I didn't grow up in a sugary household. I don't remember a cookie jar or a candy drawer. A sea shell candy dish sat in our living room, but it was always empty. I'd ask for candy at the grocery store, even though I knew the answer before the words left my mouth. On one particular occasion when my request for Haribo gummy bears was denied, I hid the plastic bag under my shirt as we went through the checkout aisle. I stole them, surely a telltale sign of a future juvenile delinquent. Yet savvy I was not. I filled that seashell dish to the brim once we got home. I remember being surprised when my mom found me in the living room, arranging each bear belly side up. She drove me back to the store and I reluctantly handed the opened bag of gummy bears over to the clerk. I apologized. And I never, ever, to this day, stole anything again.
My mother had served me well. She singlehandedly extinguished any future episodes of shoplifting while managing to keep my sugar intake to a minimum. She also taught me how wonderfully fruit can function as dessert. We had apple crunch in the fall and orange juice popsicles in the winter. The summer was filled with bowls of fresh cut fruit and whipped cream. And if I was lucky, really lucky, chocolate covered banana pops could be found stashed away in the freezer. We didn't have these desserts often, but when we did, it was a special treat.
I thought I'd put a new spin on my mom's chocolate covered version, swapping peanut butter instead. They're rolled in flaked coconut and chopped walnuts. You could certainly use any toppings you like. Peanuts or almonds would be great substitutions. They're ridiculously easy to throw together. Freeze. Smear. Roll. Freeze. Eat. Fruit as dessert is just fine by me. And if it involves frozen bananas and peanut butter, all the better.
~Frozen Banana Pops Recipe~
8 ripe but firm bananas, cut in half
8 popsicle sticks
1/2 cup organic, smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup large flaked, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
I choose smaller sized bananas for this. Insert a popsicle stick into each banana. Place on parchment paper and freeze for 3-4 hours. Remove the bananas. Place the coconut and walnuts on separate plates for rolling. Smear each banana with approximately 1 tbsp of peanut butter, covering entirely. It's not necessary to measure. Just give each a good coating. Carefully roll the banana in coconut or walnuts. If you have trouble getting the toppings to stick, use your hands and gently press the toppings into the peanut butter as you roll. Freeze again until they have set, about 2 hours. Remove for a few minutes before serving to take the chill off. Serves 8.