Satisfying sweet cravings – the healthy way

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I have a very sweet tooth and adore chocolate.  Unfortunately I am allergic to chocolate  – it brings me out in massive lumpy spots – I do still eat it occasionally but I almost always regret it a few days later.  Also, with being ill for the past year I’ve not been able to exercise much so have piled on a good few pounds and am trying to limit my calories a little in a bid to slim back down again.
So recently I have been trying to find ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without involving chocolate or sugar or big calories.

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Enter baked bananas!
They have really been a revelation for me and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.  Any time we have a summer barbecue, I always make barbecued bananas and I must say they are usually my favourite part of the meal, so I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to think of doing them in the oven.  It really is so simple…

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Preheat oven to a moderate temperature
(this is approx 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F or gas mark 4).
Put bananas (1 per person) on a baking tray and pop it in the oven.
No need to grease the tray or peel the bananas or anything – super easy!

banana1.

Cook for about 10 minutes and then turn.  They will look horribly black – don’t worry about it.

banana2.

Cook for a further 5-10 minutes (this depends on how ripe the bananas were to start with – the riper they are, the less cooking time they need) and remove from the oven.  They will now look completely black and the skin may have split.

banana3.

Run a sharp knife lengthways through the centre to open up the skin to expose the yummy hot sweet banana flesh inside.

banana4.

Baking them like this makes the flesh soft and slightly gooey and much sweeter than when eaten raw, almost caramel-like in flavour.  You can eat it immediately like this, or remove it from the skin and place it in a bowl with some healthy toppings.  My current favourite is to add a spoonful of low-fat natural yoghurt, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and a small handful of chopped dried dates.  It makes for a yummy breakfast but I’ve also had it as an afternoon snack and as dessert.

banana5

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So a little bowl of healthy sweetness,
with less than a minute of prep time and 15-20 mins cooking time.
Bliss!

Do you have any easy ways to combat sweet cravings but stay healthy?
I’d love to hear your ideas.

Vohn

xx

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