I buy bananas every week. I should probably stop buying them because we never eat them in time. I was told to stop putting bananas in Will and Lidia’s lunch boxes because they were “getting ripe all over the other food.” I also have a ubiquitous stash of brown bananas wrapped in the freezer that are in a “wanna be in a smoothie someday” state of purgatory. Our recent move has landed us into a temporary apartment, and my blender is in a “somewhere in a box in the storage unit” state of purgatory. Needless to say, I haven’t been making smoothies, and my frozen brown banana stash keeps growing. I was ready to add a new crop of brown bananas to the inventory when I thought that I needed to do something else.
I had seen the frozen banana pops as a preschool snack some years back. In that version, however, they had rolled the ripe bananas in a granola topping before freezing them. My version had to include dark chocolate. I’m a bit obsessed with good dark chocolate, and chocolate is a classic pairing with bananas. I added some toasted almonds for more flavor and the very important crunch factor. The process was easier than I thought it would be, and I must say, the end result was shockingly good. I mean, I knew it was going to be good, but they were really good. The kids thought they were eating an ice cream bar. So, set your frozen brown bananas free today! Liberate them from “wanna be in a smoothie some day” to “shockingly good dark chocolate banana pops!”
First, cut your bananas in half.
Peel them and stick a popsicle stick in each one. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place pan in the freezer for at least one hour.
In the meantime, you can toast some nuts. I used slivered almonds, but you could use any kind of nut you want: peanut, hazelnut, pecan, pine nut (which is also the name of a town). I like to toast my nuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until they get nice and golden brown.
Once your bananas are good and frozen, melt your chocolate. You can do this very easily in the microwave, or in a saucepan. Next, dip each banana in the melted chocolate.
Then, roll one side of the banana in the toasted nuts.
Place the banana back on the sheet pan, and you’re done! Easy, right? Only approximately 167 calories/each. Oh yeah – and they’re gluten free!
SHOCKINGLY GOOD DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA POP RECIPE:
4 each – very ripe bananas
1 cup – 60% dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup – slivered almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bananas in half.
2. Peel and place on a parchment lined sheet tray.
3. Insert a popsicle stick in each one.
4. Place the sheet tray in the freezer for at least one hour.
5. Place almonds (or other nuts) on a different sheet tray and toast in the oven 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Once the bananas are good and frozen, melt the chocolate.
In the microwave: place half of the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute on power level six. Stir chocolate. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Cook for 30 seconds on power level 5. Stir well.
On the stovetop: Place 2/3 of the chocolate chips in a saucepan. Over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in remaining chocolate. Stir well until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
7. Dip each banana in the chocolate until mostly covered.
8. Roll the chocolate banana in the toasted almonds on one side and place back on the pan. The chocolate should harden after a minute or so.