Bring on the Bananas

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Questions?? - Contact author Natalie Sehi, MS, RD

Who knew this simple yellow fruit could be used for so many wonderful snacks that kids (big and small) will love?  Bananas are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.  They are also cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and fat-free.  Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are inexpensive and available year round.  Whether eaten as a quick to-go snack or sliced and added to cereal, yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich, bananas are always a favorite.  If they start to get too ripe, simply place them in the freezer to use later in smoothies or banana bread.  If your family loves bananas or you are looking for a little something new, try the kid-friendly recipes below.

Frosty Chocolate-Dipped Bananas (6 servings)

3 firm, but ripe bananasimage of banana pops
1 cup chocolate chips
Sprinkles or crushed nuts (optional)
Popsicle sticks

  1. Line a baking sheet* with wax paper and set aside.  Peel and cut the bananas in half.  Poke each piece of banana with a popsicle stick and set on the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 15–20 second intervals, stirring between each time until smooth.
  3. Dip the banana in the chocolate or hold the banana over a bowl and spoon chocolate over the top. Once coated in chocolate, roll the banana in the sprinkles or crushed nuts, if desired.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with each banana. 
  4. Put the pops in the freezer for at least two hours or until frozen.

*Keep your freezer space in mind. You may need to use a small plastic container to hold the banana pops if you are short on freezer space.

Yummy Choco-Banana "Ice Cream" (1 serving)

choco banana ice cream image1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1-2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. peanut butter (optional)

  1. Place banana chunks into a small food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add cocoa powder and peanut butter, if desired.  Continue to blend until mixed.  Enjoy immediately.

Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Wrap (6 servings)

4 oz. pkg reduced-fat cream cheeseimage of strawberry banana wraps
2 tsp. sugar, optional
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
3 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
2 bananas, thinly sliced
  1. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, if desired, and vanilla extract.
  2. Place tortilla on a plate, spread cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges on each tortilla. 
  3. Lay the strawberries in a single layer on top of the cream cheese.  Top with banana slices.
  4. Roll up tortilla, being careful to keep the filling inside the wrap.  Set seam side down.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Cut in half to serve.

Source: Fruits & Veggies More Matters