About this recipe
My entire household loves sweets. Big time. Put a cookie and a piece of bacon in front of us and ask us to choose — we’ll pick the cookie every time. (Add a beer to that scenario, however, and you’ve lost my husband — he’s going for the beer.)
One of my goals when I feed my family is to provide sweet treats that are balanced with protein and fiber and use minimally-processed sweeteners. This isn’t always easy and I don’t always hit the mark, but it’s something I’m mindful of. In fact, I’m especially mindful of it when I’m failing miserably as I watch my family chow down on a piece of bakery cake at a mate’s birthday party. It happens. And in these moments I can count on my husband to give me a wry smile, wink, and say, “YOLO, baby.”
Anyway, balancing sugar with protein and fiber and choosing minimally-processed sweeteners helps the body to regulate blood sugar. This is a good thing, because extreme spikes in blood sugar can wreak havoc on your pancreas and cause hardening of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis). This can lead to a plethora of other problems that I won’t list here because they’re too much of a bummer. But with the growing number of people falling into the prediabetes category, we can all benefit from being mindful of our sugar intake.
As for this recipe, it’s so delicious. It’s by no means sugar-free, but it does use a slew of healthful ingredients to create a decadent frozen treat you can feel good about.
Bananas have to be the most popular fruit. They’re famously a great source of potassium (fantastic for the heart), plus they release their sugars slowly into the body, helping to control blood sugar. And they taste like ice cream when frozen. Sweet.
I’ve already talked to you about how awesome almonds are in other recipes. Same goes for almond butter, which is just almonds ground down until they release their oils and create a paste. In this recipe the almond butter provides protein and creates a nice, creamy texture. I recommend splurging on organic and raw almond butter when you can find it.
Coconut flour is made from grinding dried coconut meat. It’s gluten-free and high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. You’ve no doubt heard all about the coconut craze and it’s still going strong. Studies show that the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil provide health benefits that are nothing short of amazing, from helping to prevent heart disease and combating obesity to killing harmful bacteria and protecting from sun damage.
Hemp hearts add another source of protein to this recipe, plus a hefty amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
Date sugar is finely ground dates. That’s it. That makes me so happy. Sure, they are still sugar, but a great, minimally-processed choice.
- Mash bananas with almond butter in a medium bowl, mixing well until completely smooth. Add flour, hemp, sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a small scoop (about a heaping teaspoon) to portion approximate 1-inch balls and transfer to baking sheet. Freeze balls for 10 minutes.
- While bonbons firm up in the freezer, prepare chocolate coating. Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a medium bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Remove bonbons from freezer and dip in chocolate, coating completely. Transfer back to parchment-lined baking sheet and return to freezer.
- Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer-safe container for storage.