I am worthless and weak when it comes to goodies of any kind.
I can plow through a plate of brownies. I can burrow into a large bag of potato chips and not come out until I get to the other side. I can tear open a family size chocolate bar with nothing but the intent of snapping off a little piece….and well, I don’t have to tell you how THAT works out. I have been known to empty an entire jar of nutella. Just me and a spoon.
And on. And on. It’s embarrassing.
If you share my brand of willpower – as in the non-existent kind – then you understand how this can be a problem. I had to DO something……so I came up with this.
Naturally sweet and creamy bananas sliced and layered with gooey almond butter, spliced back together on a stick and drenched in a rich and chocolaty cacao coating, all rolled up in a crunchy, nutty, super food charged combo of chopped almonds and hemp hearts. Pop them in the freezer and you’ve got an easy, healthy little goodie that you can actually feel virtuous about indulging in.
Most importantly, if you are the greedy, gluttonus type….. (hand raised, right here) you can’t get into too much trouble because they simply take way too long to eat! Tricky, tricky, tricky.
Obviously you want to start with perfectly ripe bananas. Not super ripe, as in – banana bread ripe, oh yuck no, don’t do that. Just nice ripe, ready to eat banana style. Each banana makes two servings, so start by cutting your bananas in half.
You can cut your halves into thirds, or quarters if you like (I did both), making sure to keep the banana pieces in “place” on your board, as you’ll be putting them back together and you want to keep everybody straight. No Frankenstein banana-sickles here!
Spear the end piece onto a skewer (I just used bamboo skewers; cut off the sharp-ish tip with some scissors if you plan on giving these to kids…..although I would never encourage that. Give the kid a lollipop and save these for yourself!) and spread some almond butter onto the bottom (flat) side. Slide the next piece of the banana up the skewer (from the end) to meet it and spread some more almond butter on the bottom. Repeat. Leave the bottom of the last piece of banana nekked, okay? I mean I guess you could smear some almond butter on that but it would be sorta messy. In the best way arguably, but still.
Now put these guys on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, or SOMETHING that will fit in your freezer. None of my cookie sheets fit so I just placed them on a small cutting board. Into the freezer they go to set up.
Remember the hard chocolate coating you could get on a Dairy Queen soft serve “dip” back in the day? This is just like that only BETTER! This stuff you are about to mix up is actually good for you…
Cacao powder (get some if you don’t already have it. It works just like cocoa powder in any sort of recipe and it has actual nutritional value! We like that here), coconut oil, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and to sweeten this up just a bit, real maple syrup. The good stuff. NOT that Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth corn syrup hooey, but REAL maple syrup. Now no sugar is healthy sugar but at least maple syrup is real and not highly processed. Besides, this only calls for 2 tablespoons. Yep. For eight servings. Plus it is just delightfully yummy. What’s not to love?
Melt that coconut oil so that it’s liquid and then whisk all of this together in a shallow dish. Make sure you have it nice and smooth. Looks good, huh?
Get your almonds chopped, and toss in some hemp hearts. Or just use almonds. Or just use hemp hearts. Never heard of hemp hearts? Check them out, here. They are nutty and delicious, packed with all sorts of good fats, vitamins, trace minerals and amino acid amazing-ness. I love these little guys. I lay it all out on a small piece of foil to aid in coating ease and clean up time.
After about 30 minutes (at least 15 minutes, okay?), your banana/nut butter sticks will be semi-frozen up enough to handle. Now it’s just a matter of twirling them around in that luscious chocolate bath, and then into the sprinkle station, coating them with your nuts. Back onto a sheet of wax paper and into the freezer they go. Let them freeze completely. This shouldn’t take longer than an hour or so.
And that’s IT! Not too sugary, but certainly sweet enough so that you know you’re treating your naughty self. Creamy, crunchy, velvety smooth chocolate love, and actually even good for you, this little bite of frozen yummy is a home run! Just try to eat two in one sitting…..you’ll tucker out before you can can get it done. These may actually last more than a day around me…
But I can’t make any promises.
This makes eight servings. Hands on time for this will take you about 15 minutes, but remember there is some freezing time involved so you’ll need about two hours, start to finish.
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled and halved
- 1/4 (approx) cup almond butter (NO SUGAR ADDED) *
- 8 skewers (or popsicle sticks)
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- GO NUTS
- 1/2 cup of chopped almonds**
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- Each banana half will be one popsicle.
- Slice banana halves into thirds (or quarters if you like) being careful to keep them in order on your work surface.
- Skewer the end of the banana (that will be the top of your pop) and with a butter knife, smear a dollop of almond butter on the flat end, the skewer will be sticking out, so just butter around it. Slide the next corresponding piece of banana up the skewer and press into the almond buttered side of the first piece. Smear more almond butter onto the bottom of that piece, and continue, until you have skewered all the banana slices and connected them with a layer of almond butter.
- Lay these out on a wax paper lined board or pan that fits into your freezer.
- Freeze for at least 15 minutes.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING
- Gently melt the coconut oil until it is liquid in the microwave or in a small pan over a low heat.
- Combine the oil with the remaining ingredients (through pinch of salt) in a shallow dish, and whisk until very smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the almonds and hemp hearts on a small sheet of foil.
- TO COMPLETE
- Roll the partially frozen bananas first in the melty chocolate and then right into the nuts to coat.
- Place back into the freezer on a clean piece of wax paper to completely set up, about an hour.
- Once they are completely frozen, store them in a big plastic freezer bag.
- * the amount you use will just depend on....how much you can smear on! I just worked out of the jar, no need to measure it out.
- ** Use whatever nutz you like! Walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts, whatever floats your boat.