…Today I’m presenting you a recipe for the Indian-Inspired Banana Pistachio Cake Bites, and why I’m saying Indian-inspired I’ll explain shortly. But first – about my newest culinary discovery that I’m just so excited to share with you!
You know how I love the idea of making these no-bake little treats that are so cute when you shape them in those little balls… Also it’s great to have a few no-bake dessert and snack ideas on your list of recipes since if it’s as hot out as it is now in LA (102F, and I am literally MELTING!), you really don’t want to put your oven on!
My problem with all of the recipes that I’ve been able to find on the web was that the cake bites are either too calorie-rich for their nutritious value (such as all sorts of dry fruit + nuts/nut butter/nut flour variations that have lots of fat and sugar since yes, dry fruit IS sugary) or if you find a recipe that calls for say, ground oats or an oat flour in them… those cake balls taste… sort of bland to me… Like… well, raw oats.
Of course there is plenty of not-so-healthy variations where you need to just blend the cooked cake with the buttercream… But… well, you know what I think about those and the guilt associated with eating them… I don’t like feeling guilty, not one little bit! 🙂
So, what’s for a girl to do if she still wants to make something no-bake, BUT healthy, BUT at the same time something that actually TASTES like a cake bite? And not like bird food…
And… I’ve finally found it! I’ve found my perfect answer as I stumbled upon a bunch of Indian recipes in Pinterest. Because when I need to relax and take my mind off of things I go to Pinterest and begin looking at all kinds of dessert photos:) …It takes all the stress out, instantly!
And then an Indian dessert called “Besan Ladoo” suddenly caught my eye. And you know what it’s made out of? Gram (aka besan, aka simply garbanzo bean) flour! I LOVE garbanzo bean flour! It’s naturally very high in protein and not as high in fat as a nut flour, for instance. But I like it baked in a cake or a muffin or, whatever it’s baked in. Not raw.
But for a Besan Ladoo, you, no, you don’t bake it. You ROAST the besan flour! This discovery was like an “A-ha!” moment for me! Yes! I can ROAST the flour!
The only few things about a traditional Indian recipe that I didn’t like and had to adjust to my liking was:
- The Indian recipes usually call for LOTS of ghee or clarified butter. Not only the butter makes the treats REALLY fattening, I am also not a very big fan of ghee since it’s essentially melted butter that you are going to heat up again…
- Since I am not an Indian girl, I didn’t think that I’d like adding as many different spices as the “true” Indian recipes call for. (I am more a “vanilla-and-maybe-cinnamon” kind of a girl 🙂 )
- The real Besan Ladoo doesn’t contain any fruit. Rarely it’s made with some dry fruit. And I thought that the fruit will not only add to my creation’s texture since I wasn’t going to use all that fat. Fresh fruit is naturally sweet, contains many vitamins and it’s also low-calorie.
- 4 overripe bananas pureed
- 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1/3 cup ground pistachios* + 1/4 cup extra for rolling optional: adds flavor and makes the bites look pretty, but also adds the extra calories
- 2 tbsp . brown sugar*
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp . vanilla extract
- pinches a pinch of cinnamon or if you'd like to make the bites "truly" Indian you can also add the of both cardamom and nutmeg powders
- Over the medium heat add the oil to a big skillet. Add 1/3 cup of ground nuts and roast them for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the flour and stir. Continue stirring as the flour roasts, for about 5-7 minutes. Once its all hot and fragrant turn the heat down to low.
- Add the banana puree, vanilla, sugar and any spices that you'd like to add. Stir the mixture up thoroughly and keep stirring for a few minutes until the bananas begin to heat up and "melt" from the heat. Let the mixture cook for a few more minutes until it starts to boil.
- If you'd like taste a little bit of the mixture to see if it's sweet enough for you, and add more sugar if you decide to. If you do add more sugar, let the mixture cook a little bit longer to make sure that the sugar is incorporated and melts in.
- Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool, first in the room temperature, and then in a refrigerator (cooling the mixture down makes it easier to roll it into the balls).
- Spread the mixture on a cutting board, cut it into 20 pieces and roll each piece into a round bite.
- Roll your cake bites in the extra ground pistachios if you'd like. (That's what I did for breakfast today!)
- Enjoy every healthy bite!
*The Pistachios don't have to be finely ground - I actually leaving some of them coarse so that they add that beautiful green color and you can actually taste them when you bite the treats.
*The two tbsp. of sugar made the treats sweet enough for me since the overripe bananas are already very sweet. But you can add some more sugar if you like it REALLY sweet. You should taste the dough then as it's hot, add the sugar and let it cook a little so it melts in.
And as always, if you decide to make them sometime, any thoughts or ideas welcome!