Choco-Nut Banana Pops!

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Do you remember that merry, tinkling tune that heralded the arrival of the ice cream truck? I remember it so vividly – that joy and anticipation of a frosty treat on a hot day.

(I also remember the panicked frenzy of trying to find and coerce a parent into handing over a dollar before the truck slowly disappeared down a neighbouring street and its happy music faded sadly away. But I digress.)

As I see it, one of the chief pleasures of being young is not having to know (or care) that the delicious taste of those ice cream sandwiches and tri-colour popsicles is inversely related to its nutritional value. While my seven-year-old self didn’t care much about ingesting processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavours and colours, the knowledge sure does wreck the experience for me now (one of the major popsicle brands lists Blue 1 and Red 40 as ingredients. Yum?) But this knowledge also makes me feel extra good about scarfing down these decadent choco-nut banana pops, made from real foods I can buy at my local supermarket.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand, which is vegan)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
  • 1/3 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 bananas

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler (I have a small saucepan that I fill about 1/2 way with water, and use an insert, otherwise the chocolate can burn), bring water to almost a boil, and melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips. Once melted, add the cocoa powder and stir until it has dissolved without lumps.
  2. Arrange the nuts, nibs and hemp hearts on a cutting board (as I did) or put each in a separate plate (which might be less messy if your kids are helping!)
  3. Cut the bananas in half, and roll each in the chocolate about three quarters of the way down. I had to spoon some of the chocolate on parts of the banana to ensure even coverage.
  4. Roll the chocolate part of the banana in the chopped nuts, pressing down so that they stick. Then sprinkle the hemp hearts and cocoa nibs on all sides.
  5. Place the bananas on a plate in the freezer for 20 minutes to harden the chocolate.
  6. Enjoy!

If you want to add popsicle sticks, do so before freezing (cutting the bananas into thirds might make it easier to eat this way).

This recipe is also endlessly customizable: you could use any kind of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, etc) in place of the walnuts and peanuts, and you could use chia seeds or flax seeds instead of the hemp hearts. Small chocolate chips could replace the nibs, and you could even drizzle the pops with a homemade caramel or cherry sauce if desired!


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