Bananas can replenish your stores of potassium, an essential mineral and electrolyte, which helps regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. They also contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. Have you ever wondered what uses there are for ripened bananas?
Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.
Freezing is a great way to save bananas for later use. Once frozen, they can be baked, made into smoothies, dipped into chocolate, or eaten as is for a healthy treat. Start by laying peeled bananas on a baking sheet in the freezer. This helps them to firm up and maintain shape. If you place peeled, unfrozen bananas in a bag, they are more likely to stick together. After your bananas are frozen solid, remove them from the tray and place them into large zip lock bags. Pre-freezing allows you to use just what you need without having to thaw the whole bag, (or attempt to break off each individual banana, which can be quite difficult).
Banana Chocolate Chip Bars (or Cookies)
- 2 medium to large ripe bananas sliced
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts or your favorite nut
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup raisins optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a jelly roll pan or oblong baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add banana, almond butter, water and vanilla and beat with electric beaters until mostly smooth. Add the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, coconut and raisins if using.
- The dough will be sticky. Drop dough into pan and smooth until even.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden. Cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of your batter.
- Once cool, cut into bars. Enjoy as a healthy snack, breakfast or dessert! Surprise your kids with this treat in their lunch boxes.
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