TikTok is my new obsession with quick recipes. What I’m about to cover is a doozy.
First, I did it for the taste test, of course. Later that day, I did it a second time for the purpose of more photos. It’s so important to get the right lighting, you know. Of course, I did it a third time so my family could try it out. I may have eaten a bite or two, just for the purposes of audio data collection (scientific method and all). And then I did it a fourth time for Sunday morning breakfast, because, friends, it’s a religious experience.
Jen Jones was a singer until the pandemic hit the entertainment industry particularly hard. Wondering what else she could do, she turns to another love: food. She has been cooking her since she was a child and she has always had a knack for it: “I just know what goes together,” she said. Several family members had health issues that required dietary changes, so she started making forays into plant-based nutrition and, after noticing improvements in her health, switched to an all-plant diet over the past 18 months. .
Throughout the process, she uploaded her efforts to TikTok and Instagram hoping to help others interested in trying a plant-based diet. “I wake up, I think about the recipes. I go crazy thinking about recipes all day. I go to bed thinking about recipes! “She said, adding that she hopes her videos will allow people to prioritize their health.” I just know it’s my purpose, part of my journey, to help people. “
I agree that he only knows which flavors go together, but his ideas are refreshingly new at the same time. I’ve never seen anything like its brilliant chilli pineapple juice. Some of his recipes are also really healthy; I get irritated with ultra-processed ingredients and chemical additives masquerading as good nutrition, but there isn’t much to that here. She says the most popular things on her social media are fruit and vegetable juices and sweets, and it’s easy to see why; I am thrilled to make many of his own recipes.
Enter the air fryer banana split, made to be day 14 of a 31-day plant-based challenge and happy recipient of over 3 million views on TikTok since it was released in January. I know what you’re thinking: hot ice cream doesn’t calculate. Try it, though, and you’ll understand what it’s coming up to.
There are many wonderful air fryer banana recipes online, but most are simply sliced and caramelized. (Pro tip: Line your air fryer with foil unless you like to eliminate the burnt sugar.) Cooked bananas may seem odd at first, but you may have already eaten foster bananas and bananacue (a portmanteau of banana and barbecue) has been a staple of Filipino street food for decades. This banana split recipe is different, though.
First, Jones makes a crack in an unpeeled banana, but not the way other air-fried banana recipes do; he lays it on its side and cuts a slit on the side facing up, leaving the underside of the peel intact like a hot dog bun. He opens it up a bit, fills it with natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, and nut halves, and air fry at 400 F for five to six minutes. Then he garnishes it with cinnamon and plant-based yogurt (suggests Cocojune coconut yogurt). He says his reaction on TikTok is real, his first taste of his new recipe, and I think I made the same face when I tried it myself.
Let’s fry it and I’ll show you!
I suggest using a fully ripe banana with some brown spots. We have a nut allergy in the house, so I made mine with no added sugar sunflower butter, dark chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds, but the peanut butter and walnuts used by Jones, or any nut along with almonds, pumpkin seeds or even chickpea butter would be fine.
Start preheating your air fryer while you prepare the banana. By adding a spoon to both sides, it will be easier to stuff the toppings in there. All you will need is about a tablespoon of each.
I looked at it after five minutes, and as the pumpkin seeds weren’t burning, I decided to spend an extra minute for the sake of caramelization. The banana softens a lot in that last minute, so stop at 4 or 5 minutes if you want less.
To garnish, I happened to have Chobani Greek Coffee Yogurt on hand. I also tried one with some strawberry jam to enhance the banana split effect.
The verdict? Sublime.
It’s hot, yes, but cold yogurt helps to give the impression of ice cream. With all the toppings, the creamy textures, the sweetness and the temperature contrasts, it’s a kind of inverse of a hot banana split fudge. It will depend heavily on the nut butter and yogurt you use, but this recipe will typically count less than 350 calories. The average banana split from an ice cream shop has at least 800.
Some of the people I shared it with weren’t crazy about the color change the peel undergoes within the first minute of heating (I don’t mention names, but his initials are “my husband”), but I think it’s amazing and beautiful , such as forbidden rice or Moon Drop grapes. People who hate overripe bananas may understandably think the color is unsightly, though. If you prefer, it is absolutely possible to separate the peel from the banana a little both before and after cooking, then you can finish it off the peel and on the plate with the spoon before garnishing with yogurt.
Jones says the reaction has been almost universally positive, but his air-fried orange from day 13 has gotten even more love, with 6.7 million views. Her favorite of hers is his “heaven on a plate” air-fried pineapple. If you’re considering adding some plant-based meals and snacks to your repertoire, Jones encourages you to start with recipes that use your favorite ingredients and then make changes gradually. “It might take six months, it might take three years,” he said, “but it doesn’t matter as long as you try. Everyone has their own journey.”
The next step for me is her healthy ice cream sandwiches and fries (a TODAY trend covered last summer). As for Jones’s future, he doesn’t do anything small, so keep your hats. He has a skin care business with a coffee oil treatment that she developed herself, and more in the works, as a body scrub. There is a new wellness blog. She has cookbooks available for download (a series of four seasonal editions called “So Easy & So Good”) and a YouTube channel. And of course, you can always find her quick and easy plant-based recipes on her TikTok.
My prediction? He loves Ceylon cinnamon and has a lovely way of saying it. I foresee a Jen Jones Ceylon CIN-na-MEIN! sprinkle, healthy and all natural of course, with a classy label and a tip to literally put it on everything.
Some clever spice company better grab it. I think it might go somewhere.