Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas have long been on my list of ideal snacks. They have it all: a frosty treat that’s also healthful; a built-in, food-on-a-stick fun factor; and they are a breeze to make.
I only wish I had realized sooner how much more enticing they are when taken a step beyond with a layer of honey-sweetened tahini. I’m not sure exactly what compelled me to try it – maybe I was riffing on another of my go-to snacks, banana smeared with peanut butter – but, along with a finishing sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, the result was as if a good friend whose stories you have heard again and again returns from an overseas adventure with a surprising and enchanting new narrative. The tahini brings a rich, creamy layer and the exciting flavor of halvah to the pop. It hits your taste buds, melting in your mouth, just after the crunch of the sesame-studded chocolate coating and right before you get to the sweet, sorbet-like frozen banana.
The extra layer is easy to achieve. Just mix a some tahini with a touch of honey and a little water, stirring and adding additional water until the mixture is creamy and thick but pourable like pancake batter. Then dip already frozen, skewered banana halves into the tahini and return them to the freezer to solidify before dipping the pops again into melted chocolate. (Pour the tahini and chocolate each into a tall, narrow glass or jar to make dipping neater and easier.)
The bananas can be devoured right after they get their chocolate-sesame coating (the chocolate solidifies quickly on the frozen surface, so get those sesame seeds on immediately after dipping) or they can be wrapped up and kept frozen for on-demand access to a familiar treat layered with unexpected flavor.
CHOCOLATE AND TAHINI DIPPED FROZEN BANANAS
Active: 20 minutes | Total: 20 minutes (plus 4 hours freezing time)
Makes: 6 servings
A dip in honey-sweetened tahini and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds add an unexpected rich, creamy layer and exciting nutty flavor to the familiar, healthful frozen fruit treat. The bananas can be devoured right after they get their chocolate-sesame seed coating (the chocolate solidifies quickly on the frozen surface, so get those sesame seeds on immediately after dipping). Alternatively, the bananas can be wrapped up and frozen for on-demand access.
MAKE AHEAD: The bananas need to be frozen up to the chocolate-dipping part for at least 4 hours before you want to serve them.
The finished dipped bananas can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap or wax paper and frozen for up to 2 weeks.
3 medium ripe, firm bananas
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cold water, plus more as needed
6 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70% cocoa solids), chopped
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Line a small tray or shallow pan with wax paper. Peel the bananas, then cut each in half crosswise and insert a craft stick into each half. Place the bananas on the lined tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, honey and water, adding more water 1 teaspoon at a time as needed, until the mixture is creamy and has the consistency of pancake batter. Transfer the tahini mixture to a tall, narrow glass or jar. Dip each frozen banana into the tahini mixture to coat about three-quarters of the banana pops, returning each to the lined tray after dipping. Cover and return to the freezer for 1 hour.
3. Place the sesame seeds in a shallow dish or plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over gently simmering water, stirring frequently. (You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave on HIGH, in 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst.) Pour the melted chocolate into a clean tall, narrow glass or jar. Dip each tahini-coated banana into the chocolate, turning it to coat, and immediately sprinkle it with the sesame seeds.
4. Serve, or freeze until ready to serve.
Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.
(Recipe from dietitian and food columnist Ellie Krieger.)
Nutrition | Calories: 290; Total Fat: 20 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 13 mg; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugars: 18 g; Protein: 6 g.