Ginataang Saging at Sago Recipe
It's easy to get a truly delicious merienda that is creamy, sweet, and super refreshing. Halo halo is a great example but not everyone loves this super loaded dessert!
To keep it simple yet still remain super appetizing, you can skip the long list of ingredients of the halo halo, and stick to one or three choices among that list of ingredient toppings you love. If the minatamis na saging or saba, the sago pearls, and the concentrated milk are your favorite parts of the halo halo, why not try this version that keeps these ingredients at the center of the flavor profile?
This becomes a ginataang saging at sago recipe that has more in common with a saba con yelo that's been upgraded than a halo-halo.
What Is Saba Con Yelo?
Also known as minatamis na saging or saba, this dessert is simply sweetened bananas. Its Spanish name, saba con yelo, literally means cardaba banana (saba) with ice (yelo). In Filipino, minatamis means "sweetened."
In its simplest form, saba con yelo is usually eaten as merienda or a snack on hot afternoons, but the sweetened caramelized bananas can also be used as a halo-halo topping! This refreshing dessert is easy to make, and what makes it more enjoyable is you can make it in the comfort of your home with your loved ones. That's why it's so easy to make even better with a few tweaks!
Tips to Make Saba Con Yelo:
1 Make sure your saba or cardaba bananas are ripe.
There is a sweet spot for when it's best to turn your saba into minatamis na saba, and it's just as soon as ripens. You will be able to tell it's ripe when the banana peels have turned completely yellow and there's no shade of green to be seen. The bananas will not be as sweet when they're cooked raw (still green), but they will disintegrate too easily if they're overripe.
2 Use brown sugar for the syrup.
While it's absolutely okay to use white sugar in case you really can't source brown, there's no replacing the flavor that brown sugar infuses in the syrup. What makes brown sugar, well, brown, and what gives it its unique flavor is the molasses that is mixed into it; the more molasses, the darker it is. We suggest using medium to dark brown sugar, as light brown sugar will have less flavor.
3 Don't have an ice shaver? Use a blender, or don't shave the ice at all.
Most blenders these days have some capacity to crush ice, but not all! Before you attempt this, check your blender's manual to see if there's any warning against it. Otherwise, you can begin by crushing small batches of ice to see if your blender can take it. Start at a lower speed and gradually increase. If it's having trouble, you can add just a little bit of water (or better yet: some syrup from the saba!) On the other hand, if you don't have a blender either, you can just replace the shaved ice with ice cubes; your saba con yelo will still taste delicious!
4 Make the minatamis na saba and sago ahead.
The sweetened saba and the sago will take time to cool down and become infused with its sweetened and aromatic flavors, so it's best to make it a day or so before you'll want it. Both ingredients keep well, so you can make a big batch and you can have this leveled-up saba con yelo as often as you want! The sweetened saba and sago is a versatile dessert and can also be used in other dessert recipes.