The spring for me is a time to shake off some of the bad habits that took hold over the winter and dive into new and improved good habits! This spring is no different, following a two year hiatus from the gym I decided it was time to “Get in Shape Girl!” Yup, I went there friends, you’re welcome! Part of this new positive attitude towards getting fit includes trying to replace the candy bowl – which has been pretty dang full since well before Christmas – with nibbles that feel like treats, but are way more well rounded than a peanut butter cup or Girl Scout Cookie.
A few weeks back I was chatting with a friend who told me that she loves to spread almond butter on pieces of banana and then freezes them to snack on, she finds this to be a super satisfying and healthy treat. After hearing about it I started to obsess over this idea of frozen banana coins. The banana is so versatile when it comes to creating desserts in disguise. There is the do-it-yourself soft serve banana ice cream, which is created by simply zipping some frozen bananas in a food processor and not but a few moments later….BOOM, banana soft serve! There is the gluten free banana cookie which quickly comes together by simply mashing ripe bananas to create a banana “batter” and then stirring in some quick cooking oats and baking for 15 minutes. Once again the banana creates a magic dessert, healthy cookies! As wonderful as those both are – and they are good I’ve made them -I could not shake the idea of little frozen slices of banana which I could just pop in my mouth whenever I wanted. So, into the cupboard I went, and out I came with healthy freezer candy! Banana coins spread with natural peanut butter and topped with ground flax seed, salt, cinnamon and a teensy weensy bit of dark chocolate.
These little buttons could not be easier to make. You will want them in your freezer all of the time. Frankly, you will want to eat them before they hit the freezer, but trust me, freeze them, you will not regret it.
It was clear that this idea was a keeper when my husband Matt stood over my cutting board and finished a dozen in about 27 seconds. This recipe is super flexible! I have given you portions and guidelines to follow, however, if you like more peanut butter on your banana, go for it, if you don’t like too much salt or cinnamon, skip it! This is a great opportunity to use the odds and ends in your cupboard to make a little treat. Personally, I like to add ground flax to the top of mine because it’s good for me, and by adding this, I give myself the green light to eat several of these in the morning before I go to the gym! Yes! I have found a way to justify eating chocolate for breakfast! Hallelujah! There is fruit. There is protein. There is sweet and salty! Take that Lara Bars, I have found my new power snack! Spring, I am coming at you with a fresh new attitude!
Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Buttons
2 Large Bananas
3 – 4 tbsp. Creamy Peanut Butter, or Nut Butter of your choice
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Fine Sea Salt (taste how salty your peanut butter easy before adding too much)
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Flax Seed (optional)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips, or 8 oz. of your favorite Dark Chocolate Bar, or Chocolate Syrup like Hershey’s works great too.
Optional Toppings: Coconut Flakes, Ground Oats, Crushed Nuts, Nutmeg, Granola or Milk Chocolate. Really, anything you like with Chocolate and Peanut Butter works here!!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and slice the bananas into ¼” sized coins. Using a butter knife or sandwich spreader top each banana coin with a bit of the peanut butter and spread it across the surface of the banana coin. Place the peanut butter topped banana on your baking sheet, peanut butter side facing up. Do this for the remaining pieces of banana and the peanut butter, you may need a little less or a little more peanut butter depending on how much you top the banana with, you can play with the ratio that you like here.
Once all the bananas are lined up on the baking sheet sprinkle them with the sea salt (if you are using it), the cinnamon, and the ground flax seed.
Next, melt the chocolate. The quickest way is to do this in the microwave, heating it in 1 minute intervals and then stirring it. Repeat this until the chocolate is glossy and melted. If you prefer to do this on the stove you can melt the chocolate by using a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted use a small spoon or a butter knife and drizzle the chocolate all over the peanut butter topped bananas. I like to do various zigzags and twirls, making it as artistic as possible! Have fun with it.
Once the chocolate has been drizzled onto the bananas place the baking sheet into your freezer, uncovered. After about 3 or 4 hours the buttons will be frozen. To store them pop them off of the parchment paper and put them into a freezer safe storage container or even a zip-lock bag and return them to the freezer.
These are best eaten right away from the freezer because the banana starts to thaw relatively quickly.
While I think these taste like peanut butter cups – yay – they are really quite healthy and a perfect after school snack, or even breakfast if you are in a pinch. If they can put chocolate in granola and call it breakfast, why not drizzle it on a banana and do the same!