It hits me at about 8:30 every night…it’s a funny little nagging craving. It starts small, a little feeling that I want something. From there, it grows quickly into the thought “Hm, chocolate sounds really good.” Then, before I know it, I’m ripping through the pantry searching for something, anything to satisfy the craving. Must! Have! Chocolate!
Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But there are definitely days when the chocolate monster gets the best of me! And really, chocolate isn’t the worst thing I could be craving…studies show that dark chocolate does indeed have health benefits, including lowering your blood pressure. Maybe that’s why is sounds so good when I feel stressed out? Of course, you have to be careful. Indulging your chocolate craving with milk chocolate, chocolate candy bars from the checkout line at the supermarket, or wax-and-chemical laden chocolate that’s loaded with unhealthy fats and sugars is certainly not going to be good for you. The “good stuff” is dark chocolate, at least 65% dark chocolate is best. Make sure that you’re eating organic, fair trade chocolate that’s really chocolate, not carnauba wax, artificial flavor, and emulsifiers. Keeping a bar of good quality dark chocolate in the pantry to snack on is great, but one of my favorite ways to get my chocolate fix it Dark Chocolate Banana Bites. They are quick and easy to make, healthy, and are easy to keep in the freezer…ready to extinguish your chocolate craving at a moment’s notice!
All you need is a bar of good quality 65% dark organic chocolate, and a couple of organic bananas. You don’t want your bananas to be too ripe; choose bananas that are not green but still nice and firm, no brown spots. Fist, slice the bananas into 1/4 inch slices. You can do this by hand, or you can buy this banana slicer which apparently makes up for the space it takes in your cutlery drawer by slicing bananas more efficiently (Note: reading the product reviews on this handy gadget will make you laugh so hard, you might find you no longer need a chocolate fix!). Place the banana slices on a piece of parchment paper, and freeze them until they are firm (about 1/2 hour).
When the bananas are frozen and you’re ready to start making the treats, Just melt the chocolate…I used a glass bowl in a pan of water to melt the chocolate gently, but you can use a double boiler (or a microwave…just keep an eye on it, because chocolate scorches so easily!)
When the chocolate is melted, use a toothpick to dip the banana slices into it. We like to leave a little banana showing, but you can dip the whole thing in if you want! Since the bananas are frozen, the chocolate will start to set up right away. Put the dipped bananas back on the parchment paper, and pop them back into the freezer for a few minutes when you’re finished dipping to let the chocolate finish setting. Once it’s set, you can take the treats off the paper and put them in a container with a lid. Keep them in the freezer for future snacking! I find that one or two slices will really satisfy my sweet tooth without a lot of calories or sugar, and my kids love them for a quick pick-me-up or a sweet treat after dinner!
Dark Chocolate Banana Bites
1 bar (3 ounces) organic, fair trade 65% dark chocolate
2 organic bananas, ripe but firm
1. Slice the bananas into 1/4 in thick slices.
2. Place the slices on a piece of parchment paper, and freeze them until they are firm (about 1/2 hour).
3. Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler, or a glass bowl set in a pan of water.
4. Using a toothpick, dip the bananas into the chocolate and place them back onto the parchment paper.
5. Return the chocolate dipped bananas to the freezer, and freeze until the chocolate is set. Transfer them to a container with a lid, and freeze them for snacking later!
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What’s your favorite way to eat dark chocolate?