Minatamis na saging is a traditionally vegan Filipino dessert comprised of saba bananas and a sweet syrup called arnibal. It's usually enjoyed as a snack, but sometimes it's combined with shaved ice and milk to make it a cold treat known as saba con yelo. This favorite treat of Filipino homes has a natural sweetness, but with a hearty texture complemented by caramel and (interestingly) apple-like notes.
Minatamis Na Saging: Filipino Sweetened Bananas [Vegan]
For the Minatamis Na Saging:
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 ripe bananas (preferably saba), peeled and thinly sliced
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
For the Saba Con Yelo:
- Shaved ice
- Non-dairy milk
To Make the Minatamis Na Saging:
- In a small pot, combine water, sugar, and salt.
- Heat pot over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add bananas, cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes (the syrup won't really be thick and syrupy but will definitely be thicker).
- Turn off heat and serve hot, warm, or chilled.
To Make Saba Con Yelo:
- Place your preferred number of minatamis na saging pieces in a glass.
- Top with shaved ice.
- Pour non-dairy milk, leaving some room for the shaved ice.
- Serve immediately.
If you live outside the Philippines, you could still have access to saba bananas. Just check your neighborhood Asian grocery stores, specifically at the produce section. Choose saba bananas that are soft and tender (but not mushy) when pinched. You could also use plantains as an alternative. Aside from vanilla extract, you could also add nutmeg and/or cinnamon.