such a great resource for advice. I was more than happy to learn that thawed bananas can also be used in recipes. (Phfew!) I made banana leather, as well as the following pancakes and cookies. It worked like a dream!

These are to LIVE for! Sooooo delicious!

Banana Nut Pancakes
By Anna/Maraw of The Raw Table.com
Posted by Ama on Raw Freedom Community

Makes roughly 12-15 pancakes

1 C Brazil Nuts
1 C pecans
4 large bananas
1/2 C almond milk
1 date, pitted and soaked
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 C Cashews
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 C almond milk
3 orange segments
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1 mint leaf (optional)

Preparation for Pancakes
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Pour onto teflex sheets into circle shapes and spread to about 1/4-3/8". Allow to dehydrate for about 9 hours @115 degrees. Flip onto mesh screen and dehydrate another 2-3 hours. Serve with cream or agave nectar.

Preparation for Cream
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour over pancakes and enjoy!

I finally got around to trying this next recipe I got from one of Karen Knowler's newsletters ages ago. Why Oh Why did I wait so long!?! It can't get any easier than this and they are yummilicious!

Banana and Coconut Cookies
By Karen Knowler

Makes 10 cookies, approx. 7 cm diameter, 1 cm deep.

* 4 bananas
* 200g (or meat from 1) fresh coconut, sliced or grated (use  dry Coconut if you can’t get fresh coconut)
* 125g (or 1 cup) almonds
* 125g (or 1 cup) raisins OR finely chopped dates (less if you prefer not too sweet)

1) Process almonds into a fine powder, either in a good food processor, nut mill or dry jug of a Vita-Mix blender.

2) Pour into a food processor and add the bananas, coconut and raisins/dates to create a smooth mixture.

3) Make circles of the mixture on a dehydrator sheet to your preferred size.

4) Dehydrate until dry and chewy (about 18 hours).

* Try different nuts, such as macadamias for a creamier, richer taste – but allow longer to dehydrate as they are much more oily.

Here's a slightly modified version of a recipe I had in my raw files. Super easy and really, really good.

Banana Mac Nut Cookies
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup bananas
Squirt vanilla extract
Pinch nutmeg

In food processor, blend raisins and walnuts until smooth. Add in macadamia nuts and bananas.

Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours.

Carmella's Note: I bet both of these cookie recipes would have been awesome with a little cacao powder, or perhaps cacao nibs in there. Dang! Why didn't I t'ink o' t'at, eh!?!

And finally, I've already posted some great ways to use 'nanas': Celestial Pecan Pie, ChocoNut Bliss Crepes, Chocolate Cream Stack, Lemon Chewies and even a savory recipe too. You just gotta give this Curry Sauce a try. I promise it will blow your taste buds away!

I guess that's it for now, but hey, watch out for those flying bananas! lol

Photo Credits:

Strawberry Crepes by Damzlfly


  1. as always, you give us abundance of recipes. thank you.
    i tried going into sara's site (derekandsara). it seems to be a non public site....is it? i could not get in, needed password.

  2. Hey Jess,

    Hum, I just tried the link and it works fine for me. Don't think it's private, as far as I know. *with a puzzle look on her face*

    Hope you do get through to her site! She just posted a bunch of new photos and they are to live for!!! ;-)