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Campfire Banana Boats

Ramona King

Campfire Banana Boats


How to build the perfect campfire banana boats

Sitting around a campfire and roasting marshmallows is one of our favorite camping traditions. A sweet treat while stargazing is a wonderful way to end a long day of hiking and exploring the great outdoors. You may automatically turn to s’mores for a campfire dessert, but if you feel like breaking traditions on your next camping trip we’ve got the perfect dessert for you to make. 

In the spirit of the weather getting cooler in the South and multiple camping trips on the horizon, we spent some time in the Southern Kitchen test kitchen developing some campfire desserts. One of the new and very customizable campfire desserts we will be making again and again is a campfire banana boat.

Using a banana as the base for this dessert, we added a variety of toppings to create six different sweet treats. Here’s how you can do it, too. 

Pick the right bananas
For this dessert, Chef Jeffrey Gardner recommends using a ripe banana with a darker peel and spots. “I would say that in the US, we eat too many bananas that aren’t fully mature, such as those with dark spots,” he said. “The spotted ones make the best campfire boats because they’re sweeter.” Prepare the bananas
No need to peel the banana for this dessert. Simply cut a 1-inch-wide strip nearly the length of the banana out of the inner curve of the banana. “Next, cut a slit down the entire length of the exposed part of the banana, making a ‘pocket,’ if you will,” Jeffrey said. 

And voilà, the base for this campfire dessert is complete. Fill with flavor
Everything from Nutella and strawberries to peanut butter and bacon are fair game when it comes to topping your campfire banana boat. We created six different flavor combinations including a play on bananas foster, a nutty and fruity Elvis-inspired mix and even a caramel-coconut-chocolate riff on our favorite Girl Scout cookie. Our flavor combinations are pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves, but there's no need to stay too close to our recipes; each can serve as inspiration when you’re building your banana boat. 

Jeffrey warns not to go too overboard with the toppings. “We tried to keep them contained to the inside and top of the bananas so as not to make a mess,” he said. “Also, too much loose filling in the packet, like caramel or chocolate sauce, might burn faster.” He also recommends adding more texture with nuts or crushed cookies. Campfire Bananas with Peanut Butter, Chocolate and BaconStart cooking
After you’ve got your toppings set, it’s time to get cooking. “Roll them up with heavy duty aluminum foil and place them near the base of the campfire,” Jeffrey said. “The closer they are, the faster they cook.” The boats should finish cooking in about 10 minutes, but may cook a little faster if the fire is bigger. After cooking, the bananas should be soft and served hot. 

Enjoy your campfire treat
Break open the aluminum foil pouch and enjoy this campfire dessert. Unlike s’mores, you’ll need a spoon or fork to eat a campfire banana boat. 

Make these campfire banana boats on your next camping trip
Campfire Banana "Samoas"
Campfire Bananas Foster
Campfire Roasted Bananas with Strawberries and Nutella
Gluten-Free Campfire Banana "S'mores"
Campfire Bananas with Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bacon
Campfire Blueberry Crunch Bananas

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Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.