While summer is slowly shifting away, it likes to remind us here in Texas that it is still prominent and not going anywhere in an hurry.
Through Halloween, we can still get days in the 90s, with some years my pumpkins being imprisoned inside out of fear of the science experiments they may become if I allow them out into the balmy outdoors.
With that said, there’s still plenty of time here in Texas to enjoy smoothies, ice cream, and other frozen treats.
And this recipe is one of those that could easily be enjoyed all year round.
It requires 5 ingredients, a few simple steps, and can be made in a few hours and savored for weeks upon weeks afterward.
No added sugar. No preservatives. No junk.
100% Paleo and 100% vegan if that’s how you roll. No judgment here, remember?
The recipe is the perfect way to satisfy those “I want something sweet but I don’t need anything sweet” feelings.
Especially if it’s a little toasty outside.
Or your stinkin air conditioning STILL doesn’t work.
Just head into your freezer, pull out a Chunky Monkey bite or four, and move on with your day.
So let’s get to it, y’all!
Once upon a time, back in my collegiate years, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream was like a currency between my friends and me (thanks to the fact that these calorie bombs were stocked at my university’s food court and could be purchased using meal points).
We would often hide one of these pints in one anothers' mini fridges after a nasty break up, a grueling exam, or other stressful life situation that needed the cooling consoling that premium ice cream can provide.
While Cherry Garcia and Half Baked were always winners, I gravitated toward savory-sweet flavors that suggested their decadence just in title alone: Chubby Hubby and Chunky Monkey.
I cannot imagine what I would experience if I tried to tackle an entire pint of either of those today like I once did nearly 10 years ago.
Now that I live a much more balanced lifestyle (less alcohol, less stress, less processed foods in exchange for more sleep, more grace, more water), I sometimes still crave the idea of Chubby Hubby and Chunky Monkey.
And that’s why I created this recipe.
For those of y’all who are strangers to Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey (don’t take this as my approval for you to become acquainted with the ice cream), it’s a rich banana ice cream studded with walnut chunks and fudge hunks.
It. Is. Good.
But boy oh boy it’s decadent and rich and requires a strong sugar demon in order to consume much of it.
So I’ve taken what makes that ice cream great- rich chocolate, creamy banana, savory nuts- and put a wholesome, less processed spin on it.
How easy is this, y’all?
1) Slice up some semi-ripe bananas. I suggest semi-ripe as to keep the sugar load in check.
2) Line those suckers up on a parchment-lined baking sheet or whatever will fit into your freezer. I opted for an 8X8, but I’ve used a loaf pan, too. Tuck them into your freezer to chill out for an hour or so.
3) Once the naners are frozen, pull them out and schmear a little bit of nut butter, like ½ a teaspoon or so, on top of half. Then, top them with the remaining frozen banana halves so you have little frozen nut butter+banana sammies. Place them back into the freezer to chill out a bit more.
You could totally stop here and have a delightful frozen treat. But what’s life without dark chocolate? A depressing place, that's what.
4) Melt down a bag of dark chocolate chips or a few bars of your favorite dark chocolate with a dollop of coconut oil. This will make the dark chocolate shiny and shell-like, just like the Magic Shell chocolate sauce of my childhood…is that stuff still around?
You could simply drizzle the bananas with this chocolate or heavily coat them with the chocolate. Personally, I went with option B. I also added a sprinkle of sea salt and chopped hazelnuts for some crunch. You could omit the salt and nuts if you wish, or swap the hazelnuts for pecans, almonds, or walnuts, too.
5) Store these in the freezer in a Ziploc for 2 months, though I doubt they would last that long.
When you’re ready to treat yo self, just pop one or two out for you, your kiddos, spouse, or friends, and devour immediately. The banana will get a little mushy if it stays at room temperature for several minutes. Just a heads up.
Enjoy these delicious and actually nutritious snackies...share them with your own lil chunky monkeys you have rambling around your home! Or, if you are tiny personless, more for you!
Here's a few products I used to make this recipe happen. Check em out if you want!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!