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Sometimes life just gets a little crazy. Like when you’re packing up your house to move, your day job gets inexplicably busy, your second job starts picking up in ways you had only dreamed of, your dog gets a urinary tract infection and your new landlord needs to get into the house to deliver appliances when you’re still fast asleep at your old house. During times like those, cooking can fall by the wayside, but for me that’s not always an option — especially when I’m on deadline.

Yesterday I racked my brain: What on earth could I cook without really cooking? I thought about making mini vegan layer Vegan Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananacakes, since my birthday is right around the corner, but I have an apartment to pack up, and decorating little cakes takes time. Celebration, though, was really on my mind. I went down the list of my favorite treats, things that really bring me joy, and thought back to childhood. Suddenly, frozen bananas popped into my head.

These vegan frozen bananas, dipped in fair-trade dark chocolate, have a little twist: I devised three fun toppings. I crushed up pretzels to put on some of the bananas, for that salty-sweet crunch, while crystallized ginger gives a delicious bite to others. The pink ones are just pink decorating sugar, but the chocolate has been infused with strawberry extract, so it’s kind of like a banana split! You can get creative on your own — I think the possibilities are just endless. Try pistachios, and replace the coconut oil with pistachio oil. Do ancho chili chocolate with roasted peanuts. I would love toasted coconut with dried pineapple for a tropical twist! Get freeze-dried fruit and grind it to a powder, oh yum. Also, try dusting with espresso powder.

Vegan Chocolate Covered Frozen BananaI hope these frozen bananas make an easy summer treat for you. They’re certainly healthier than ice cream, and fun to make.

Note: I tried be all eco-friendly and make these with fish forks instead of disposable sticks, but no go. In the end, I had to use little square skewers. Other good choices would be chopsticks, corn dog sticks or plain ol’ popsicle sticks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chopped into small chunks, or use discs to save time
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 6 bananas, cut in half length-wise
  • 6-10 tablespoons of toppings of your choice

INSTRUCTIONSToppings for Vegan Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana

  • Pierce bananas with skewer/stick and freeze for 15-30 minutes.
  • Set a heavy saucepan full of water over medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil.
  • Fit a glass bowl inside the saucepan with water.
  • Add the chocolate and coconut oil to the glass bowl and gently melt it, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat as soon as chocolate is melted.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Dip frozen bananas into the chocolate and turn, covering the banana completely and allowing the chocolate to drip off and cool slightly before sprinkling with toppings.
  • Sprinkle with toppings, hold for 30 seconds, then place on parchment paper.
  • Repeat with all of the bananas and place in freezer for 30 minutes or until chocolate is nice and hard.Vegan Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana