At our house, bananas go into smoothies or pancakes at breakfast, serve as a sandwich filling for lunch, and show up as a side at dinner. Some of my kids like to spread a whole peeled banana with peanut butter and roll it in crunchy cereal, while others like bananas fresh, or with toppings, for a tasty dessert.
One of our favorite treats right now: these scrumptious sautéed banana slices. This dish is quick and easy to make; it goes from countertop to stovetop to table in 22 minutes. You can enjoy this warm—or top it with whipped cream or ice cream if you want to take it to another level. Be sure to use slightly firmer bananas for splits and sautés because they hold their shape better and you won’t end up with a mushy mess.
What You’ll Need
- 2 large, fairly firm bananas
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Cooking spray for the skillet
- Whipped cream or ice cream
What to Do
- Have your little dessert chef peel the bananas, then cut them into ½-inch slices using a small plastic knife.Teachable Moment: 5 “Who Knew?” Banana Facts
- Banana plants look a lot like trees, but the plant is technically an herb! This makes banana plants the largest herb in the world.
- This also means that the fruit of the banana plant, by botanical rules, is a type of berry! It emerges not from branches but from a part of the root that grows above ground.
- The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.”
- Most of the bananas you find in supermarkets today are Cavendish bananas. But chances are your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents snacked on another variety of bananas, called Gros Michel, but those were wiped out in 1960 by a fungus called Panama disease.
- That doesn’t mean there’s only one kind of banana, though. Of the almost 1,000 other types, most of them aren’t very tasty
- Next, invite your child to measure the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a small bowl, and have him stir it very well.
- Let your child spray a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. You can place the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium for 1 minuteTeachable Moment: 4 Random Things to Know About Bananas
- Bananas are good for you, since they contain lots of vitamins and minerals. So good for you, in fact, that they’re just behind food staples like wheat, rice, and corn in worldwide consumption each year!
- Bananas are even good for your mood! The tryptophan and vitamin B6 in a banana gives your body what it needs to make serotonin, a chemical that can cheer you up.
- How many bananas are in that bunch? A whole bunch is called a hand of bananas, because each single banana is called a "finger"—no matter how many there are!
- Hawai‘i is only state that grows bananas commercially, although they were once grown commercially in California and Florida. However, most of the bananas sold in U.S. stores today come from other countries including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala.
- Add the banana slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the honey mixture and cook for another 2 minutes, until the banana slices are soft and coated with honey. Remove from the skillet and spoon into 4 small bowls. Let your helper add a little whipped cream or ice cream to the top of each one.