Now that the weather is warming up, my weekly supply of bananas is turning brown faster and faster. Which reconciles them to a bag, quickly filling up, in my freezer. I don’t have anything against brown bananas, per say. In fact I love adding them to a morning smoothie, to create a thick-sweet shake. And when it comes to making banana bread, I say the browner the banana the better! But now that my stock pile of ripe bananas is pushing maximum capacity, I decided it was time to try something new. Hence this “monkey bar” recipe, and no, I’m not building a jungle gym set. These bars offer a light and healthy alternative to ice cream bars, a classic summer treat. Here’s how to make them.
2 ripe bananas (245 grams)
1 ½ tablespoons honey or agave syrup
¼ cup (50 grams) natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons (35 grams) reduced fat Greek yogurt
Scant ½ cup (65 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (12 grams) puffed quinoa cereal
1 tablespoon chocolate covered (or plain) chia seeds
Combine the bananas and honey or agave in a food processor (if using honey, warm slightly to loosen the honey and ensure it incorporates evenly). Puree until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, salt and yogurt, puree until well combined.
Pour in a pan lined with plastic wrap, about 7″x14″ (about 17cm x 35cm)
Freeze for at least 6 hours, or until frozen solid. Once frozen, cut the bars into 6 squares.
Place the bars back in the freezer.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn and melts smoothly. Allow the chocolate to cool until it’s body temperature. The best way to test this is simply by dipping a spoon in the chocolate and pressing the back of the spoon up against your lip. They should be about the same temperature. Once the chocolate is the correct temperature, remove the bars from the freezer. Dip them partially in the dark chocolate, and immediately sprinkle with the puffed quinoa and chia seeds.
Repeat until all 6 bars are done. Place the bars in a Tupperware container, lined with parchment or wax paper. The bars can be kept frozen for up to a month. Once removed from the freezer, serve immediately so that the bars don’t melt.