There's a reason Snickers bars are so popular. Yet, there is a reason to avoid them. Even though a sugar high (as I like to call it) may feel good at the moment, it is not good for you.
But no reason to worry. As I always like to, I have made a healther version – may I call it guilt free?
Let me show you what I mean: bananas, peanuts, honey, and chocolate – chocolate full of antioxidants, potentially life prolonging, and definitely mood boosting!
If you are still stuck at the peanuts, wondering where the healthy comes in there, let me tell you something. One of the main reasons peanuts has gotten such a bad reputation is all the refined fats and sugars found in most average peanut butters. The good news is, these bars can be made with natural peanut butter consisting only of peanuts and salt. Or, if you please, you can use almond butter and chopped almonds for an almond alternative!
Vegans can use agave or maple syrup instead of honey.
Really, you have no excuse not to try these (if you are mumbling something about tempering chocolate, I will say, everyone can learn!). They are simple and healthy, and yet, a HIT!
May I tempt you with something delicious for some summer fun? Just remember that even though they are healthy, they still contain fats and sugar, so enjoy in moderation!
Step 1: (Healthy) Ingredients
For 8 bars you will need:
3 Tbsp. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2 Tbsp. liquid honey (or firm honey + 2 tsp. water)
2 Tbsp. roasted and salted peanuts (20 g.)
200 g. dark chocolate (or 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp. oil)
Step 2: Preparing the Frozen Base
The ice-cream base is as simple as a frozen banana – but that doesn't mean the taste can't be sophisticated!
Overripe bananas are best, as they are the sweetest and will yield the creamiest base (and they give you an excuse to make Snickers!). Peel the bananas, cut them in half, and cut off the ends (only for the sake of aesthetics – skip if you don't care). Next, split the banana pieces in half, place them cut-side-down on a plate, and put them in the freezer for a couple og hours or overnight. Freeze the ends for a smoothie or simply gobble them down!
Step 3: Make the Caramel Filling
For the filling, chop some roasted and salted (yes, salted! never heard of salted caramel?) peanuts and mix with peanut butter and honey. Natural peanut butter without refined fats and sugar is great. Set the filling aside until ready to use.
Step 4: Assemble the Inside
When the banans are frozen, divide the caramel filling among them and spread it out to cover the top. I think this is easiest done with my fingers dipped in some water, as the water will prevent the caramel from sticking. A couple of spoons dipped in water could also be used.
Return to the freezer till the caramel is frozen.
Step 5: Melt (and Temper) the Chocolate
When the caramel is frozen, melt the chocolate for the coating. Even though it is not strictly necessary, tempering the chocolate is best, as it gives the shell that extra pleasant crackle. And it's super simple! Here is how.
First, prepare a water bath by placing a heat-resistant bowl over a pot with boiling water. Next, prepare the chocolate. Chop up the chocolate really small (unless you are using chocolate chips), and then place 2/3 of it in the bowl. Let it melt undisturbed until you can see the outermost chocolate pieces have begun spreading and the rest of the chocolate is glossy. Now, stir the chocolate, and if there are any more lumps, let them melt.
When the chocolate is nice and melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the pot and add the unmelted chocolate to the melted. Stir until everything is smooth again, and voila! tempered chocolate ready to use.
NOTE: When water steam begins to escape from under the bowl, remove the pot from the heat, so that no moisture gets in the chocolate. If the chocolate will not melt, return the pot to the heat. Always be careful that no water gets in the chocolate, as that will ruin it.
Please note that chocolate should never be melted directly in a pot on the heat. It can, however, be melted in the microwave.
Step 6: Coat the Bars
When the chocolate is melted (and tempered), it's time to coat the bars. Remove the frozen insides from the freezer about four pieces at a time. Using forks, dip one piece at a time in the chocolate and quickly twist it around until it is coated. Lift it up with a fork and tap the fork firmly against the edge of the bowl to let excess chocolate run off. Place the bar on a piece of parchment paper and proceed to the next piece.
When the chocolate has hardenened a bit, return the bars to the freezer.
NOTE: This is probably the hardest part of making the bars, as the frozen insides make the chocolate harden really fast. I find it difficult to get an even coating, particularly on the underside, but as long as the top looks nice, I am satisfied! Usually the last couple of bars will not look so good, because there is almost no chocolate left, but they are perfect for taste testing!
Another thing to keep in mind is that if the bananas are allowed to melt too much before they are dipped, the moisture can cause the chocolate to sieze and be ruined. So make sure to remove the bananas from the freezer in small batches. As soon as the chocolate is on the bananas, it doesn't hurt if the bananas melt a bit when they are served.
Step 7: Enjoy! (and Final Notes)
As soon as the chocolate has hardenened, the bars can be enjoyed. Otherwise, they should be stored in the freezer until they are served. They can keep covered for at least a couple of weeks, but question is if they will last that long!
Only remove the bars you plan to eat from the freezer becuase the more times the bananas are allowed to melt and refreeze, the browner and icier they will become. But that's no problem for you, right?
Thanks for reading, and please share pics if you try this, and vote for me in the summer food and drink contest!