Sep 212011
 

Once upon a time, in a hypothetical dream diet world, you wish to your fairy bod-mother that you’ll give up all sweets–for good.  You stick to that plan for the rest of your life, marry the prince, and live skinnily ever after.  Blah blah blah, yeah right.  The second you make a promise to cut out something out of your diet completely, especially something addictive (and awesomeeee) like sugar, it’ll only be a matter of time before you crack and go backwards ten steps.  That’s why coming up with a few lower guilt dessert ideas can keep you happy and on track.  





These frozen dark chocolate bananas are simple enough for anyone but are impressive enough to share (although you may not want to).  The process involves freezing banana halves on sticks,  melting dark chocolate, dipping, and coating with the toppings of your choice.  My topping choices were cinnamon graham crackers, chopped walnuts, and coconut, but the options are endless.  Crushed pretzels, virtually any nut or candy will work too.  



Nutritional Highlights:  Everyone knows that bananas give you potassium (which contributes to our electrolyte balance and smooth muscle function), but you might not have known that potassium rich foods have been shown to prevent atherosclerosis (artery hardening) and hypertension (high blood pressure).  I also didn’t realize until now that bananas have about 30% of the B6 you need in a day.  They’re also a great source of dietary fiber.  Now on to what really matters–the dark chocolate.  Some awesome scientists figured out that dark chocolate (and not other varieties) offer potential cardiovascular benefits and cancer fighting antioxidants.  Plus, you can keep the toppings appetizing and healthy–nuts for protein and healthy fat, or graham crackers for a low fat crunch.  





Dark Chocolate Frozen Bananas


Ingredients: 

  • 4 ripe but firm bananas
  • 12 oz dark chocolate 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Topping of your choice: graham cracker, walnuts, peanuts, pretzels, coconut, granola, m&m’s, etc
Directions: 

1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
2. Cut the bananas in half (with peel still on) and insert a Popsicle stick into each half, as shown. Unpeel the bananas and place them on the baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
3. Once they bananas have frozen, melt the chocolate with the oil in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave (check it every 30 seconds) or in a double boiler over a half-full pan of simmering water (about 2 minutes). Stir until smooth.
4. Roll each banana half in the chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with your topping
5. Freeze until the chocolate sets, 30 minutes. Serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to a week.

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