Ghana: Bananas Ghana

Doing some research on Ghana just now, I discovered that I had a major misconception that is probably hinged largely on the letter "G." For some reason, I thought that Ghana had wild giraffes. Apparently, that is not the case. Giraffes generally live in central Africa, while Ghana is located on the western coast. Ghana does have many other sub-saharan wildlife that I typically associate with blazing red suns setting over the savannah--elephants, lions, hyenas, leopards, baboons, a whole slew of monkey species, and even aardvarks. I'm glad I was not wildly off the mark, anyway.

I chose a recipe called "Bananas Ghana" from Ghana Nation. You all know how I can't resist a dessert recipe for the 50 Countries Challenge, and this seemed less heavy than most. So full of fruity goodness. Also, you may not know, but I pretty much live for bananas. If I could die and come back as an animal, I'm pretty sure it would be a banana-eating species of monkey or ape. However, I don't think my monkey-self would live in Ghana, because apparently Bananas are not a major crop or export. Another misconception proven! Their major export is cocoa, which is something I think human-me would like a whole let better than monkey-me. I apologize for being so weird.

Sadly, Greg and I were only so-so about this recipe. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I'd hoped. It is extremely sweet. I mean....really, really sweet. An optional garnish is sour cream (we thought plain yogurt would also work nicely), which we didn't use, but probably would've gone a long way in cutting the intense sugary flavor. We also thought that this would make a nice topping/glaze for a not-so-sweet-on-its-own type of cake.

Bananas Ghana (from Ghana Nation)
-8 medium bananas, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise
-1/4 cup Sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 cup orange juice
-3 tablespoons apricot brandy (or apricot juice/nectar, or even apricot preserves)
-3 tablespoons shredded coconut or chopped peanuts

Optional garnish:
-1/2 cup sour cream (optional) or low-fat sour cream (optional)
-1 tablespoon Sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine 1/4 cup of Sugar with cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll banana pieces in cinnamon-sugar and place in a 9 inch ovenproof dish.

3. Mix orange juice and brandy together and pour into dish with the bananas.

4. **NOTE: The original recipe does not give any indication of how long you are supposed to bake this. It literally goes from step 3 to step 5. So, I put it in for 30 minutes, which was long enough to get a slight amount of browning, warm it through, and to kind of thicken the liquid.**

5. Remove bananas from oven and sprinkle either coconut or peanuts on top.

6. If you like, mix together the sour cream and tablespoon of Sugar. Serve on side as an optional garnish.

-Serves 4 (generous portions). Please note that I halved this recipe, but did not write it that way.


Anonymous said...

I made this recipe (altered, no brandy) to use for kids in nutrition classes I teach, and we found that using mango nectar from Trader Joe's added a bite to it that it was missing.

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