I am a massive fan of nut butters, I have to admit I frequently take a spoon to a jar of peanut butter! I recently expanded my nut butter collection, after being given a voucher for a sports food store by a good friend. With new nuttiness in my cupboard, I decided I should fix up some clean treats, before the spoon to jar urges get the better of me!
These Nutty Banana Choc Ice Creams are so good! Frozen banana is so creamy in texture, and is a great alternative to ice cream. In terms of the chocolate, it’s best to go with the highest cocoa content to keep it as clean as possible. I actually found a Lindt bar that contains 99% pure cacao! But this takes a bit of getting used to, as raw cacao has a bitter taste. You could make these without the sticks, but the sticks definitely add to the experience. If you can’t find lolly sticks anywhere, you could be cheeky like me and grab a handful of wooden drink stirrers next time your out for a coffee (come on, they’re practically included in the price of the coffee!)
Info about NUT BUTTERS (skip to the bottom if your not interested)
On a serious clean eating note here, nut butters are great for clean eaters if you buy the right type. You need to look for brands that don’t contain heaps of added sugar, salt, palm oil, and various other weird and wonderfully named ingredients that they chuck in some varieties. There are so many types out there now, no longer are we limited to peanut, you’ve got almond, cashew, hazelnut, walnut, macadamia (and probably more).
Meridian is one brand that I often opt for. These nut butters are made from 100% nuts. It’s easy to spot the clean from the unclean, just look at the ingredients list. On meridian nut butters, the only ingredients are the nuts. They even keep the skins on, which is great for the vitamin and mineral content.
Nut butters contain high levels of fat, most of which is monounsaturated, good news for heart health. They contain many of the B vitamins, as well as protein, fibre, and minerals. Peanuts contain the highest amounts of protein per serving amongst the nuts (they’re actually not technically classed as a nut, they’re a legume). Almonds are rich in vitamin E, the antioxidant vitamin associated with healthy skin and hair. They also contain significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Walnuts contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in the diet for their anti-inflammatory properties. Cashews are a great one for iron and zinc, and have the lowest fat content.
I could go on all day about the nutrtional value of nuts. However, it is important to remember that although the fat content of nut butters is predominantly monounsaturated, they are a high fat food. This means that to protect your waistline, taking a spoon and clearing half the jar probably isn’t the best idea (not regularly anyway). Try to keep a serving to no more than 2 tablespoons. With most nut butters containing around 200 calories in 2 tablespoons, you can see how it’s easy to rack up the calories if you go crazy with the spoon. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time, attacking the jar and having a little more than 2 tablespoons probabaly isn’t going to cause major damage. Fat has a high satiety rating, meaning that it fills you up. So if anything, you’ll probably consume less calories through going a little overboard with the nut butter than you will with a box of doughnuts (not to mention the sugar issues with doughnuts). So my point here is enjoy it, but don’t go crazy too often 🙂
Nutty Banana Choc Ice Creams
- Large Bananas
- Nut butter of choice
- Chocolate (the higher the percentage of cocoa content the better)
- Wooden sticks
Cut the bananas in half.
Slice down the middle of each banana half, but don’t completely split the banana (only slice to about an inch from the top).
Spread nut butter in the middle of each banana half.
Insert the sticks into the nut butter in the middle of the bananas, from the bottom.
Melt the chocolate by placing in a glass bowl, over a pan of boiling water.
Take the melted chocolate, and drizzle, dip, or roll the bananas to decorate however you want to.
Place the bananas on a lined baking tray, and place in the freezer.
Once frozen, enjoy!!
Chocolate covered blueberries – I had some spare chocolate, so I covered blueberries and froze them. These were delicious too!