healthy

Frozen Dark Chocolate Banana Bites with Toasted Pecans

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How many times have you bought bananas to only have them turn into a pitiful brown by the end of the week? For awhile there, I'd just toss them in the trash and never gave them a second thought but the beauty of internet has paved the way to a brand new world of recipes featuring the overly ripened fruit. 

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You could use them to make muffins and breads or even as an egg replacement, freeze them for smoothies, or ice cream and my favorite way of enjoying them is frozen and dipped in dark chocolate. 

Fun fact for the day: Did you know you're suppose to peel your banana from the stemless end? If you ever want to be the life of the party, here's 9 ways to peel a banana

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I usually like to peel the ripened bananas, slice them and lay them out in a baking sheet lined with wax paper. This way makes cutting painless and when you dip them in the dark chocolate, the chocolate will immediately harden. However, bananas do melt quickly, so you have to work quickly and in smaller batches. If the bananas start to soften, simply return them to the freezer and dip once they are hardened again. 

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This recipe is simple and uses only 3 ingredients: bananas, dark chocolate and toasted pecans. Also if you don't want as much chocolate on your bananas or you're short on time, take the melted chocolate (make sure it's not piping hot) and place it in a ziplock bag. Squeeze the chocolate to one of the bottom corners and cut the tip and drizzle the chocolate all over the frozen bananas pieces and top with pecans. Omit pecans if you're not a nutty kinda guy. 

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Ingredients:

serves 1-2; yields about 30-40 pieces (printable recipe)

  • 3 ripened bananas, peeled sliced into 1" thick pieces and frozen
  • 1 dark chocolate bar (3.5 oz each ) I used a 70% cacao bar but milk chocolate can be used as well
  • 1 1/2 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Peel bananas and slice into 1" pieces. Place onto large pan lined with wax paper. Place into freezer for at least 1 hour.

Chop dark chocolate bar into small pieces and place into a small glass bowl. Microwave for 30 sec and then in 10 sec intervals (stirring in between) until chocolate is fully melted. Add melted coconut oil and mix thoroughly.

Find some wooden skewers or fondue skewers to make the dipping process easier, if you have neither you can also use  2 small forks. Remove bananas from freezer and pierce banana pieces using the skewers and slowly allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place onto reserved wax paper and top with pecan pieces. Set aside.

If you are using two forks, drop the banana pieces one at a time into the chocolate and use the forks to lift them, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off the sides. Place onto parchment and top with pecan pieces. Continue with the rest of the batch. 

Eat immediately or place back into the freezer until ready to eat. If the bites are too hard, simply leave on the counter for a couple minutes and they will soften a little. 

If the chocolate hardens while you are dipping, simply place back into the microwave for 5-10 sec to soften again.

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Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich

3 years ago I started Joylicious with no particular goal in mind. I took pictures of the food I cooked at home and surprisingly, people liked it. Never did I think a simple blog would've led me straight to my true passions and love in life, but here I stand, renewed, happy and found. 

During these years, I explored deeper in to food and listened to what people were really looking for when it came to recipes. How could I convince and teach my readers the importance of wholesome eating and cooking? What are the biggest hurdles that stop many people from trying to cook from home? 

I realized fear was the biggest  challenge: fear of failing, fear of chopping off your fingers and setting your kitchen on fire, fear of not knowing how to really run an efficient home kitchen. The lack of knowledge and practice really kept people out of their kitchens and I knew I had to change that. 

Without further ado, I present to you an improved and simplified interface for Joylicious -- where you'll find a brand new category of cooking tips that teaches you anything from how to shop at the grocery store, pick out produce, how to chop, mince, and slice; you'll even find tips on how to utilize and store leftovers, ways to save money and how to keep your kitchen clean. You'll see more informative posts on the importance of wholesome eating and even the occasional gardening tip. But most importantly, just simple, straight forward recipes that not only nourish our bodies but tastes amazing.

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Let us celebrate this new beginning together and explore the wonders of cooking. With breakfast being one of the most important meals of the day, it's important we take the time to start each day with a meal that leaves us sharp and fulfilled -- ready to take on the World. Put that donut down, throw out those nasty hot pockets, and embrace this easy recipe for a sandwich that might quite possibly change your life. 

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This open faced fried egg sandwich tests true time and time again whenever I've made it at home -- the crispy sourdough bread, paired with rich creamy avocado, sharp peppery arugula topped with the perfect fried egg, it makes you fist pump the air and plus it takes like 5 minutes to make.

A couple things to remember when making this recipe: pick out a nice ripe avocado and use good quality bread and eggs. You can read more about how to shop for eggs here and how to fry an egg here. 
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I also recommend a coarser salt to sprinkle over your avocado as it gives it a surprising crunch that leaves your taste buds happy and excited. Did you know humans have an innate propensity towards crispy food? Hear more about it through NPR

I used pink himalayan sea salt, but any type of sea salt would work. No sea salt? No problem, just use kosher as substitute and call it a day. Also feel free to substitute the arugula for a milder tasting lettuce if you are not a fan of its earthy, peppery, flavor. 

To pick out an avocado look for ones that are completely black (green means unripe) with a dull skin -- also it should give slightly when squeezed. Avoid any ones that are extremely soft and mushy and if there are only unripe avocados at the store, place them in a brown paper bag with a banana and it should ripen within a day or two. You can learn how to cut an avocado here.

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Recipe for Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich

  • 1 slice sourdough (3/4"-1" thick)
  • small handful of arugula or mixed greens, cleaned
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 good quality egg
  • cholua or any type of hotsauce

Toast sourdough in toaster oven. Meanwhile, make fried egg. Remove sourdough from toaster, place lettuce, chopped avocado on top and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with fried egg and serve with Cholua hotsauce if preferred. (It'll wake the tastebuds right on up)