I was looking for a cute Fourth of July recipe to make when I stumbled on this recipe. The easy thing about the Fourth of July theme is that all you have to do is add fruit! Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries: All of them can make any regular dessert “holiday appropriate.”
But ricotta cheese? As a dessert?
Most people are a little wary when I first tell them that you can, in fact, eat ricotta cheese for dessert. Even though it’s used in a wide variety of desserts, like cheesecakes and cannolis, people tend to associate ricotta cheese with savory Italian dishes, like lasagna and eggplant parmesan. Or maybe that was just me…
I first heard of ricotta as a dessert when I was doing the South Beach Diet a million years ago. I was taken aback when I saw it on their dessert recipe list, but I figured I’d give it a try. I’m so glad I did! Ricotta is pretty mild tasting on its own, but add a little bit of sweetener and some vanilla or almond extract and you’ve got yourself an extremely satisfying dessert. (You can even get fancy and add cinnamon, cocoa powder, coffee, whatever! Sky’s the limit.)
I made this recipe in the kitchen at work, and EVERYONE who saw me carrying it from the kitchen to my desk thought it was an actual ice cream banana split. Among my favorite comments: “Don’t you think it’s a little early for ice cream?” “Oh my God that looks so good.” “Where’s mine?”
I decided not to add any sweetener to this recipe, figuring that the fruit would be enough to sweeten it up. For me it was, but it wasn’t for one of my friends, who decided to sprinkle a little Truvia on top.
I always say that sometimes all you need is a hint of a flavor to satisfy a particular craving. Well, one mouthful of ricotta mixed with banana, nuts and chocolate syrup DEFINITELY made me feel like I was eating the real thing.
Red, White and Blue Banana Split
- Handful of raspberries (or strawberries, cherries, cranberries)
- Handful of blueberries (or blackberries)
- One banana
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- Handful of walnuts
- Sugar-free chocolate syrup or cocoa powder (optional)
- One packet of Truvia or other sweetener (optional)
Slice the banana lengthwise. Add two scoops of ricotta cheese, then top with berries, nuts, and chocolate syrup. This could not be any easier.