Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops

For this week’s regular post we will stick with the frozen theme, but with a somewhat healthier approach. Peanut butter and banana is one of my favorite combos, which you probably have noticed from previous posts. Similar to one of my favorite summer confections, these are reasonably healthy, easy to prepare, and a delightful addition to a hot day.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops {{Baking Bytes}}

Sliced bananas spaced with peanut butter, frozen, and dipped with a thin layer of chocolate, they are sweet and satisfying without having the high sugar and calorie contents of more traditional desserts. The stick makes them great for kids and fun for adults, as well as easy to serve at potlucks and barbecues. Stored in a cooler they should be just fine for a few hours during your outside gatherings even during hot weather.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops {{Baking Bytes}}

As an added bonus, you can easily tailor this recipe to suit your preferences and avoid boredom. If peanut butter or chocolate isn’t your style (or you are concerned for allergies), you can easily substitute almond butter, Nutella, caramel sauce, marshmallow creme, or whatever your heart desires. Drizzle the end result with white chocolate or colored candy melts to fit in with a theme, or roll in chopped nuts for a crunchy addition.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops {{Baking Bytes}}

My directions make 4-6 servings depending on how high you make your stacks (and how many pieces you eat), but it’s easily scaled to make a bunch at a time. A cookie sheets works great for the initial freezing, and once the chocolate layer is completely frozen you can transfer the lot to an air-tight container or Ziploc for longer term storage. In a sealed container they’ll easily keep frozen and delicious for a few weeks, assuming you haven’t eaten them all yet.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops {{Baking Bytes}}

Make a quick batch of these today, then check back on Friday morning for a brand new (and adults-only) ice cream recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops

Makes 4-6 pops

Ingredients

2 medium bananas, ripe
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips1
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Line a plate or small cutting board with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Peel and slice2 bananas into approximately 1/2″ pieces, discarding (eating) rounded ends. Divide into equal stacks.
  3. In a small microwave safe container, microwave peanut butter for 30 seconds. Stir until liquid and smooth. If necessary, heat in additional 10-second intervals.
  4. Gently slide bananas onto Popsicle sticks, dipping (or spooning) peanut butter onto each slice. End with an undipped piece, then carefully place onto parchment paper. You will likely not use all the peanut butter.
  5. Freeze at least two hours.
  6. In a small microwave safe container, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth and completely combined. If necessary, heat in additional 10-second intervals. For ease of dipping, pour into a tall, skinny container (like a champagne flute).
  7. Dip each banana pop into the chocolate, swirling to cover completely. Gently return to parchment paper.
  8. Return to freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

Notes

For a richer chocolate experience, you can double the amount of chocolate chips simply repeat steps 6-7 to produce a thicker chocolate layer.

Obviously you could skip slicing and just dip banana halves or thirds into peanut butter and then chocolate, but I like the stacks so they end up straighter and able to stand up on end, as well as a higher banana to peanut butter ratio. But if you want to go that route, I certainly won’t judge.

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Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream {National Ice Cream Month}

Hi friends! I hope you are surviving the massive heatwaves or at least not giggling too hard at those of us struggling through them. Can you believe we are halfway through the year already? Crazy. Although I can definitely say that if this 100-degree (F) weather keeps up I will be ready for winter really soon.

In any case, I have a month of frozen deliciousness for you! If you were around last year, you might remember that July is National Ice Cream Month and to celebrate I posted a new ice cream recipe each week. This year I’m intending to follow the same pattern so I’ll be posting a total of five new recipes on Wednesdays in July. Are you pumped? You should be. (I am.)

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

To start us off I thought I’d use a classic flavor: peanut butter. Well maybe you think peanut butter isn’t classic, but it’s a very common flavor in my house and I’d eat it probably five times per day if I didn’t specifically try not to. Whoops. Last year I posted peanut butter fudge ripple and this year I’m bringing you peanut butter banana.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

When I was on exchange in Scotland (several years ago now, boy time flies) I discovered a place called the Marble Slab Creamery. Much like Coldstone here in the states, they add your mix-ins right in front of you and then hand over a perfectly balanced treat made directly to your specifications. I’m sure they had like ten thousand calories per cup but I went there several times during my stay when I needed a pick-me-up or I was celebrating or I happened to be near the mall. My favorite combination was peanut butter banana with Graham cracker and I probably ordered one at least half of the times I went. Sprinkled with crushed Graham crackers, this recipe beautifully recreates that memory in a delicious treat I can make from 4000 miles away.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Smooth and peanut buttery with the lovely addition of banana, this ice cream tastes like summer to me. It’s a fabulous combination you have probably noticed crops up in a ton of my recipes and I doubt I’ll ever get bored with it. If you think no dessert is complete without chocolate, it would also be great with that fudge ripple from last year or topped with some mini chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Hope you enjoy the kickoff recipe and be sure to check back next week for a less traditional flavor.

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half (or milk)
1/2 creamy peanut butter1
1/2 cup egg substitute
2-3 medium ripe bananas2

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and completely combined; mixture will be somewhat thick.
  2. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight.
  4. Serve topped with crushed Graham crackers and/or your choice of toppings.

Notes

1 You could use chunky if you want, although likely the texture will still be pretty smooth after blending.

For best flavor, bananas should be very ripe or slightly override. I like to use three so the banana flavor is more pronounced, but if you’re more a peanut butter person use fewer of them.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Hello friends, hope you are having a lovely June. If you’re in one of the places having massive heatwaves, I hope you’re staying cool with smoothies and ice cream and other frozen treats. Shameless self-promotion aside, we’ve had the usual gauntlet of rain and hail and sunshine here that typically befalls June. On Saturday I ran my 10th half marathon in West Yellowstone, which also happened to be my first trail race, and it was as warm as it was beautiful.

2015 Yellowstone Half Marathon

You might think the lack of baked goods the last several posts is due to the weather, but it’s actually because my oven is broken. It’s not holding temperature correctly which doesn’t work well for delicate items like cookies and quickbreads. Due to this, M has been making no-bake cookies, which is one of his standbys for when I don’t get around to baking. (The other is brownies, but that also requires an oven, obviously.) Since they’ll probably be a staple until the oven situation is resolved, I thought I’d share them here.

No-Bake Cookies {{Baking Bytes}}

These cookies are quite rich but they have a great peanut butter chocolate flavor, and are super quick to put together. They stay soft and delicious for about a week and are extra yummy with a tall glass of milk. I’ll admit they are really sweet (2 cups of sugar will do that) but they’re an excellent go-to treat when you need something fast to satiate that chocolate craving.

Whip up a batch for the week (or the day) and give your oven a break.

No-Bake Cookies {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Borrowed from M
Makes 4+ dozen one-tablespoon cookies

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
3.5 – 4 cups Quick Oats (I always use Quaker)1

Directions

  1. Spread wax paper or aluminum foil on the counter (or a cookie sheet if you want to be able to move them).
  2. Combine sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until melted.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; continue boiling for about 90 seconds.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients until completely combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop (or two spoons), scoop cookies onto prepared surface. I usually make them bite-sized (about 1 tablespoon) whereas M prefers a more hefty size (about 3 tablespoons), so feel free to do whatever size you like best.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely, then store in an airtight container on the counter.

Notes

The fewer oats you use the more gooey the cookies will be. The pictures are using the full amount but we typically use about 3.75 cups.

Makes just under 5 dozen if you do my size, or about 2 dozen if you do his size.

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Has summer hit your area yet? It’s been hit or miss here but we did have a lovely hailstorm the other day. And I say that with great sincerity, storms are fun so long as they don’t happen constantly.

The recipe I have for you today (although “recipe” might be kind of a generous term for a smoothie, if I’m honest) is great for those hot days when you want a healthy and filling meal but it’s too hot to make anything. It may not seem like much but I’m always surprised just how full I am at the end. Great for lunch (or dinner, if you’re as lazy as I am) and it is awesome for refueling after a long run.

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

I’ll admit the green color can be a bit off-putting, but it tastes like a peanut butter banana milkshake. If you’re extra afraid of vegetables, like I was when I first started making this, just add a little bit more peanut butter or yogurt until you can’t taste the green. Maybe even put it in an opaque cup if that helps you come to terms with it.

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

Cold, creamy, and sweet, it drinks like dessert but is a protein- and vitamin-packed meal replacement perfect for any day, but especially great on hot ones. A few years ago we had an extremely hot summer here in Montana (especially by Alaskan standards) and there were a couple weeks where I had one of these for dinner while I sat in front of the air conditioner pretty much every day after work. Five minutes to make and no heat to add to already scorching 98 degrees inside and out. Perfect.

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re looking for a quick, cold, and healthy meal (or very large snack), this is the one you want. Go forth and blend!

Note: I like to blend the spinach and milk first to make sure it is well puréed. If you have a really nice blender and/or are not as averse to larger bits of leaf in your smoothie, you can definitely just blend it all at once instead of in two steps. Also! You can totally buy one of those giant containers of baby spinach (like Costco sells), blend it all up at once with some milk (or water if you prefer), and freeze it in to smoothie-sized portions. I used a muffin tin because that’s what I had on hand, and then I use two frozen portions per smoothie. Works great and there’s no risk of your spinach going bad (although I’ll admit getting them out of the muffin tin was somewhat annoying. In the future I will line it with foil or plastic wrap or something.)

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie {{Baking Bytes}}

Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Makes one ~16oz smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 – 1 cup milk (I use 2% but any milk or plant wannabe will work)
1+ cups baby spinach, to taste1

1 ripe banana (peeled, sliced, and frozen)2
1/4 cup yogurt (I use vanilla honey Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions

  1. Blend spinach and 1/2 cup milk until reasonably smooth (no large pieces).
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until completely mixed (this could take a minute or so). If it’s too thick, blend in additional milk 2 tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Enjoy immediately with a straw and a sunny day.

Notes

1  I use one or two cups depending what fits, but you can add up to around four cups if you’re a big spinach fan. You likely want to use more yogurt and milk if you add much more than two cups of spinach.

I typically slice mine into roughly fourths as they fit into my single-serving blender cup better that way. You can slice yours more or less to suit your needs.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Treats

Hi friends. It’s been somewhat rainy and gray here but I’m sharing a summer treat anyway. This is one of my favorite easy snacks and childhood memories all rolled into one. I’m not sure how often we actually had these as kids, but I remember it being a lot and them being awesome. I still make them semi regularly since they keep in the freezer pretty well.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

Peanut butter mixed with honey makes for a sweet flavor without being terribly unhealthy. Plus bananas! Bananas are healthy. Graham crackers aren’t terrible for you, probably, so all in all it’s a pretty solid choice. Protein and fruit, can’t go wrong. The freezer makes these into a fabulous summer snack for a hot day when you don’t want ice cream. Or your parents won’t let you have ice cream, whatever the case may be.

Even though I set my own dessert rules now, I still like these as a healthier alternative without feeling like I’m depriving myself of deliciousness. Nice and cold on a hot day and perfect for satiating a sweet tooth. Yum.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

This is a super simple recipe so really there’s not much more to say…other than I suppose if you’re not a peanut butter fan (weirdo) you could use some other kind of nut butter, or I guess Nutella (gross) if you’re into that sort of thing. I typically use roughly a 1-to-1 ratio of peanut butter and honey but it doesn’t really matter that much so long as you end up with about a half cup total, otherwise you won’t have enough for all your crackers. My mom, for example, uses more like a 4-to-1 ratio, so really just go with whatever suits you.

Prepare for hot, lazy days and stick some of these in the freezer now, then later applaud yourself for being so forward-thinking.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

PS – If you think of a better name for these, let me know. I was not feeling creative.

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Treats

Adapted from childhood
Makes about 8 treats

Ingredients

1 package (8-9 sheets) Graham crackers

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter

2 small (narrow) ripe bananas

Directions

  1. Carefully break Graham crackers into squares. I like to gently press a knife along the perforation to do this cleanly.
  2. Mix honey and peanut butter together until smooth. Feel free to adjust the proportions!
  3. Spread honey mixture on one side of all crackers.
  4. Slice bananas into approximately 1/4″ pieces.
  5. Top half of the crackers with banana slices and place another cracker on top (peanut butter side down, of course.)
  6. Carefully wrap each sandwich in aluminum foiland place in the freezer several hours, or overnight.2
  7. Enjoy straight out of the freezer on a hot day.

Notes

For my British friends, Digestives work great also. Since they are a little thicker, you may want to use more of the honey mixture per cracker biscuit.

Or use plastic wrap and put them all in a freezer Ziploc.