Servings: 6 Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 min Total: 2 days
Believe it or not, one’s choice of sweetener is often controversial. This puts me in an awkward position, in that I have opinions on sweeteners that offend some, just as much as others support me. Oh, conflict!
As a blogger, it’s typically acceptable to just talk about natural things and act as if all-natural things are perfect for our bodies and that all the synthetic stuff is harmful garbage. As long as I stay true to nature, the blogosphere will stay kind to me. However, I don’t believe this “natural is always better than synthetic” ideology to be a universal truth. It’s typically mostly true. Quantity has a lot to do with it, but it’s not a consistent always. I personally believe that a cup of sugar (even an organic unrefined sugar) is going to do more harm on my body than 24 drops of liquid sucralose, especially over time. Certainly, the sugar industry would disagree with me, but it’s hard to deny all the growing weight issues, heart issues and blood sugar issues that exist in today’s day and age.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say… I occasionally use synthetic sweeteners. Actually, if I were to be completely unfiltered, hand on a Bible, I’d bet I use a synthetic sweetener at least once a day, through syrups for my coffee (or on my pancakes), some kind of fruit preserve, or the periodic use of reduced sugar ketchup. I’m sure there are others. Oh! My favorite BBQ sauce uses sucralose, too!
One way or another, synthetic sweeteners find their way into my mouth pretty regularly. My primary sweetener (Swerve) is natural, but these other things do exist and I do enjoy them. I’m also happier and healthier than I was when I ate sugar, untethered.
It’s hard to argue with a guy that is healthier and feels better than he did before he adopted a scant daily dose of synthetic sweeteners. I DO feel better! Unless I’m lying, it’s something that can’t be argued against. No one can tell me how I feel, but me!
So there. Take THAT, Capt. Crunch! I win!
All of this is a very long-winded way to say that I could definitely live my life without sugar. I could live my life without any kind of sweetener, at all. I could also live my life using only natural zero to low-glycemic sweeteners, but some of the time it’s simply more fun, more convenient, and more varied to dabble and tinker with the synthetic side of things.
If I wanted a Banana Jell-O, I have to figure out how to make it. Jell-O brand doesn’t make one!
I COULD make a pureed natural banana shmoo and mix it with a hot naturally sweetened gelatin, but this will be higher in carbohydrates and likely have a dull and unpleasant color to it. In order to match the image in my head, I’m essentially required to cross into a synthetic place. I COULD use a banana extract and a natural sweetener, but… see… this already crosses the line. I may not have full-fledged body flopped over it, but I have crossed it.
Why not just use something that gets me all of the way there? Pre-sweetened banana syrup. It’s bright yellow and tastes like the banana gumdrops from my childhood. Ohhh… A memory lane flavor. JOY!
I typically use DaVinci for my various sugar-free syrups, but Monin and Torani both have decent selections, as well. Between the three, there are around 60 to 70 different flavors. Each of those flavors can represent the base for a Jell-O treat, a coffee flavoring, an Italian Soda flavor, an Ice Cream flavor and more. Swap out the banana in the top portion of this recipe for strawberry and you’ll get a bright red gelatin treat, mixing strawberry and banana! I’ll put a skosh of syrup in my chia pudding, or a toot in a protein shake. I’ve actually got a little wet bar full of these things and mix and match the flavors with other ingredients, resulting in a mammoth variety of sweet treats!
This is a two-toned gelatin treat made with a flavored syrup to help stretch the flavor of the actual banana I used in the banana bread croutons, added to give some taste and texture to this dessert.
I made it. I enjoyed it. I experienced zero guilt.
Note: You’re about to make a gelatin dessert. Make sure you have a gelatin mold or container that will hold at least 6 cups (1.44L) of liquid. This will make six roughly 7-oz (200g) servings.
Banana Yum YumPrint Rate
Banana Gelatin Layer
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Dash salt
- 1/2 cup sugar-free banana syrup
- 1 packet (about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 tsp, total) gelatin powder
Banana Cake Cubes
- In a small sauce pan, place the water on the stove and bring it up to a boil. Add a dash of salt.
- While waiting for the water to boil, pour the banana syrup into the bottom of a small mixing bowl.
- As evenly as possible, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the syrup. This will allow it to “bloom” (the gelatin granules will swell in size, absorbing the liquid from the syrup, helping it to dissolve in the hot water you’ll add). Spreading it evenly helps to prevent clumping. Allow it to bloom for at least 5 minutes.
- Once the water has boiled and the gelatin has been allowed to bloom, pour the hot water into the gelatin bowl and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour the banana flavored gelatin base into the jello mold. Place the jello mold into a refrigerator and allow the mixture to chill for at least 8 hours.
- At some point while the banana gelatin is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 350 F (177 C).
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar replacement, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed banana, sugar-free syrup, melted butter and vanilla extract.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The batter should look like a pancake batter. You may need to add a bit of water or almond milk to thin it out, depending the ingredients used and the size of the banana.
- Grease a standard 9-inch (23 cm) cake pan.
- Add the batter to the cake pan and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cake is golden and puffy. Remove and set on a cooling rack to cool. Once it’s cool, remove the cake and cut it into cubes. Set the cubes aside.
- Now, before continuing to the next step, make sure that your banana jello is completely solid and chilled all the way through. Also, make sure your banana bread cubes are room temperature. This is all typically done first thing in the morning, the next day.
- In a small sauce pan, place the cream, 1/2 cup (120 mL) of the almond milk, sweetener, vanilla and a dash of salt on the stove and bring it up to a point just below a very low simmer.
- While waiting for the cream mixture to heat up, place the remaining 1/2 cup (120 mL) almond milk into a mixing bowl.
- As evenly as possible, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the surface of the almond milk. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Once the cream is hot and the gelatin has bloomed, pour the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set the warm gelatin mixture aside and allow to come down to room temperature. Whisk every once and again. The idea is, if your mixture is too hot and you pour it on top of the banana jello, it will melt the surface and create a bit of a muddy layer between the two gelatin layers. By allowing the temperature to drop to room temperature, you’ll get a clean line between the two layers. However, if you put it in the refrigerator, your jello will start to firm. The goal is a room temperature well mixed jello base. (If you’re really in a hurry, you can put the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice water, keeping the jello bowl floating on top. Careful not to get any water in the jello, you can whisk the jello inside the chilled bowl until the temperature drops to room temperature. This will likely happen in 2 to 3 minutes. Just don’t let it get too cold.)
- Once the vanilla jello base has cooled, evenly distribute the banana bread cubes over the surface of the banana jello, being careful not to create too many crumbs.
- Pour the vanilla jello over the top of the banana bread cubes. The cubes will likely want to float to the top. Push them down with your finger, until they’ve soaked up enough liquid to stay in place.
- Place the yum yum into the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
- Once the yum yum is chilled all of the way through, remove it from the fridge and VERY carefully submerge the base of the mold in a large bowl or sink filled with hot water. DO NOT let the water flow over the rim of the mold, but you do want as much of the mold submerged under the water, as possible. The goal is to melt the very thin outer layer of jello, by warming the surface of the mold. This will take about 30 to 90 seconds, depending on the thickness and material of the bowl. Test by pushing down on the edge of one side of the jello. You should see it easily separate from the edge of the mold.
- Once the yum yum easily separates from the edge of the mold, place your serving plate, upside down, over the top of the mold’s base. Quickly flip the platter and mold upside down, then gently wiggle and lift the mold off the yum yum. The yum yum should slide easily out of the mold onto the platter. Slice and serve!
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