|Banana Bite with Sprinkles|
These banana bites are simple to make and fun to eat. I say this even though I stopped eating bananas earlier this year, after deciding that I couldn't support them ethically (even fair trade bananas have their issues) or environmentally. When I eat bananas in the future (I decided), I planned to eat ones that are not the traditional Cavendish bananas sold in stores--there are so many varieties, and eating other varieties may encourage their sale. (I could go on about this, but it's just as easy for you to Google the problems behind Cavendish bananas, if you're interested.)
However, when the local store has a bin of bargain bananas (99-cents for a 1/2 peck because they're going brown) and when I'm babysitting a 2-and-a-half year old and a 5-year-old 40 hours a week, and when the Midwest is (was) in the middle of a major heat wave, I'm willing to compromise my banana-thoughts. Especially when I'm not the one buying the bananas.
Here's what happened:
Mom of the kids brings home the 1/2 peck of bananas, after a trip to the grocery store and says: "I thought you could make make banana muffins or something with the kids. O really likes to stir." And I say, "Sounds great. I'd love to."
However, the kids did not want to make banana muffins. So I sliced three or four of the bananas into 1/2-inch slices and melted some chocolate. I dipped the banana slices into the chocolate and shook off the extra. For the toppings I used: sprinkles, coconut, or sunflower seeds (one topping per banana slice). Then I froze the banana slices until the next day--but I've read that this could be done in three hours. The next day, chocolate-dipped frozen banana bites made a perfect treat after a couple hours playing at the park when the heat index was in the mid-110s.
For my banana bites, I only dipped the bananas in halfway and some of my slices were probably closer to 1-inch. Here's what you'll need:
Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bites
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
Assorted toppings (chopped salted peanuts, salted sunflower seeds, shredded & unsweetened coconut, sprinkles, mini M&Ms, toffee candy bites, etc.)
3-4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Microwave the chocolate and canola oil on high for one minute and the stir until the chocolate is smooth and the oil is incorporated. You don't want the chocolate too hot, but if all the lumps don't disappear after about 1 minute of stirring, microwave on high for an additional 15 seconds.
Place each topping in a shallow dish or on a plate. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper and then arrange the banana slices on the foil. Using fingers, dip one banana slice in chocolate, coating halfway. Shake off excess chocolate and then dip in one topping. Using other hand, sprinkle more topping over banana (if desired). Transfer to the foil-lined sheet and repeat with remaining bananas. Freeze until firm. Pull out 10 minutes before serving so the banana can soften slightly.