Frozen banana pops

Ice cream cones, frozen yogurt, Popsicles and Italian ice are all delightful ways to cool off on a hot summer day. But sometimes it’s good to try something new. Making frozen banana pops is a fun (and tasty) project that everyone in the family can participate in. Plus, you can feel a little bit better knowing that your kids are eating some healthy fruit with their chocolate.

Ingredients

  • Supplies
  • Ripe (not overripe) bananas
  • Craft or Popsicle sticks
  • Milk chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Microwave bowls
  • Microwave or double-boiler
  • Spoons
  • Knives
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Cookie sheets
  • An assortment of jimmies, chopped nuts, sprinkles or other decorations of your choice

Directions

It is important that you choose bananas that are ripe, but not too ripe, for this project. Start with a whole bunch of bananas incase some break or have bad spots. Peel all of the bananas. Cut off the bottom quarter of each banana. Insert a craft stick or skewer into the bottom of each banana, leaving at least two-thirds of the stick exposed. Don’t worry if the bananas start to split a little up the sides because you won’t be able to tell once they are frozen and coated in chocolate. Cut off any bruised spots before the dipping begins.

Lay the bananas flat on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment or wax paper and put them in the freezer for at least one hour or until very firm.

When the bananas are ready, melt both the milk chocolate and white chocolate chips in separate microwave-proof bowls or cups.Microwave each type of chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring frequently. Take care not to scorch or burn the chocolate. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil to the melted chocolate and mix well. This addition creates a thinner consistency and makes it easier to dip and coat the bananas. You can also use a double-boiler to complete this step if you wish.

Before you start dipping the banana pops, lay out all of your decorating options. In addition to the melted chocolate, offer an assortment of fun toppings. Options include mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sweetened shredded coconut, colored sprinkles, chocolate jimmies and colored crystalized sugar. Set up each decorating option on a separate plate.

Dip each banana pop into the melted chocolate and allow as much excess as possible to drip off back into the bowl. Then put the dipped banana onto the plate with the desired topping and coat all sides.

Once your banana pops are dipped and decorated, return them on the parchment- or wax paper-covered tray to the freezer for at least another hour.

Remove them about 10 minutes before you plan to eat them so that they can soften up a bit. When you can’t wait a minute longer, devour your delicious, homemade summer treats.

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