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Honey + Almond Banana Fritters

Below is the article I wrote for the Sun Herald a few weeks ago on comfort food and healthy ways to enjoy warm foods this winter. Followed by one of my favorite comfort food recipes oven baked banana fritters coated in a honey and almond crumble.

I cycled past my local bakery last week and was almost pulled into the queue by the irresistable smell of warm sourdough, brioche and buttery croissants. As the weather gets colder, it’s natural for us to crave warming stodgy comfort foods over fresh salads and vegetables. But traditional ”comfort foods” are usually high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrate, elevating insulin levels that promote the storage of body fat; we tend to pile on about 3-5 kg during the winter months. That helps insulate us against the cold but it can also be damaging for our health and waistline.

So does healthy comfort food exist? Of course it does, however it does take a little creativity and planning.

At my place meals like chicken pie, lasagne, stroganoff, pancakes and my personal favourite spaghetti and meatballs (see recipe at right) are on the menu throughout winter – because I find ways to reduce the fat and sugar and keep them healthy.   The most important rule to eating comfort food is to balance it out by using fresh seasonal veges and cook not only for taste but also for the sake of your health. Think about what you’re putting into your mouth every time you eat: does it have a positive or negative effect on your health?

Here are a few basic rules to help you prepare comfort food that won’t have you end up looking like a marshmallow by the end of Winter.

REDUCE SATURATED FAT

Substitute butter and margarine for healthier fats that won’t clog the arteries such as olive oil, macadamia, grape seed, flax seed. Trim fat from meat and buy lean cuts of grass fed / free range if possible as it has four times more Vitamin E and more omega 3 than grain-fed varieties, helping to protect the heart and nourish the brain.

REDUCE SUGAR

Sugar is high in calories, it spikes insulin and has no nutritional value, plus it adds approximately 15 kg to an average person’s weight during their life. Try reducing your sugar intake every day, including white refined carbohydrates. Substitute white refined carbohydrates with high fibre wholegrains, or vegetable based carbs, like zucchini linguini with healthy meatballs (see recipe). I also love to make my ”power porridge” from scratch that’s the real deal, not a store bought pre-mix filled with sugar.

DITCH WHITE REFINED FLOUR

White refined flours contribute to high insulin levels, which promote that layer of pudding around your waistline and contain minimal nutrition. Swap them for whole-grain, nut and seed varieties such whole meal spelt, almond, quinoa or buckwheat. So next time you make pizza, use a thin wholegrain base instead or even use a large Portobello mushroom in place of the dough, stuffed with spinach, ricotta and fresh herbs.

INCREASE PROTEIN

Eating protein with each meal will help keep you fuller for longer and maintain a positive nitrogen balance which will help preserve lean muscle, keep your metabolic rate elevated and it will also stop you craving fat and stodge.

DON’T BE GREEDY

The Okinawa people of Japan follow a principle called “hara hachi bu” which translates as ”eat until you are only 80 per cent full”. They live longer than people in any other nation as well as being lean and more youthful as they age. And the real reason the French don’t get fat? Their portion sizes are often half of what we serve here or in the United States. So they can still enjoy rich buttery croissants and hot chocolate made with real couverture, whole milk and cream – in moderation.

HEALTHY BANANA FRITTERS

Banana fritters are one of my favorite desserts when I’m after a sweet fix on a cold winters day.  Not the sort that you’re thinking of which  are traditionally crumbed or dipped in tempura batter then deep fried in  oil.  My version is lightly coated in an almond crust then baked in a hot oven until golden on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Served with thick bio yoghurt and a little honey.

Serves 4

4  bananas
60 g honey, warmed
80 g almond meal
zest of 1 orange

pinch  ground cinnamon
Thick Natural yoghurt  or coconut sorbet  to serve

Heat your oven to 220 C
Combine almond meal, cinnamon and orange zest.
Brush the bananas  with warmed honey until they are well coated.
Coat bananas  in the almond meal.
Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden.
Serve with thick natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey, alternatively a coconut sorbet is delicious with these.

Protein: 6.9 g
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Saturated: 2 g
Carbs: 35 g
1050 kj / 251 calories


 

 

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17 Responses to “Honey + Almond Banana Fritters”
  1. Kahlia says:

    OMG!!!!!!! Im all over this one haha! Thanks T x

  2. Sarah says:

    yes! a super wintery Paleo dessert. thank you! :-)

  3. Emma says:

    These look seriously amazing!!! I’m going to try them tonight. I really love your recipes Teresa.

  4. Tammy says:

    Hi Teresa! Great recipes! Love them. Just one question……if I have an allergy to nuts, what would be the best replacement?

  5. carolyn says:

    Hi Teresa
    Loved this recipe and your article re:marshmallo. Of course I will replace the honey with Perfect Sweet xylitol and it will still taste great and I will feel even less guilty

  6. Donna says:

    Wow! i’m impressed.Your on a winner here!

  7. paul says:

    YUM !! Im going bananas . )

  8. Natasha Conrad says:

    These were simply superb Teresa. I love your site…healthy, simple, gorgeous food!

  9. Sandra A says:

    I made these and my guests loved them. I didn’t have almond meal so used breadcrumbs. It became crunchy in some bits only but they were still lovely. I made a coconut sorbet to go with it. Worked a treat.
    Thanks Teresa.

  10. Jess says:

    Hi Teresa,

    Great recipe! I love banana fritters but always have to deal with the guilt after eating deep-fried food! Thanks for the health-licious recipe!

    Just one question, I used almond meal but it doesn’t’ seem to give me the golden curst look like the ones in your picture. You mention you used almond crust. How different is that?

    • Jess – I use all kinds of nuts….almond meal, pecans are great too ! if you want it crunchier…then a granola based crumb or crisp chopped up rice flakes will also be nice. T:)

  11. Pam says:

    What a fantastic recipe! Hubby and I are always looking for a litte treat after the kids have gone to bed, and often settle for “just a banana”. This will definitely make that banana a bit more exciting! Thanks.

  12. Michelle says:

    These were a double thumnbs up from both my boys which is pretty amazing in our household. Thanks for such a simple yummy and healthy desert.

  13. Sarah says:

    Will this work for pineapple fritters too? Would I not use the honey as pineapple is sweet as is?

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