Banana Snack Burrito

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To be honest, I haven’t been cooking meals that often in our kitchen lately. It really does take up a lot of time – from preparing, to cooking, to eating, and then cleaning up. There’s no time for that in between classes, meetings, and studying! However, buying every meal can be tiring so I usually make my own in-between-meal snacks. Usually it’s as simple as just an apple but I do have my fancy days that bring the culinary artist out of me.

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Take these banana snack burritos. Peanut butter. Nutella. Banana. 3 of my favorite ingredients all melded together in a simple burrito. I can only eat half of one since they’re really filling and then I usually leave the other half for one of my suitemates. It only takes 7 minutes to prepare and there is no mess afterwards!

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As much as I love our Chipotle that’s down the block, I’d say these burritos come pretty close 😀

Ingredients
1 wholewheat flatbread
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1 banana

Directions

Spread peanut butter on center of flatbread.

Spread Nutella on top of peanut butter.

Place banana slices on top, evenly.

Fold flatbread like a burrito and cut in half.

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Some days, in between meals, I am in desperate need of a little snack before I run off to my next class. I’ve found that bananas are a college student’s best friend when in a hurry. They give you energy (potassium!), they are mess-free, and you can eat them with as little as 3 (humongous) bites.

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Unfortunately, bananas are not the most interesting fruit. They can get boring. To mix it up, sometimes I add some excitement by eating bananas with peanut butter. One day, I got the idea of a fancier banana that brings this fruit to a whole new level…frozen-chocolate covered bananas! I thought it would be a simple, easy-to-make treat since all it took were 3 ingredients…

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Problem 1: I did not have any popsicle sticks for the bananas. I didn’t even know where I could buy popsicle sticks around campus! So, I used spare wooden chopsticks that we use for sushi!

Problem 2: The slow-cooker crockpot I brought from home that I was going to use as a chocolate melter wasn’t working. I took a chance with the microwave but was skeptical since I’ve never successfully melted chocolate with a microwave. This time I microwaved the chocolate chips with 20 second intervals and stirred in between with a chopstick and it worked out nicely!

Problem 3: I thought it would be difficult to dip the bananas in a bowl so I heated the chocolate up in a mug for easier dipping!

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And the best part of this yummy snack? They’re covered with chopped almonds! I was SO delighted when I found out the school grocery store (which has been re-done over the summer to look like a miniature version of Whole Foods) has unsalted mixed nuts. Over the summer, I had become heavily dependent on Costco’s deluxe unsalted mixed nuts for snacking and felt devastated that I wouldn’t have them at school. I immediately bought a whole bag of nuts as soon as I found out we had them!

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FROZEN CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANAS
makes 4

Ingredients
2 bananas
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup almonds (or other nuts), crushed
4 popsicle sticks (or wooden chopsticks)

Directions

Peel bananas completely and cut in half.

Put a popsicle stick through each banana half. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

Melt chocolate using a chocolate-melter. If using a microwave, microwave for 15-20 second intervals, and stir chocolate in between so you don’t overheat it. For convenience, heat it up in a cup or mug.

Take bananas out of freezer and dip in the chocolate and then the crushed nuts. Make sure to cover with nuts immediately after dipping because the chocolate freezes quickly.

Place bananas back in freezer for 1 hour and then enjoy!

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Nutella Swirled Banana Walnut Bread

After you try this, you’ll never look for another banana bread recipe. Best. Banana bread. Ever. It’s a healthy treat that will also satisfy your sweet tooth (double win!) A light, moist, decadent bread that perfectly blends the wonderful flavors of chocolate and banana together.

If you ever have overripe bananas, put them to good use by making banana bread. They act as a natural sweetener so you can put in less sugar! The browner the banana, the better. The sweetness from the Nutella also allows you to cut back on additional sugar.

I made this one Saturday afternoon and the whole loaf of bread was demolished by my family within 24 hours. Several days later I made another loaf for the my co-workers at my summer internship. It was a huge hit and since they all do nutrition research, it got bonus points for being healthy. (Walnuts=Omega-3s!!!)

Eat it for breakfast, eat it for dessert, a snack, whatever! Just beware that once you make it, it won’t stick around for long :p

NUTELLA SWIRLED BANANA WALNUT BREAD
adapted from Pass the Cocoa

Ingredients
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 medium ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk *
1 cup plus 1/2 cup walnuts, divided
3 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons Nutella, divided
Baking spray

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together canola oil, butter, brown sugar, and bananas until well combined. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add flour and buttermilk to banana mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir after each addition until just combined.

Using your hands, break 1 cup of walnuts into halves. Fold them into the mixture.

Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Pour half of the batter into the pan.

Drizzle entire surface with 3 tablespoons of Nutella. Pour in the remaining batter and drizzle the other 3 tablespoons of Nutella on top.

Use a knife or chopstick to lightly swirl the batter.

Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Bake bread until deep golden brown, about 50-55 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick in the center and see whether it is clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in pan. Then remove from pan and cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!!!

*If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute it with a mixture of lemon juice and milk. Pour a tablespoon of lemon juice into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes. Then use 2/3 of it for the recipe.