Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops

Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops

Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops

Even if I haven’t made ice cream in my ice-cream maker yet this summer, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying frozen treats. The heat-wave that’s hit England the last few weeks seems finally set to break but that definitely won’t stop me continuing to enjoy these delicious banana pops.

I’ve long been freezing bananas with sticks in and eating them as simple frozen pops (or lollies as we usually call them here), but seeing people around and about with decadent chocolate-coated ice creams put me in the mood for something a little more naughty! As these are homemade you can avoid all those nasty added ingredients in store-bought ice cream and feel rather more virtuous about eating them. You could even make these raw using raw almond butter for the filling and making your own raw chocolate with cacao, agave and coconut oil.  Date caramel would also be a great filling if you’re not a big nut butter fan ( although just writing that sounds crazy to me!).

Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Pops

These involve a couple of stages but are super simple to make, and the result is so worth it.

Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops
Serves 4
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  1. 2 Ripe bananas
  2. 1/4 C Salted peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  3. Optional extras: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbsp raisins- I added all of these and loved the little chewy raisins and sweet cinnamon flavour)
  4. 2/3 C Dark chocolate chips
  5. 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  6. 4 Ice lolly sticks or wooden skewers
  1. Slice Bananas in half across the middle to get 4 pieces then slice each of the 4 pieces in half lengthwise to get 8 pieces.
  2. If using extras mix them into your peanut butter now. Spread 1/4 of the peanut butter onto the flat side of 4 of the pieces, place the skewer on top and sandwich together with another half banana.  See picture above. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze until solid.
  3. When ready, melt chocolate chips in a bowl over a bowl of hot water or bain marie and stir in melted coconut oil. The coconut oil makes the chocolate runnier and easier to spread.
  4. Take the bananas out of the freezer at the last minute and spread each one with chocolate. I used a mini spatula to spread it evenly. The chocolate will firm up immediately on the frozen banana so move quickly! When bananas are completely coated place back on the tray and freeze for a short while.
  5. Store wrapped individually in parchment paper or in a sealed container in the freezer.
Coconut and Berries
Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops:

I’m submitting this recipe to  the weekly blog hops Raw Foods Thursdays and Healthy Vegan Fridays

Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops

I’m a huge fan of the peanut butter and banana combination and the thick layer of salted peanut butter and crunchy chocolate coating made for a fabulous summer dessert, especially enjoyed sitting on the grass in the garden.

I’d love to make some fruity lollies but I don’t have a mould unfortunately. Any ideas for making them without?

Mini Raw Cacao, Coconut + Raspberry Cupcakes

Mini Raw Cacao, Coconut & Raspberry Cupcakes

I hate wasting food. I’d love to say that my concern for the environment is what compels me to do my best not to waste, but in reality it’s probably mainly because I love food and hate the thought of throwing anything away! I’m also pretty tight-fisted and wasting food = wasting money.  I try to follow all the rules: I plan my meals weekly, make sure to store my produce correctly, keep my cupboards and freezer well-stocked with staples to make the most of leftovers, and don’t buy more than I can eat (most of the time at least… I’m pretty easily tempted by fruit and vegetables! all the more so when shopping at farmers’ markets)

I mentioned I’ve started making my own almond milk at home.  I was initially reluctant to try it given that nuts are so darn expensive, as well as thinking the process was somewhat wasteful since you’re left with quite a bit of nut pulp after squeezing out all the goodness from the whole nuts. Going through with it and doing a little calculation proved me wrong though- in fact, if you buy your nuts in bulk, as I do, you can make your own almond milk for less money than the bought stuff, and the nut pulp needn’t be wasted but is a bonus that you can use in other kitchen creations. I love how much tastier it is and that it contains no added anything…Oh, and there’s none of the packaging either! A winner all round.

A bit of scouting about online for how to use this precious pulp unearthed all sorts of exciting recipes: From raw nut pulp hummus and vanilla almond cookies to sweet + savoury crackers and these beautiful little cupcakes, the recipe I decided to start off with.

Mini Raw Cacao Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

There are hundreds of recipes for raw nut + date balls out there and I’m definitely a fan of them, but these are a little different, the texture is much “cakier” and they’re not so intensely sweet. The mild chocolatey coconut base pairs well with the zingy raspberry topping and prevents them from being cloying at all.

Mini Raw Cacao Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

I changed up the recipe just a little bit to suit the quantities of nut pulp I had, as well as boosting the chocolate flavour and zipping up the topping a touch.

Mini Raw Cacao, Coconut + Raspberry Cupcakes

(Minimally adapted from Sweetly Raw)

For the Cake Base:

3/4C Almond pulp (Leftover from making almond milk- it should be dry and crumbly)
1 C Walnuts
1/4 C Raw cacao powder OR Cocoa powder (if not concerned for raw status)
Pinch salt
1 Recipe date paste (see below)
1/2 t vanilla
2T Melted coconut oil

Pulse walnuts and almond pulp together in a food processor until you get a coarse meal. Be careful not to over-process as it will turn to nut butter!)

Add salt, cacao powder, date paste and vanilla and process to form a thick dough.

Finally drizzle in the coconut oil and pulse briefly. Scrape out mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer to firm up before shaping.

Roll the mixture into little balls with your fingers and place into petits-fours cases or mini muffin cups.

Pop the cakes back into the fridge until ready for the topping.

For the Date Paste:

1/3C Pitted, chopped, packed dates
2T Warm water
2T Agave nectar

Soak dates in warm water for 15 minutes to soften them up.

In food processor or short cup blender combine dates and water with agave nectar and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down sides a couple of times so everything is incorporated. Set aside.

Mini Raw Cacao Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

I’m not a fan of traditional cake frostings with vegan butter and powdered sugar-they’re always too sickly sweet for me. This cashew and coconut oil based frosting, on the other hand, is wonderful. It’s much healthier, though still very rich, and doesn’t leave you with a stomach ache.

For the Raspberry Topping:

1/2 C Raspberries ( I used defrosted frozen berries)
1/4C Cashews, soaked for a couple of hours, rinsed and drained
1T Agave nectar
1T Water
1 1/2 T Lemon juice
2 T Melted coconut oil

Blend all ingredients, except for coconut oil, in a high-powered blender until smooth. Add coconut oil and blend again for 1 minute.

Pour topping into a bowl and leave to thicken up in the fridge for at least 2 hours, especially if you want to pipe it onto the cupcakes.

Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Move quickly as in warm temperatures it melts quite fast! Top with fresh raspberries if so desired.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.

Makes 18-20 mini cupcakes

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog party Raw Foods Thursdays

What are you making with your leftover nut pulp?

Do you have any tips for minimising food waste?

Review: The Nutribox

Review: The Nutribox

Snacking gets a bad rap. It’s not terribly surprising when you consider that the most widely-consumed snack foods are high in refined sugar, salt + fat, and low in nutritional value. But, fear not! It doesn’t have to be the case, and mindful snacking  can in fact be a great way to boost your intake of essential nutrients as well as keep your energy levels stable and stave off any between-meal hunger pangs.


A few months ago I came across the nutribox, a company here in the UK whose mission is to make it easier for people to eat healthily. They offer a monthly subscription service delivering a box packed full of nutritious and delicious snacks to your home or office.

Although I love to make my own snacks when possible, life can get the better of me, just like anyone and in those busy times it’s great to have healthy snacks on hand. These last few months while I was frantically revising and then taking my finals the nutribox was a lifesaver. .

There are two sizes of box available (pictured is the larger one) and in every box you get a wide range of sweet and savoury, chewy and crunchy delights, a mix of treats like raw chocolate and more virtuous snacks like dried fruit and nuts.


A lot of the products featured aren’t widely available in stores so another bonus for me is being able to support smaller businesses who are promoting healthy eating. Last weekend the allergy + free from show and V-delicious veggie good food show took place and I had the opportunity to meet the people behind many of these great products too. They’ve already set the date for 2014 so don’t miss out!

Pictured above are the treats I got in this month’s nutribox:

[I’ve linked to the individual company websites if you’re interested in finding out a bit more info on the products]

Cofresh Lentil Chips (Tomato + Basil)

Sanchi Tamari Crackers

Clearly Scrumptious Simply Strawberries

Miss Wallflower Raw “Refresh” bites

Bounce Spirulina + Ginseng Energy Ball

2 x Frank Bars (Blueberry + Chocolate, Double Chocolate)

Rude Health “the beetroot” Bar

Nakd Strawberry Crunch Bar

Trek Morning Berry Protein Flapjack

Creative Nature Super Seed Bar

MULU Raw Chocolate Buttons

Ombar Raw Probiotic Coconut Chocolate

Conscious Raw Handmade Essential Orange Chocolate

5x 40g Bags Ludlow Nut Company Nut, Dried Fruit + Seed Mixes (“Energise me”, “Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Omega Seed Mix”)

Can you see why I get ridiculously excited when my box arrives each month?!

The default box isn’t entirely vegan but they’ve just created a vegan box option which I’m very pleased about…oh and all the snacks are gluten-free.

Order now and get 25% off your first delivery.

If you try them out I hope you enjoy your boxes as much as I do mine Smile

Are you a snacker? If so, what are your favourite products?

Do you ever get foodie goodies delivered?

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

I’ve been to Istanbul for a short visit but would love to see more of that part of the world- beautiful architecture,  fascinating culture…and of course delicious food!

Middle-Eastern cuisine has been a favourite of mine for some time. If you ever find yourself in Oxford I highly recommend a meal at Al Shami. It’s a great Lebanese place, probably my favourite Oxford restaurant, and although not exclusively vegetarian, there’s a huge selection of vegan mezze on offer. Whenever we go we order as many dishes as we can squeeze onto the table and all share, that way we can try lots of different things. (N.b. I’ve now posted a review of the restaurant here)

Here’s my attempt to bring a little of the Middle-East into my own kitchen. My creations are no doubt far from authentic, but still tasty. I stumbled across a recipe for nut kofta kebabs over at Bit of the Good Stuff and they became the starting point for this meal, with just a bit of adaptation.

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

To serve along with the kofte I went for a sweet spiced beetroot carrot salad, lemony courgettes, herbed wholegrain couscous and mint tzatziki- a tasty little feast.

Nut Kofte:

(Adapted from Bit of the Good Stuff)

1-2T Rapeseed oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 t Ground cumin
1t Ground coriander
1T Peanut butter
1-2t Sriracha hot sauce
salt + pepper
425g / 14oz Can Borlotti beans, rinsed + drained
1C Almond meal (whole almonds finely ground in a food processor)
1/2C Finely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts + walnuts)
1/2-3/4C Wholemeal breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

Sauté onion in oil over medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant, add garlic, spices, peanut butter and sriracha and and continue cooking another couple of minutes. Season to taste.

Pulse beans in food processor until mostly smooth, scrape into a bowl and add onion mixture, ground and chopped nuts, breadcrumbs as needed until you get a thick consistency, slightly sticky and not crumbly.

If you’ve got time stick the bowl in the fridge for an hour to firm up and help you shape the kofte. Using damp fingers shape the mixture into approx 14 ping-pong size balls. Lay on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until turning brown and crispy, flip kofte half-way through cooking time.

(Makes 14- Serves 4)

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

This salad is a keeper, one I can see going well with a whole variety of dishes. It’s delicately spiced and a little tangy with tasty bursts of sweetness from the golden raisins in every mouthful.

Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad:

2-3C Grated Carrots
1-2C Grated Beetroot (I used a food processor to save time, although I think done by hand the shreds are a little nicer)
1/2C Golden Raisins or Currants
1/4t Sweet Paprika
1/4t Ground Cumin
1/4t Ground Cinnamon
Dash Cayenne
Salt + Pepper
2 1/2T Lemon Juice
2t Agave syrup
Fresh mint to garnish

Add the grated carrot and beetroot to a large bowl, along with the raisins. In a small bowl combine spices and seasoning and whisk in lemon and agave. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Leave to sit, covered, in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving for the best flavour. Garnish with mint.

I thought it would be nice to have something creamy and cooling to go with the slightly spiced dishes and my mint raita went perfectly here. I tried a similar recipe from “Veganomicon” a short while ago, which is a little different, using oregano + dill, but also very tasty. I liked the mint with this meal though.

This Recipe is being shared at Raw Food Thursdays
Cucumber Mint Raita:

1/4C Cashews, soaked for an hour, drained and rinsed
1c Cucumber, peeled + diced
2t Agave nectar
1t Apple cider vinegar
1/2 Clove garlic
1/2t Ground cumin
1/2t Salt
1t Lime juice
Dash of cayenne
1/4C Fresh mint, loosely packed

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender (except fresh mint), until smooth. Pulse in mint, leaving little flecks of green.

What’s your favourite cuisine? Although Middle-Eastern is one of mine I love trying dishes from all over the world- Indian, European, Asian, American…English is in fact one of the few I’m not a huge fan of!

If you try out any of these recipes, I’d love to hear what you think.