Akwadu Recip: Baked Caramelised Banana with Coconut – Equatorial Guinea

This easy technique for caramelising bananas involves sprinkling banana halves with coconut oil, coconut sugar, spices and lemon juice and baking them in the oven until golden, then topping with toasted coconut flakes. This akwadu recipe makes for a quick, easy and delish sweet treat!

Country Number 55: Equatorial Guinea

The West African country of Equatorial Guinea may be rather small in land mass, but geographically, it is very diverse. The country’s 28,000 square kilometres area is comprised of both a mainland region and an insular region, which consists of the islands of Biko, the Gulf of Guinea and Annobón, a small volcanic island south of the equator. Formerly, the country was a colony of Spain and was called Spanish Guinea, until it achieved independence in 1968. Again, this is one of those countries that we knew nothing about before beginning this challenge. It is cool to think that by the end of cooking our way through 196 countries, we will know at least one or two facts about every country in the world (and hopefully, if you’ve been following along, so will you)!

History of Equatorial Guinea Cuisine

The cuisine of Equatorial Guinea is rooted in the ingredients and cooking methods of native tribes. However, it was inevitably influenced by Spanish colonisation, and now even most restaurants in Equatorial Guinea serve Spanish cuisine. Cocoa and coffee make up two of the country’s key exports. Other local crops include a lot of starchy vegetables such as plantains, sweet potato, cassava and yam, which are a staple in most meals. Fruits such as mangos and bananas are commonly eaten. The cuisine incorporates various meats, including bushmeats, fish, chicken and snails. Although not a huge amount of meat is eaten throughout the country, traditional dishes that are entirely vegetarian also seem rather limited. Peanuts are the most common source of plant-based protein.

Popular Equatorial Guinea Vegetarian Dishes

  • Corn succotash– A dish made of corn, lima beans, tomatoes which are seasoned with various spices
  • Akwadu– Banana baked with coconut and flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Malamba juice– Local sugar cane brew

Vegetarian rating of Equatorial Guinea Cuisine:

Making Baked Caramelised Banana (Akwadu)

Admittedly, we were rather limited on vegetarian dishes we could make for Equatorial Guinea, which is why we ended up going for this baked banana recipe, or Akwadu, as it is known in Equatorial Guinea. This won’t be the first time we have made a banana recipe for an African country. In fact, we actually made these baked bananas as an accompaniment to our banana fritters from Djibouti.

How to make Baked Caramelised Banana (Akwadu)

These baked caramelised bananas are quick and easy to make, requiring very little prep!

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together coconut sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cut each banana in half lengthwise with the skins on. Score the flesh of each half in 1cm increments. Place them on the lined baking sheet. Pour the coconut oil on top of the bananas, then squeeze lemon over the top. Sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.
  4. Cook the bananas for 15 minutes or until caramelising and turning golden.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Ingredient notes for Baked Caramelised Banana

  • Bananas- The great thing about caramelised bananas is you can use bananas of any ripeness. The riper the banana, the sweeter the final product will be, however even bananas on the less ripe side of the spectrum will turn soft and sweet.
  • Coconut sugar- You can substitute brown sugar instead of coconut sugar, however we found the slightly nutty, caramelly taste of the coconut sugar works well with this recipe.

Serving suggestions for Akwadu

You can served these baked caramelised bananas with yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, porridge… the list is endless! We served ours with our healthy banana fritters, date caramel sauce and a generous blob of coconut yogurt.

Other banana dishes to try

Akwadu | Equatorial Guinea Food

Baked Caramelised Banana (Akwadu)- Equatorial Guinea

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This easy technique for caramelising bananas involves sprinkling banana halves with coconut oil, coconut sugar, spices and lemon juice and baking them in the oven until golden, then topping with toasted coconut flakes. They make for a quick, easy and delish sweet treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Desiccated coconut, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together coconut sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cut each banana in half lengthwise with the skins on. Score the flesh of each half in 1cm increments. Place them on the lined baking sheet.
  4. Pour the coconut oil on top of the bananas, then squeeze lemon over the top. Sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.
  5. Cook the bananas for 15 minutes or until caramelising and turning golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serve on top of porridge, with pancakes, or as a standalone snack.

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An akwadu recipe from Equatorial Guinea
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