Frozen Dark Chocolate Banana Pops

These candy-related holidays are dangerous. I walk into the drugstore because I need hair gel or a new toothbrush or something else TOTALLY innocent.

And...I walk out with a bag filled with candy.

How does that happen?! No self control. That's how.

I teamed up with FreshDirect (my favorite online grocery store that I've mentioned on this site 8 billion times) for a fun Halloween game on Instagram. A virtual trick or treat where you "knock" on their door and then they send you over to my page (or other bloggers pages) for the treat.

Whether you also totally lack self control or you're just looking for a way to use up the 50 pounds of candy your kid will be bringing home this weekend, these candy-covered frozen dark chocolate bananas are a good way to use the candy.

You get a hint of the awesome, but tempered with banana (aka fruit!) and dark chocolate.

It's how grown-ups do Halloween.

(Though kids are totally into these pops, too.)

To make, you simply cut bananas in half and skewer with a wooden stick (I got these at the craft store).

Melt the chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil (this keeps it smooth), then dip and coat evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate with your favorite crushed candy.

(My favorite crushed candy is Butterfinger. Yum. But obviously any kind of candy would work.)

I mean...I guess most kinds of candy.

Some might be weird, but I'm trying to think of ones that would be weird and all the combinations in my head just sound awesome. (M&M's! Gummy bears! Malt balls!)

Can you think of a combo that would not work?  (Maybe Junior Mints? Maybe?) get the picture.

And then freeze!

I mean...if you have no patience, you can eat them all gooey and not frozen, too. Also freaking good.

Here is my awesome chef friend Melissa hand modeling a gooey one for me. This cool lady can't even eat peanuts (hence, no Butterfinger), but withstood the torture because she's an amazing lady.

(Plus, I made her dinner afterwards.)

Happy Halloween, my friends!

Some Disclosure Action: Fresh Direct provided me with a gift card for ingredients to create this treat, though I've been using Fresh Direct for years and will continue to do so until my dying day. Because I freaking love them. They have not paid me to say that. Nestle is not at all related to this post (they'd don't even know I'm writing this), but separately sent me some free candy to try and I ended up using it in this recipe. But I'd buy Butterfingers anyway. Because they're delicious.

Frozen Dark Chocolate Banana Pops
Makes 4 pops, multiply as needed

2 large bananas, peeled and cut in half
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil or shortening (like Crisco)
1 cup crushed candy of your choice (I used Butterfinger)

Skewer each half of the banana with a wooden stick (like a popsicle). Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until smooth and melted.

Dip the bananas about 3/4 of the way, then sprinkle on all sides with the crushed candy.

Place on a wax paper lined plate, then pop in the freezer for at least two hours or until frozen solid.

Eat immediately or store in the freezer up to 3 days.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This simple Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe is a variation of my Vegan Double Chocolate Banana Bread, which is full-on chocolate throughout. This one is for those days when you want a bit more banana flavor, with a hint of chocolate.

(I think a hint of chocolate is kind of a must, always.)

And you definitely do NOT have to be vegan to enjoy this recipe.

(I certainly am not!)

I love vegan recipes because they're the perfect solution when you want to bake, but suddenly realize you're out of eggs or butter or milk (or all of the above because it's raining and cold and you don't want to put on pants to go to the store).

This banana bread recipe is super flexible, too! Choose any kind of oil you'd like, and any kind of dairy milk. You can substitute regular granulated sugar for the brown, or even use something like coconut palm sugar.

The tiny bit of acid (to help with the rising) can be swapped for lemon juice or any kind of plain vinegar (apple cider, white, wine, etc.). No balsamic though, please. That would be weird.

I think 1 1/4 cups is the perfect amount of chocolate chips for an even distribution, but feel free to pump that amount up if you'd like.

You do you, OK?

Loved this recipe? Here are three other vegan dessert recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
Makes 1 9x5” loaf

3 medium overripe bananas, mashed until smooth
1/3 cup oil (use vegetable, peanut or a light olive oil. coconut oil works, too, but keep in mind that it will add slight coconut flavor to the bread.)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, cashew, etc.)
1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5” nonstick loaf pan with baking spray or vegetable oil, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together bananas, oil, sugar, vanilla, milk, and lemon juice until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, then pour into prepared pan.

Bake about 45 to 55 minutes, or until cake has risen and is slightly cracked, and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen and remove from pan. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

*note that not all chocolate chips are vegan, so be sure to check out the ingredients

Chipotle Coca-Cola Sweet Potatoes for 5 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas

Let's talk about Thanksgiving for a minute, OK?

I think a lot of us make this holiday way more complicated than it needs to be. We spend days (or even weeks!) seeking out new recipes, creating elaborate menus, and figuring out fancy techniques to bust out on the big day.

And the weird part is that, often, the thing people love most about Thanksgiving are the old favorites!

All that work, and your brother just wants the same old stuffing. Bummer, right?

So this year, we're going to keep things simple. (But we're still going to have some fun!)

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some of my solid favorite Thanksgiving recipes, but showing you a few creative ways to mix them up and serve them. So your family gets to enjoy their favorites, and you still get to play around in the kitchen.

Everybody wins!

First up are these Chipotle Coca-Cola Sweet Potatoes. This season, I've partnered with Coca-Cola to share some favorite holiday recipes and party inspiration so this felt like the perfect recipe to start off this series. I've been making this easy sweet potato recipe for about 7 years, and it has never let me down.

And the best part? SO easy. You puree a few ingredients, pour them over the sweet potatoes, and bake.

I'm NOT even going to make you peel the potatoes! Awesome, right?

And I promised you fun, right?

Because while these sweet potatoes are amazing served as-is (seriously...I'm talking spicy, smokey, and a little bit perfect!), they're also a great base for some super creative (and easy!) serving ideas.

I love this because it gives you a chance to personalize and customize your dish, while still keeping everyone happy.

Read on, and get inspired!

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