Summer means two things:
One, every person with a sweet tooth is craving something cold and chocolatey.
Two, no one has the time to invest in long, complicated recipes.
These banana bites solve both issues while being a healthy snack suitable for almost every dietary lifestyle. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened. Those who are allergic to peanuts can use any other kind of nut or seed butter.
This is a healthy, decadent snack fit to be shared with everyone if they would last long enough to be passed around.
Is Peanut Butter Really Healthy?
Peanut butter in its natural form is relatively unprocessed. It’s just peanuts, often roasted, salted, and ground into a paste. Most commercial brands, however, contain added ingredients like sugar, hydrogenated oils, and trans fats.
Therefore, the health benefits of natural peanut butter are those of peanuts:
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- Good source of protein
- Low in carbohydrates
- High in healthy fats
- Rich in vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, vitamin B3 and B6, iron, and zinc
- Rich in antioxidants 
What are the Benefits of Bananas?
Bananas are rumored to cause weight gain and indigestion, but they are actually nutritious. Banana’s may even take the title for the worlds first ‘superfood.’ In the early 20th century the American Medical Association endorsed bananas as a healthy food for children. They even recommended it for the treatment of celiac disease (of course, this was before the true culprit, gluten, was discovered).
Bananas are a source of:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Banana’s high potassium content is beneficial for maintaining one’s heart health. It helps flush excess sodium out of the body and reduces pressure in blood vessel walls. 
This fruit was included in a study that followed the weight changes in the participants for 24 years. It was proved that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables, including bananas, led to weight loss. 
Is Chocolate Good for You?
In moderation, chocolate can be beneficial to our cardiovascular systems. Since the cocoa bean is rich in nutrients, the higher the cocoa content in any chocolate product, the better it is for one’s health.
However, many commercial products can be highly processed and lack these benefits:
- Flavonoids, which repair cell damage
- Antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals
- Flavanols, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow to the brain and heart 
Almost everyone has eaten chocolate as “mood food” and for good reason. It has high amounts of polyphenols, which improves depression, anxiety, and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. 
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Banana Bites
This recipe is extremely versatile. You can try dipping the bananas in slivered nuts or coconut for a fun variation. If you’re a big fan of PB&J, layer a teaspoon of strawberry or raspberry jam on top of the peanut butter. Tired of store bought? Try this 3 ingredient strawberry chia seed jam. This makes this snack perfect for after-school cravings, but if you prefer a fancier approach, drizzle the chocolate over the bananas and serve them as a quick dessert!
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
- 2-3 bananas, sliced
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips*
*If you’re looking to dial down the sweetness make sure to use unsweetened dark chocolate chips. If you’d like something sweet, but want to avoid the sugar, try looking for ones that use low-calorie natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, allulose or erythritol. You can also make your own with this recipe!
- Spread about two teaspoons of peanut butter between two slices of bananas.
- Place all of the banana ‘sandwiches’ on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Freeze for about an hour. This makes the bananas easier to dip into chocolate.
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for about 15–30 seconds at a time, stirring the chocolate in between each increment until melted. Add a drop of oil if the chocolate begins to clump, and stir it until smooth.
- Dip half of each banana bite into the melted chocolate and place it back onto the baking pan.
- Freeze the pan until the banana bites are completely frozen, and enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in the freezer in a sealed container.
- Is Peanut Butter Good or Bad for Your Health? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-peanut-butter-bad-for-you#section8
- Bananas https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/
- Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001878
- Heart Healthy Benefits of Chocolate https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16774-heart-healthy-benefits-of-chocolate
- Is Dark Chocolate Healthy? 5 Reasons to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/is-dark-chocolate-healthy-5-reasons-to-indulge-your-sweet-tooth/
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