In my previous post, Feeding Toddlers, I added a list of nutritious snacks for toddlers which included a new favorite in our household: mini cinnamon rolls!
A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture of some raw vegan cinnamon rolls on Instagram. I followed the link to sweetsimplevegan.com, and knew that I had to try them! I doubted the claims that they taste exactly like the gooey center of a cinnamon roll, but I thought they’d be a good snack for Abby, who rarely eats refined sweets but deserves a treat every now and then.
I made these cinnamon rolls, altering the recipe because I can’t help myself, and WOW. Somehow the cinnamon date paste makes these babies taste like the real thing — and with no gluten, refined sugar, or oil!
It’s a miracle!
Even though this cinnamon roll recipe requires a lot of waiting, there’s very little actual work involved. You just slice bananas and wait for them to dry out a few hours in your dehydrator or oven, blend the date paste in a food processor and spread it on the banana slices, roll them up, and dehydrate some more until warm. Sprinkle with more cinnamon or drizzle with vanilla nondairy yogurt and serve!
You can even throw a couple of them into a baggie and take them to the gym with you for a great post-workout snack!
Here’s how to make mini cinnamon rolls:
- Slice 3 medium-ripe bananas into thirds lengthwise along the curve of each banana so the slices lie flat.
2. Spread banana slices out on an unlined dehydrator tray OR parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Dehydrate at 115°F for 6-8 hours OR place in the oven on the lowest setting with the door propped open for about 4 hours, flipping halfway through the drying process. Bananas should have dry edges but still be flexible.
4. In a food processor, blend together soaked dates, spices, vanilla, nut butter, and a splash of water until a paste is achieved.
5. Spread cinnamon date paste on each banana slice and roll each one, starting with the smaller ends.
6. Place cinnamon rolls back in the dehydrator or oven for about one more hour, then plate and sprinkle with more cinnamon and serve warm. If you’d like to make large cinnamon rolls, add another banana slice to the end of the small roll and keep rolling. Feel free to make a cashew-based icing or drizzle with vanilla nondairy yogurt, but I found that these do not need icing at all!
- 3 medium-ripe bananas, peeled
- 10-12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water about 20 mins, drained
- 2 T. water
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 heaping T. almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 2 t. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ t. ground ginger
- Pinch nutmeg
- Slice bananas lengthwise into thirds along the curve of the banana so the slices lie flat without breaking (see photo).
- Spread out banana slices on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 6-8 hours (or overnight) until the edges of the slices are dry, but the slices still bend. ALTERNATIVELY, place slices on a lined baking sheet and bake on the lowest oven setting with the door propped open for about 4 hours, flipping slices halfway through.
- In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients until a smooth paste forms.
- Spread date paste on each banana slice and roll them up, starting with the smaller ends.
- Return cinnamon rolls to the dehydrator or oven for about one more hour, then plate, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve!
To make larger rolls, simply continue rolling by adding another banana slice at the end of the first one.
I haven't tried, but you could easily make a white icing out of blended cashews and sweetener, or you could drizzle with vanilla yogurt. These rolls are plenty sweet as is though!
This recipe makes extra date paste, which is fantastic on toast!
Abby LOVES these mini cinnamon rolls, and I feel good about giving them to her as a nutritious treat!
I even keep a jar of the cinnamon date paste in our fridge and put it on toast with almond butter for Abby’s breakfast. I wish you could see her dance around our kitchen, yelling, “Num num num!!!”
Happy toddler = happy Momma!
Of course you don’t have to have a toddler to make these delicious cinnamon rolls. If you paid enough attention, you might have noticed two of the cinnamon rolls didn’t make it to the photo shoot! Not ashamed 🙂
Give these mini cinnamon rolls a try and let me know what you think! You may be surprised that such a simple, nutritious treat can taste so good!