The sweet taste of bananas makes them a go-to choice of fruit. But instead of merely peeling and eating one raw, cook some up for a warm and caramelized treat. Start with a ripe yet firm banana to ensure that the fruit holds up to the heat of cooking. Then decide whether you want to cook indoors or outdoors, because both are options when it comes to bananas.
The baking process turns bananas into a soft, warm, caramelized treat. Baked bananas are suitable as a dessert on their own or on top of other desserts, including cake or ice cream. Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise before baking. Or cut the bananas into smaller pieces, if desired. Butter the baking dish so the bananas don't stick. Top the bananas with 1 tbsp. of dark rum, followed by cinnamon and brown sugar to taste. Bake the bananas at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes.
Create caramelized bananas in a skillet on the stove top. Heat 1 tbsp. of butter to melting in the skillet. Stir in 4 tbsp. of brown sugar and let the mixture heat for one minute. Cut your bananas in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Place the banana pieces into the skillet with the brown sugar for about 20 seconds. Pour in 1/3 cup of dark rum or orange juice. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon. Turn the bananas once and cook for another minute. Remove the bananas from the pan so they don't become mushy. Use the sauce in the pan to top the bananas.
Keep the peels on when grilling bananas so they don't fall apart. Cut the bananas in half lengthwise without removing the peel. Cut the bananas in half crosswise if you want smaller grilled pieces. Lightly coat the cut sides of the banana with honey. Sprinkle 2 tsp. each of brown sugar and cinnamon on the cut sides, too. Place the cut side on the grill for two to three minutes to get light grill marks. Flip the bananas so the skin sides are down and continue grilling for five to six minutes.
Bananas cooked over the campfire are a healthy alternative to traditional s'mores. Keep the peel intact and cut a slit down one side of each banana. Remove a small wedge of the fruit to make room for the toppings. Add in a small handful of mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Top the banana with nuts, if desired. Wrap the banana completely in foil, leaving the filled side facing up. Put the bananas into the campfire for four or five minutes.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.