Frozen Chocolate Bananas

Quite possibly the best discovery of my summer, I can’t believe I haven’t had one sooner. My freezer is stocked with these and I plan to keep it that way. These are incredibly easy to prepare, and another wonderful way to use up all those bad bananas (which now has its own category!).

Make some today and find out why, “[t]here’s always money in the banana stand.

Alternate endings: I’ve been told that frozen bananas are also quite tasty when dipped in flavored yogurt. Obviously, my first thought would be to roll them in granola, but you could also keep them a skinny treat and go light on the toppings. I’ve also heard tales of mixing peanut butter in yogurt and covering the banana as a quick and easy after workout snack. I plan to try both of these and will report back.

Frozen Chocolate Bananas

  • 6 overripe bananas
  • 12 popsicle sticks (or skip them and make frozen chocolate banana bites)
  • 10 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs light corn syrup
  • Optional Topping – I’m using peanuts and crushed chocolate chip cookies

Preparation:

1. Peel and half bananas. Insert popsicle stick halfway into cut end. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for three hours.

2. Once the bananas have frozen, place the chocolate chips and butter into a microwave safe bowl and nuke for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat once more.

3. Heat the cream and corn syrup in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and pour it over the just melted chocolate. Let this sit for 5 minutes without stirring, then, when you can’t take it any longer, stir until the cream and the chocolate combine.

4. Ok this is the best step. Dip the bananas into the melted chocolate and roll in the crushed topping of your choice. I highly recommend the crushed chocolate chip cookie route.

5. Freeze for at least another twenty minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Share them with a friend.

Banana Pudding Dessert

This classic Southern dessert is a summertime favorite in my family; I remember hanging around the kitchen until the pudding had cooled, afraid to miss the opportunity to lay out the Nilla Wafers and slop goo onto them. I am, frankly, always surprised at the taste of this dessert, considering the appearance (it won’t be winning any beauty pageants). Looks aside, this tastes awesome and is an incredible solution to the problem of wasting overripe bananas.

I chose to make my own vanilla pudding (to avoid another trip to HEB) and used homemade sugar cookies for the wafers, but store bought instant pudding and Nilla Wafers produce an incredibly agreeable result as well.

Banana Pudding Dessert

  • a dozen baked Fool Proof Rolled Sugar Cookies, or 1 box Nilla Wafers
  • 1 recipe homemade vanilla pudding (see below) or 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 6 unripe bananas, or more, if you like bananas

Preparation:

1. Layer sugar cookies/wafers on the bottom of a large bowl or individual bowls. Cover cookie/wafer with layer of pudding followed by a layer of bananas. Repeat until you’re all out of goodies. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (I recommend overnight) before serving.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
  • 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs butter

Pudding Preparation:

1. Place cream and 2 Tbs of the sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Mix until stiff peaks form and transfer into a large bowl. Keep cool while preparing the rest of the pudding.

2. Manually whisk the rest of the sugar, corn starch, salt, egg yolks, and 1/2 a cup of the whole milk in the bottom of a saucepan. Once completely incorporated (make sure there’s no lumps of cornstarch stuck to the pan) add the rest of the milk and begin heating on the stove, stirring constantly.

3. Once the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, remove from heat but continue to whisk. If you’re doing this without the aid of an electric mixer, be prepared for a few solid minutes of stirring while this pile of goo cools. It’s super important to be constantly stirring here to avoid forming lumps. If you have a stand mixer, you can use the same whisk attachment and bowl as before, no need to clean it with soap and water.

4. Cut up dem nanas. Once the custard has cooled, use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine it with the whipped cream.

5. Layer pudding with bananas and wafers. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Vegan Banana Muffins

I was looking through an old notebook of mine and found this trusty recipe scribbled down after tasting one of these awesome muffins at the House of Commons, a vegan co-op in Austin. They are definitely more dense and less sweet than the non-vegan version below, so they seem appropriate to nibble morning, noon, and night. Let’s just say I made these a few days ago and now I have none.

Vegan Banana Muffins

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Preparation:

1. Whisk oil and sugar together in a bowl. Mash the banana and add it to the sugar and oil. Stir to incorporate. Add the vinegar.

2. Combine flours, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, together in a bowl and stir to mix them completely.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.

4. Spoon into paper lined (or buttered and oiled) muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean.

Banana Walnut Bread

The only banana walnut bread recipe you’ll need (unless you’re vegan).

Banana Walnut Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz (1 cup) of butter
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups overripe bananas (if frozen, thawed)
  • 1.5 cups toasted walnuts
  • tin foil

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lay walnuts flat on a sheet pan and toast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. They shouldn’t begin to brown in this time but they will take on a toasted flavor once cooled. I used always go for almonds as an at-work snack, but I must admit I’m totally falling for these toasted walnuts, as in, I look forward to getting to work so I can eat them.  So don’t not toast them.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine or sift the ingredients together.

3. Put the butter and sugar, both white and brown, in the bottom of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. If you don’t have an electric mixer, the same technique can be accomplished with a bowl, a spatula, and a lot of willpower, but make it easy on yourself by letting the butter thaw to room temperature first. Mix until the two combine and begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl (as the butter will tend to cling) between eggs.

5. Add sour cream and vanilla to wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

5. Ok let’s get bananas. I usually freeze my brownish bananas once they are less than desirable and let them accumulate for an occasion like this, but you can also use unripe bananas without freezing them first. If you are working with frozen bananas, microwave them or leave them out to thaw them before use. Why, you might ask? Adding a frozen banana will lower the butter’s temperature (which we already spent a few minutes bringing to room temperature in all that mixing) and mess up that smooth texture we have going on. Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to the batter until incorporated.

^ Questionable…

Much better

6. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a spatula (making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl) until about half of the flour streaks disappear. Add the toasted walnuts and continue mixing for a few more turns.

7. Divide the batter evenly between greased loaf pans (I spread butter all over the inside then sprinkle a little flour). If you prefer a crispier crust, sprinkle some sugar on top of the batter. Bake for 55-70 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven or until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Check the loaf around 30 minutes in and if the crust is already a deep brown, cover it with tin foil to prevent burning the edges. Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing, unless you don’t mind if it falls apart a bit.