Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to make Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites #dairyfree #glutenfree by Cleo Coyle

Chocolate and peanut butter make a classic combo. According to US sales, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the #1 candy in America, and our household definitely contributed to that stat. Last fall, I even blogged an easy recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake...


To download my recipe for this Easy Reese's
Peanut Butter Cup Cake,
click here.


My husband, Marc, is an especially devoted fan. Though he and I grew up in different Western Pennsylvania towns, we both well remember family trips to Hershey, PA.

We often throw Reese's minis in the freezer, especially in the summer months. They keep well and when you pop them in your mouth, they taste like an ice cream treat.

The problem? It's candy. Not the healthiest of daily treats.

A Healthier Alternative?

A few years back, Trader Joe's introduced Chocolate Covered Banana Slices. While this is a great idea, they sell out fast.

Today's recipe solved two problems for us:

(1) We can have chocolate covered banana slices whenever we want and...

(2) By adding peanut butter, these treats 
nicely replace our Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cravings. 

After a night in the freezer, the chocolate-enrobed
banana slices become wonderfully creamy, much like
ice cream. The flavor of banana becomes less pronounced,
letting the more powerful notes of chocolate and
peanut butter drench your tongue with that classically
satisfying combo.

This is a treat I make all the time.
I hope you enjoy it as much as Marc and I do...

~ Cleo



Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries.
Learn more by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle's
Frozen Chocolate
Peanut Butter
Banana Bites



Trader Joe's went bananas a few years ago by introducing frozen chocolate covered banana slices, and many people went bananas over them.

Making your own is easy and economical. Even better, you can be selective about the ingredients and make them as healthy (or as decadent) as you like.

My two little contributions to this relatively simple process are...


(1) The addition of peanut butter sandwiched between the slices and...

(2) The use of Almond Milk in creating the chocolate coating. 

Almond Milk not only contributes wonderful flavor to the chocolate, it also lets dairy-free eaters enjoy the treat. 

FYI - Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate has great health benefits, but ingesting dairy milk with it can lessen those benefits

If you are a dairy-free eater, be sure to purchase dairy-free chocolate for the recipes. Below is just one example of a product that can help you out...


The "Enjoy Life" brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, click here to learn more, read reviews, and/or purchase.

The recipe below is easy but can be tricky. I included some tips that I hope will help you get the best results. May you eat with joy...and in good health! 

~ Cleo




Click here
to download.
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes 10 to 12 Banana Bites

Ingredients:

1 banana, ripe but still firm (medium to large)

2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond or cashew butter 

3 ounces chocolate chips (depending on their size, that's usually 1/2 cup to a heaping 1/2 cup in volume) 

1 tablespoon Almond Milk (darker chocolates may need more)


Health notes on options for chocolate and peanut butter...

*Chocolate note: You can use any chocolate chips you like: milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark. In my photos today, I used Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels. If you are a dairy-free and/or gluten free eater, be sure to pick up chocolate chips that say dairy-free or gluten free on the packaging.

*Healthiest chocolate choice: Dark chocolate has wonderful health benefits, click here to read more about them. Note that you may need to use more Almond Milk for darker chocolates.
To read a brand vs. brand
comparison on "Natural"
Peanut Butters,
click here.

*Peanut butter note: Use any peanut butter you like--or almond butter or cashew butter. For a healthy suggestion, try Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter. One of this blog's followers, Libby D., recommended it, and I agree with her. It's one of the best-tasting natural peanut butters on the market. No sugar or preservatives. Just two ingredients: peanuts and a small amount of salt. For more suggestions on natural peanut butters, see the link in the caption to the right. >>

DIRECTIONS: 

Step 1 - Create the PB banana sandwiches: 
Cut your ripe but firm banana into thin slices, pairing slices by size. Make sure you have at least 12 pairs (24 slices). Smear peanut butter on half of the slices, one for each pair. 




Put the slices together like little sandwiches. You should now have 12 little peanut butter and banana sandwiches.



Step 2: - Melt the chocolate: Pour the chocolate chips into a clean, dry, shallow microwave-safe bowl. Pour the almond milk over the chocolate and stir to coat the pieces well. 



Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with care. Once you boil or burn chocolate, its taste is ruined and there is no saving it. Zap it for 20 seconds, stir. Zap again in small bursts until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth (see my photos).



Step 3 - Troubleshoot (adjust): If the chocolate seems a little thick for dipping, try the following. Pour a very small amount (1 teaspoon) more of the almond milk onto the chocolate. DO NOT MIX IN. Place the bowl back in the microwave and zap for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and stir. The chocolate should be looser. If you it's still too thick, repeat until you get the desired consistency. If chocolate becomes difficult to work with, return it to the microwave and re-warm it.

Double-Boiler option: You can also place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and create a double boiler. Place the chocolate and almond milk in the bowl and stir until melted. Then dip the banana bites into the bowl. While a little more trouble, this method has the advantage of keeping your chocolate warm and pliable through the entire dipping process.

Step 4 - Dip and freeze: One at a time, drop the PB banana sandwiches into the bowl of melted chocolate. 



Using two forks, gently flip the little banana sandwich, moving the chocolate around it until it is coated. Lift the coated banana bite with one fork, allowing the chocolate to drip off...



Be patient and get as much excess chocolate off the bite as you can. Place on a flat pan or plate that's been covered with parchment paper or wax paper.

WARNING: If you don't use wax paper or parchment paper, the chocolate will stick to the surface of your dish or pan as it dries and freezes. 


Ask me how I know. :)



Place your finished bites in the freezer for about 3 hours
or overnight. These are frozen treats, delicious right out
of the freezer. Think of them like ice cream bites.

If serving for a party, keep them frozen
as long as possible. Like ice cream, they will
begin to melt after about 15 to 20 minutes
out of the freezer.



To download
Magic Shell recipe,

click here.

MAGIC SHELL OPTION

I like the fudgy chocolate this recipe produces because it re-creates the
chewiness of a rich candy. 


If you'd rather make a crisp, thin, hard "Magic Chocolate" shell for your banana slices, that's an easy variation. Just use coconut oil instead of almond milk. For the correct ratios, see my Coffeehouse Banana Split recipe by clicking here



http://www.coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Cleo-Coyle_Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Bites.pdf
Click here to download
today's recipe, and...


Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.







To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 





Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly



See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.



* * * 


Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)


The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


* * * 


Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist, 



6 comments:

  1. This is wonderful, Cleo! Thanks so much. I can eat all this stuff and it looks like so much fun to make. Yippee!

    XOXO

    MJ

    ReplyDelete
  2. those are stunning Cleo! would love a couple right now. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marvelous mouthfuls of yumminess! With top quality ingredients one doesn't have to eat a ton of them to have a tasty time. (Unless, of course, one wants to!)
    Pure genius, once again.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. Look great! Would be a snack for my hubby. Toni N

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, these look great and I appreciate all the info about how it works, what to do when it doesn't work, and the gluten-free dairy-free aspect. Nice!

    Perfect for a party.

    Daryl / Avery

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMGoodness, these look wonderful.....worth waiting for!!!! I saw on FB that you were posting this recipe and I kept checking back at MLK all day. For some reason it didn't arrive on my computer until really, really late. I found it this (Weds) morning. Making these for sure - using my beloved double boiler. :-)

    ReplyDelete