Pine Nuts with Banana

Boozy bananas. A delicious mix of aniseed and banana that Alastair used to serve when he lived in Kinshasa in the 1980s.

The first time I made this dish I was cautious with the bottle; although the bananas tasted great they discoloured off-puttingly because they had not been completely covered in liquor. Next time, to avoid a drunken affair, I coated the bananas in lime juice and then soaked them in an aniseed based liquor, eg Pernod, Ricard, or Ouzo,Pernod that was diluted with a light syrup. To prevent the dish from being too sweet, I add water to the maple syrup. Any sugar syrup, agave or honey (not for GF or Vg) will provide a similar result.

Ensure you select firm bananas that will retain their shape as they soak and are poached or grilled. I have grilled the bananas and reduced the marinade to a thicker syrup. Alternatively poach the bananas lightly and serve with the juice, reduced if you wish. For a Raw diet serve the banana steeped in the syrup.

The quantities below are a guide; adjust to your taste.

Diets for which Pine Nuts with Banana are suitable:

Dairy Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Paleo, Raw, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 10 mins | Cooking: 10 mins | Serves: 2

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) maple syrup*
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) water
1/4 cup aniseed based liquor
2 bananas, firm and ripe
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp pine nuts**


MIX the syrup, water and liquor.
PEEL the bananas, slice in half lengthwise and coat in lime juice.
SOAK the banana in the liquor syrup for a minimum of 15 minutes. (If left too long they will brown even with the lime juice.)
DRY-ROAST the pine nuts. (Place the nuts in a fry pan over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, shaking regularly.)
HEAT the syrup and bananas over a low heat for 5-10 minutes. Ensure the bananas remain firm.
GRILL the bananas on a lightly greased griddle. (I use coconut oil). Cook 2-3 minutes on both sides. (They should retain their shape.)
REDUCE the syrup over a moderate heat to thicken.
SERVE the bananas with the syrup.
SPRINKLE the pine nuts on top.


– Tasty with ice-cream (select appropriately for Dairy Free, Fodmap, Paleo and Vegan diets.)


* Vary the quantity of syrup to your taste.
** Almonds are a tasty alternative.