I love how easy it is to use one cheap ingredient to make many amazing things. From time to time I make a big batch of banana leather to have on hand for various uses. It makes the best raw crepes (something that I learned a few years ago from Alissa Cohen), and is especially great for travelling. Cut the leather into squares, top it with some almond butter and berries - you've got a banana nut butter sandwich!
Here is a quick crepe-like dessert that will "wow" (perfect for entertaining) when you've got some leather on hand.
First, how to make the leather: Simply blend as many bananas as you want, until completely smooth. Pour onto a teflex sheet and evenly spread. Then dehydrate at 115F for about 6-8 hours or until you are easily able to peel the bananas away from the teflex. Flip onto the mesh screen and continue drying a little longer until both sides are dry but the entire sheet is still very pliable.
Ok, now cut the leather into squares (size is up to you - the length from corner to corner will determine how long the rolls are).
Roll up from one corner, diagonally to the other corner, to create a tube. Now hold them for a minute or two to "set" the roll up (to hold their shape). These can now sit for as long as you want like this until you are ready to fill them.
Here comes the fun part. Deciding what fillings and toppings you'd like to use! In mine I've used the vanilla cream from my cookie post, paired with chopped strawberries and strawberry sauce. You could use a chocolate filling or puree berries into the vanilla cream, and then top with your choice of fruit.
Vanilla Cream 1 1/2 cups cashews 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup coconut butter 1/3 cup agave 2 tbs pure vanilla extract 1 tbs lecithin 1/4 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients until completely smooth and creamy. Chill for a few hours to firm.
With a piping bag, pipe your filling into the tube, and then let it sit a little while to soften. Top with your garnishes and voila! Ready to eat. Honestly its easier than it looks when I write it down. Keep the tubes on hand and whenever the urge hits, just fill and eat!
How about a banana caramel tarte? Mmm...First,
choose a nut crust of your choice and press it into
tart shells or muffin tins. Dehydrate until you are able to remove the crust, keeping the shape intact. Continue dehydrating until slightly crisp (or desired texture is reached).
For the filling, spread either some vanilla cream, or chocolate cream into the bottom of the tarte. Now top with a layer of sliced bananas and drizzle with a sauce of your choice. I've made a dark caramel sauce using dates/soak water/vanilla. I also sprinkled a light layer of shredded coconut in between the bananas and filling.
But of course, the best bananas are the ones eaten freshly picked from the trees. This time last year I was surrounded by banana trees in Fiji, ahhh....wish I were back there now...