A camper's delight, banana boats are a delicious dessert that is meant to be cooked over an open fire.
🍌 What exactly is a banana boat?
Banana boats are truly a gourmet camping dessert. We're talking a step up from the old standby smores!
Basically, it is a banana stuffed with marshmallows and chocolate chips. But what makes it truly special is that after it is stuffed, it is wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over an open fire. The result is an ooey-gooey dessert that you can enjoy under the stars. What's not to love about that?
Many variations of this dessert exist. Some people add graham cracker pieces to add a little crunch. When I was a Girl Scout, we made them with some peanut butter spread on the banana (sunflower butter works for those of us with a peanut allergy). You are really only limited by your imagination!
🍌 How to make banana boats
Step 1: Cut it
Get a banana that is ripe but not overly ripe to the point that the peeling is thin and browning. Using a paring knife, slice a strip of the banana lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through.
In the photo above, the peeling has been cut away. You will also want to cut a wedge of the banana out. Reserve the cut out piece of banana to lay over the filling.
Step 2: Stuff it
Next, place the marshmallows and chocolate chips inside the banana. Cover with the cut out banana piece and then with the cut out banana peel.
As you can see in this photo, I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks for the chocolate (free of the top 8 allergens). You can use any "safe" chocolate you like.
I recommend using mini marshmallows but, when I don't have them, I use the large ones and cut them into quarters. This would not be very convenient when actually camping though!
Once your filling is in the banana, cover it back up with the wedge of banana you cut out (as you can see in the photo, mine broke in half) and then with the slice of peeling.
Step 3: Wrap it and cook it
Now, it's time to wrap it up and cook it! The aluminum foil should cover the whole banana but you can leave the "handle" exposed.
Now, you're ready to cook! The best type of campfire for this is one that has been burning for a while so you have hot coals at the base of the fire. Place your boats around the edge of the fire ring but not directly in the fire. If you have hot embers, you can spread them out with a stick and place the boat right on them.
Let them cook for about 10-15 minutes and then remove them from the fire. Cooking time can vary greatly depending on the fire you have. The best way to tell if it's done is if it is squishy rather than firm.
When it's ready, place it on a paper plate and open it up. It should be soft and gooey inside! Yum!
🔥 No campfire? No problem!
Being a fan of the outdoors and camping, I love to make these over an open fire but you don't need a campfire! You can place these on a grill which works really well. I've even taken it a step closer to total convenience and used the microwave!
With that said, I still think this dessert tastes the best over an open fire (which might just be due to the satisfaction of making something so delicious outdoors). Either way, if you're looking for an easy dessert that your kids will love, this is a good choice - even with "allergy-free" substitutes!
- Aluminum Foil if making over a campfire or on the grill
- 1 medium banana unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons "safe" semi-sweet chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons "safe" mini marshmallows
- 1/2 tablespoon sunflower butter (optional)
- Peel a 1 inch strip from the inside curve of the banana leaving the end attached to the rest of the peeling.
- Cut a wedge lengthwise from the banana; reserve the cut out portion for later.
- Spread the sunflower butter in the cavity (if using). Then place the chocolate chips and the marshmallows in the banana. Cover with the banana cut-out and then with the peeling.
- Wrap in aluminum foil and place over hot coals for 10-15 minutes.
- Peel back the aluminum foil on the top, then the portion of the banana peeling that has already been peeled back. Eat the gooey banana right out of the remaining peeling. Enjoy!
- Variation for the microwave: Follow the steps above but do not wrap in aluminum foil. Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds until soft and gooey.