The French absolutely love Nutella and so do most Australians! In homage to this famous and delicious chocolate spread, I have created this healthier version, so you can eat it every day, guilt free, thanks to a great sugar substitute called agave syrup and naturally caramelized bananas which to give it texture and sweetness. The Bananatella is smooth, rich, satisfying and delicious also great when served on toast or for kids' lunches.
Agave syrup can be found in your local health food store next to honey and other sugar alternatives. Agave syrup is made from the agave plant the cactus grown in Mexico which is also used to make tequila. Now here's the catch. It's not exactly calorie-free, but it's reported to be so low GI that it does not provoke the insulin reaction in your body that sugar does. This is very good news for diabetics, dieters, or anyone like me who loves to cook sweet yummy treats but likes to "have her cake and eat it too".
Agave syrup has a very high proportion (around 90 percent) of fructose, which in isolation has a very low glycemic index. Agave syrup is also approximately 1.5 times sweeter than sugar or honey and is perfectly suitable for baking and cooking at high temperatures. If you can't find it, you can substitute a mild honey.
2 overripe bananas
4 tbsp quality cocoa powder
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
2 tbsp skim milk powder
3 tbps hot water
5 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp thick greek yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Pierce a small hole in the skins of the bananas with a knife and wrap them in foil. Bake slowly till they caramelise in their own juices for approx one hour. Once cooled, scoop out the flesh from the skins into a mixing bowl and mash the bananas with a fork. In a small, heavy based saucepan on low heat, combine the hazelnut oil, half the agave syrup and slowly sift in the cocoa powder till combined into a thick paste.
Add the hot water and skim milk powder and whisk. Transfer the chocolate paste and banana to a food processor (or you can use a hand blender in one bowl) and process all the ingredients together on high speed. Add the remaining agave syrup and the yoghurt. Pour into clean and dry glass jam jar or conserve pot, seal and refrigerate. Keep refrigerated and well sealed after serving.
Rachel Bajada is an Australian food writer and French
cheese addict. Based in Paris, she sources and tests the best of modern and classic French food from talented chefs in top Paris restaurants and home kitchens across France. You can follow Rachel’s entertaining culinary adventures at her blog frenchforfoodies.com and on Twitter @RachelBajada